Recruiters: Say No to Being Treated Like Assistants

A conversation with Mike Dwyer, Global Talent Acquisition Lead at Feedzai

Read About the Episode

Mike Dwyer discusses his mission to create a culture of recruitment in which every employee shares responsibility for talent acquisition.

“It’s a point of differentiation,” Dwyer says, “since the people doing the work are more likely to build meaningful relationships with candidates.”

Dwyer adds that, if more companies created this type of culture, it would free recruiters to evolve, becoming internal talent consultants who empower, enable and educate — not just people who schedule interviews, as some people consider the recruiters’ role to entail.

In Dwyer’s view, it’s time for recruiters to say no to being treated like administrative assistants and instead own their rightful place as experts and internal consultants.

This latest episode covers:

Feedzai is the market leader in fighting financial crime with AI. Coding the future of commerce with today’s most advanced risk management platform powered by big data and machine learning.

From one standpoint, I’m saying: Everyone’s a recruiter.

Mike Dwyer

Global Talent Acquisition Lead, feedzai

Defining a culture of recruitment

“Isn’t that your job?” That’s the question people ask Dwyer when he initially attempts to engage them in the process of recruiting. 

Dwyer’s belief is that recruitment — at a time with unprecedentedly low tech unemployment — is everyone’s job. 

To build a recruitment culture, not only should managers be empowered but every employee within the company should be an ambassador.

“The people who are actually doing the jobs have a much better chance of building a relationship with a target candidate.”

In response to some of the pushback Dwyer gets when asking hiring managers to be more involved, he says: It doesn’t have to be the onerous task some hiring managers think it will be. 

If a team member spends just 15 minutes daily on building relationships with candidates, it can help a company build a recruitment pipeline that’s as valuable as its sales pipeline.

The need for empathy in recruiting and hiring

No matter the scale, a company is a group of people. That means empathy is essential for a successful company culture.

It isn’t a matter of technology that we deploy but relationships that we build to foster employees’ feelings of fulfillment from their work.

“The people who are actually doing the jobs have a much better chance of building a relationship with a target candidate.”

The thing about people is that they will often adopt a ‘no news is good news’ policy, especially where positive experiences become the standard. This makes it exceptionally difficult for businesses to protect their reputations online, where most of the reviews contain only the negative 


Dwyer pointed out that recruiting new talent with a widespread negative reputation is like rearranging deck chairs on the sinking Titanic. 


In addition to this, society itself is changing. Being good to people is genuinely good for business, and it’s becoming a standard metric by which many candidates judge prospective employers.

Listen to the Episode

What the recruiter of the future will do

The tech available to recruiters today, says Dwyer, is so much more advanced than when he first began his career. This has the potential to free recruiters to take on a new role and reputation, creating these cultures of recruitment.  


In that context, the recruiters’ job becomes more about enabling employees to participate, arming them with the employer brand content and counsel they need to have successful interactions with candidates. 


The future, then, looks bright for the recruiter, who will become internal consultants seen as a vital part of business strategy.


According to Dwyer, recruiters need to change the way they’re perceived, ensuring that leadership understands their expertise and strategic value. They need to advocate that recruitment is far more than writing job descriptions and tracking application timelines. 


“Be confident you are the experts. You are the ones on the front lines,” Dwyer said of recruiters.

“I tell my team all the time that we’re the experts. We’re not here just pushing paper or scheduling interviews. We are a collaborative partner.”

Post-pandemic return to the office: whose call is it?

According to Dwyer, companies now have access to talent far outside their HQ geolocation. Remote affords companies to hire the best candidates for the job no matter where they call home.


According to Dwyer, hybrid work life is here to stay. Or as he described it, the horse has left the barn.


 When leaders insist employees work from the office, it smells of mistrust, says Dwyer. If productivity is high, there’s no need to insist people work from the office. 


And yet, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.


Dwyer recommends that companies  learn employees’ individual circumstances and determine collaboratively what type of arrangement is best for them.


One person may benefit from being in the office several days a week, while another might be better off working full time remotely.


This becomes clear when you take into account people’s life circumstances:

As Dwyer puts it, “People are complex, and flexible solutions are required to meet everyone’s needs.”

Wagner’s Key Takeaways

Update: Since recording Dwyer’s episode, Feedzai announced a four-day work week for the end of summer 2021, a strategy the press has covered as a win for labor activists if it were to be adopted widely. In addition, beyond summer, Feedzai’s plan is that employees can choose to work from home, part time in the office or full time in the office according to their preferences. But there’s a twist. Employees are given the chance to recommit or change their arrangement every six months.

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