Recruiting the Recruiter - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Small business owners often find themselves wearing many different hats. But when it comes time to hire executive and managerial talent, human resources experts say owners should seek professional help.

“It makes good sense for small businesses to hire an executive search firm to work with especially if they are in a growth mode,” says Eral Burks, president and CEO of Minority Executive Search, a human resources recruitment firm in business since 1985. “It takes human capital to build a business and you want the best individuals in those positions to help you grow.”

Executive search firms, also known as headhunters, are paid a percentage of the new hire’s salary, and standard industry fees range from 25% to 33.5%. “While you will spend a little bit more using a headhunter, you will get quality candidates and quality hires that will add to your bottom line,” says Adrienne Graham, CEO and owner of Hues Consulting and Management Inc., an executive search firm.

Recruiters are usually contracted by larger businesses, universities, and non-profit organizations to hire employees for positions that are management level or above. For small businesses, these search firms can reduce the HR workload so that owners can pay more attention to running the day-to day aspect of their businesses.

Oftentimes, small business owners don’t have the time to put in the necessary work to find suitable employees, says Graham, author of her self-published book, “Go Ahead Talk to Strangers: The Modern Girls Guide To Fearless Networking (Empower Me! Corp.; $19.99). They look in the wrong places and search on generalist job boards like or because they are unfamiliar with niche job boards. “Those are good for what they provide, but job boards period are not something business owners need to [solely] rely on,” Graham says. A headhunter can do what the small business owner doesn’t have time to do–network over the phone and face to face by cultivating relationships at trade association events.

One main advantage of hiring a recruiter is the anonymity that they provide, Graham says. Anonymity protects the recruiting company from being inundated with inquiries from unqualified applicants. A professional recruiter won’t tell the candidate what company they are recruiting for until the day of the interview. Also, a headhunter can search for candidates within a competitor’s company for talent, something that the business owner himself cannot do.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.