After spending the last five years in recruiting, I can safely say that there are a lot of recruiters out there that make it difficult for the recruiting profession to maintain a positive reputation.
I felt this issue was validated – especially after recently interviewing a large group of recruiters who felt the same way.
Even though this post isn’t going to resonate or apply to every recruiter in the field, if you read it and you feel the same way – share it so maybe someone reading it will change their ways in 2017.
Without further ado, for all the recruiters out there – here are five resolutions you should hold yourself to in 2017, in order to enhance the positive reputation of the recruiting industry.
Take the time to truly understand your candidate
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to talk about what we need in a candidate, but not enough recruiters are taking the time to truly engage with and understand what their candidates need when it comes to making a move in their career.
If you take the time to understand your candidates, it is much easier to build an authentic talent pipeline to tap into even if the position you are working on now isn’t an ideal fit for them.
Get to know your candidate’s motivators, their concerns, their interests and aspirations. Not only will this help you to better match them to the ideal position, it establishes trust in a relationship that will generate a win-win situation either now or in the future.
Make sure you communicate and follow up – period
I know recruiting life can be busy. We juggle multiple candidates for various positions, and it’s sometimes hard to make time for following up – especially when it isn’t getting you one step closer to the money, one step closer to meeting a quota or goal, or one step closer to filling a critical role in your company.
However, most candidates will agree that a simple “no” is better than zero feedback at all. Leaving your candidates in the dark is like watching almost all of an awesome movie, and then turning it off without seeing the ending.
Don’t be afraid to give what you perceive as negative feedback. I guarantee that most candidates will appreciate a follow-up from a recruiter even if the news isn’t what they wanted to hear.
Treat your candidates like people, not numbers or transactions
Let’s face it. There are recruiting firms out there that are all about numbers. I get it. There are quotas to exceed, goals to meet, and positions to fill due to client obligations.
However, you cannot treat your candidates like the numbers you are trying to achieve. The quotas you need to exceed, the goals you need to meet, and the positions you need to fill are all background noise to a candidate.
They don’t want to hear that you need to fill a position by Friday or that by filling this position you will meet or exceed your monthly goal.
Candidates just want to tell you their story. They want you to ask questions about what they are looking for, what makes them tick, and what they have to bring to the table.
If it’s a fit, it’s a fit. Don’t force it for the sake of numbers.
Be personalized in your approach
It’s easy to make excuses about why personalizing your messages takes too long. Maybe you don’t get a lot of responses, or you feel you can reach more candidates about a position by mass emailing.
Although some of the excuses are valid, I guarantee that you can get a better return on investment if you take the time to personalize and/or customize your messages to candidates.
And, if it’s a really hard-to-fill position, keep in mind that your message really should stand out from the rest of the messages some of these high-need candidates are receiving daily. Get creative, customized, and real.
Really focus on partnering with your hiring managers
There’s this invisible disconnect between recruiters and hiring managers. Recruiters don’t get enough information on a position that needs to be filled, or they feel hiring managers have unrealistic expectations.
On the other end of the table, hiring managers may believe that recruiters should know exactly what type of person they need, or they believe we can just get on LinkedIn and pluck ten rock star candidates at the snap of a finger.
Take the time to truly partner with your hiring managers – both internal and external. Focus on asking the tough questions that will make you more successful in finding the right people for their team. Don’t be afraid to leverage your experience. Be confident in your abilities to help your hiring managers make sound hiring decisions. And, don’t be afraid to push for feedback.
What are some of your resolutions to be a better recruiter in 2017?