A Day in the Life of a Paychex Recruiter

Recruiting is changing at an unprecedented pace, and businesses must quickly adapt to keep pace with the competition for top talent. We sat down with Debra, a Paychex recruiter, to learn more about the changing dynamics of the recruiting environment and what these changes mean for today’s recruiters.


What is your number-one source of hire and how do you promote it?
Since I predominantly recruit for areas outside of my home geography, it’s imperative that I build a virtual network to open up new avenues for identifying top talent. I have found the most success on LinkedIn. In my 10 years in recruiting, LinkedIn has evolved from a nebulous website that very few professionals use, to my first stop when recruiting for a new opening. I not only use it as a starting point, but I also use it to cross-reference candidates found elsewhere.

As far as promotion, other than posting positions, I connect with every candidate with whom I speak and spend at least 3-4 hours a week building my network for future opportunities. LinkedIn works much like the Kevin Bacon game; the more people you’re connected to, the more individuals you’ll be able to reach for sourcing.


How do you interact with other departments and hiring managers?
I recruit for our Major Market Services division and cover an area ranging from Maine to Virginia and Ohio. As a remote recruiter, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to work face to face with my hiring managers, so the bulk of my communication is written and over the phone.

Paychex also uses an inter-office instant messaging (IM) program that allows me and my hiring managers to have more impromptu conversations throughout the day. I also work closely with our training, benefits, and compensation teams to assist my candidates throughout the interview and onboarding processes.


What tools make your life easier?
Once you find great candidates, you need a system to house their data, reference back to them, and share with fellow recruiters on your team. Our team recently migrated our applicant tracking system to myStaffingPro. With this migration, we had the capability to customize the system to our needs, as opposed to using a vanilla “out-of-the-box” program that would require us to shoehorn our business requirements.

In addition to being able to search resumes easily, keep notes from prescreens, and upload documents, myStaffingPro is integrated with our assessment program, our onboarding/background-check screening service, and our back office/payroll. This makes everything seamless and efficient. Not having to bounce in and out of multiple programs to workflow a candidate is a huge time saver.


How has recruiting changed in the last 10 years? What impact has social media had on recruiting?
Let’s put things in perspective. Close your eyes and imagine your social media footprint in 2005. You may have used AOL or their instant messenger, AIM. You probably still had a MySpace page or a Friendster account. Facebook was only a year old and had only 6 million monthly users. LinkedIn was still relatively obscure and Twitter wasn’t even born yet. Instagram was five years away from its debut.

When I started recruiting temps in 2005, often I was looking for people who were actively seeking work. I had a few options — job boards like Monster or HotJobs, job fairs, and walk-in applicants. But when you are looking to fill permanent positions, you must not only consider people who are looking, but also people who are currently employed and happy where they are. Passive candidates aren’t typically on job-posting sites, at job fairs, or stopping by your office to say hello. How did you target passive talent in 2005? Cold-calling into companies and networking events.

Now consider your social media footprint today. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, the list goes on. There are nearly 1.3 billion people accessing Facebook monthly, with 728 million of them using their account daily. LinkedIn now has 260 million members, Twitter has close to 240 million, and Instagram has over 200 million. Those numbers are staggering. People are connecting in unprecedented volume and frequency because of social media. Candidates are more accessible today than ever before; you just have to know how and where to search.

Today’s recruiter needs to be social media savvy, diversified, and nimble. We need to have our finger on the pulse of whatever new avenue is just around the corner and how today’s sites are evolving. What will Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter look like in 10 years? What will inevitably replace them?


What task absorbs most of your time?
This is an interesting question and the one that took the most rumination to answer. I could easily say that recruiting and sourcing activities take up the bulk of my time, and that wouldn’t be a lie. But what do those terms mean? For me, it’s a combination of scouring my networks for candidates and conducting screening.

Also, maybe equally importantly, is reading articles about other companies within our industry, making note of changes to other organizations that may avail us of talent on the move, and sharing that information with my teammates while receiving similar competitive intelligence from them. Becoming more informed is a cornerstone to successful recruiting. Knowing the ins and outs of my own organization and what the responsibilities of the job are will absolutely help me talk to a candidate about what they can expect here at Paychex. But does it help me understand them as a candidate? Does it help me understand how to target a particular market, what’s in it for the candidate, or what might motivate them to seek new opportunities? That’s the differentiator in a candidate-driven market.

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