Recently, Katrina Kibben, Derek Zeller and I did a blab.im to talk about all the reasons why people hate recruiters and share our advice to help recruiters be better. If you didn’t catch our blab or live in a world where you think recruiters are perceived as nice people, do a quick Google search. Mine is on the right.
Evil. Idiots. Liars. Not exactly a good reputation.
Unfortunately, in some cases – those words apply. We all know there are bad recruiters out there. You know them from your recruiting days or maybe your own job searches. They’re the ones that don’t reply, don’t know what you do and ask all the wrong questions. They make everyone look bad and frankly, it irritates me.
In my recruiting days, I thought of myself as a dream maker – and that’s not some metaphor to boost my ego. I did not hunt for resumes and submit any candidate I found. I took my role really seriously, knowing that the impact I would have on both my candidates and the companies I recruited for had serious life consequences. As you likely know from your own recruiting experience, an appreciation for doing things right doesn’t always produce the fastest results. Regardless, I maintained my preference for quality over quantity. I stayed focused.
In pop culture, we might call these recruiters – and I surely call myself – the Beyoncés of recruiting. Being the Beyoncé of recruiting is no simple task. Beyoncé is known for a level of perfection – from her music to her look. In recruiting, that translates to being respected for your work, pursuing a flawless reputation and being bootylicious. I’m only kind of kidding about the bootylicious part. It surely doesn’t hurt anything.
Being the Beyoncé of Recruiting takes more than focus, though. It takes skill. it takes practice. It takes work. It takes these 6 things, and maybe a dash of being bootylicious, too.
1) You Must Not Know ‘Bout Me: Ask Questions.
I cringe when I get a call or e-mail from a recruiter saying they have the perfect position for me… when we’ve never spoken before. Half the time, they haven’t even Googled me. How can you know what the perfect job for me is if you have no idea what’s important to me or what I even like to do? If you can have good communication with your candidates, they will give you all the answers you need to help you decide if what you’re offering is a good fit. Get to know your candidate by asking things like:
- Have you considered looking at a new position?
- How would you describe your dream job?
- Have you ever heard of (company name)?
- What could you add to your current job that would make it the best?
Believe it or not, there are some recruiting software platforms that can help you ask better questions. Take a look at:
- Jazz is not just an ATS. They also offer “Interview Guides.” It’s an integrated “Interviewing for Idiots” feature and I think it is pretty cool.
- Hirezon Interview Exchange (For Higher Education): Screening thousands of candidate? A’int nobody got time for that. “COREquisites” offers a built in question library and screening tools to help you source faster.
- Glassdoor People without Glassdoor, can’t throw stones. On Glassdoor, interviewees have the ability to add the real questions they were asked during their interview. Take a look at them, there could be some questions that you need to be asking too.
2) Crazy In Love: Listen.
Recruiters call with an agenda – to get the job filled. But we are not dealing in widgets. Our product is people. Because of that simple fact, you have to earn trust and respect. When a candidate feels like you’re listening, you have the building blocks for a solid relationship. If they say they aren’t looking for a job, respect that. Don’t try to weasel them into allowing you to submit their resume. Not only will you build a rapport with the candidate, but you’re impacting turnover as well by not putting people in the wrong jobs.
Not such a great listener? Try video interviewing. You can go back time and time again to listen to what the candidate is trying to tell you, instead of trying to get everything into the first conversation. It also helps you see what they aren’t saying, with their body language and facial expressions. But there are also a ton of video tools on the market. Here are the ones I recommend:
- InterviewStream – They have a role-play tool that you can use to train new recruiters.
- SparkHire – Video Interviewing made easy. Video interviewing is basically all the same, until it comes down to the services and SparkHire has the best customer service ever.
3) Who Runs The World: Connect With me.
Once you find a good candidate, whether you’re going to be able to place them in a job or not, connect with them on social media. Add them to a Twitter list. Ask them to connect on LinkedIn. From there, be a connector. Check out these tools to help you better connect with candidates on a more one-to-one level:
- iCIMS Connect – If candidates like what you have but are not quite ready to make a change, they can sign up for your talent community using their social profiles. Hear what a real-life iCIMS user thought in our tech blab.
- SmartRecruiters – This open source tool allows you to talk to your candidates directly via Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger, InMail but all from the SmartRecruiters platform. Stay in touch and keep track.
4) All My Single Ladies: Engage With Your Candidates
If you have candidates or potential hires in your social networks, share information that is relevant to them. Let them know what is going on in the industry. Give tips on how to find new jobs or negotiate salary. Be valuable to them and eventually, they’ll be valuable to you. Recruiting is a never-ending cycle of good karma and helping people is just that. You want to be the first person on their list of calls if they ever need a job or want to refer a recruiter. Need technical support staying engaged? Here’s where to start:
- Herefish – This is a service as well as an automation tool to allow you to reach out to candidates that you haven’t seen for a while. Best part – Herefish does it for you.
- HRS – The cool thing HRS offers is their “Social Sourcer” that allows you to push content to candidates through their HootSuite integration.
- Talemetry – I like Talemetry because of their built in engagement reporting. See what engagement does for you.
- Sparc (Formally Match-Click) – A video based job description service leveraging real employees to share critical information about the career opportunity and could just influence the job seeker throughout their job search.
5) Best Thing I Never Had: Following Up.
Be reliable. Be punctual. Do what you say you are going to do no matter how small the task is. If you can’t keep up with the little things, why would someone trust that you can help them in one of the biggest decisions in their life? These tools can help:
- iCIMS Recruit – With iCIMS Recruit you can schedule out what you want to say to your candidates, among other things...
- Visibility – They offer an ATS that allows you to schedule and document all of your communication in one place making it easier to remember to give your candidates a call.
- Akken Cloud – Akken Cloud leaves you no excuse for not managing your candidates. They have an efficiency improvement platform and it works (if you work it…)
6) If I Were A Boy: Empathize.
Not being chosen for a job sucks. Candidates want feedback on whether or not they are getting the position, but they also want to know if they interviewed well. Be honest. If you were in their shoes, what would you want? Do that. “You just weren’t a good fit” is not a good enough answer. Especially after you have told them how perfect they would be for the role. Of course, you may not have any additional information. Be tactful but be considerate and empathetic to the fact that they may feel rejected. Not a good feeling.
And if you’re looking for a tool to help with this one, go get a new job. Recruiting is a series of letdowns (for candidates and recruiters alike) and without empathy, you can’t be the Beyoncé of Recruiting.
ICYMI: Here is our Blab!