Recruiting is a specialty art. It is not as simple as providing full life cycle support. The key elements of a successful recruiter include:
Client Relationship Building
Yes, all of these skill sets are critical to an effective and long term career in recruiting / talent acquisition. This blog is not about what soft and technical skills are required to be a recruiter. If that were the case, I would take a job description off of Monster or Careerbuilder. I would like to talk about how to establish a positive relationship with your candidates.
I know, all candidates are different. They come from different cultures, social background, financial status, career level, industry focus and leadership level. But the bottom line is every candidate has the same attribute, they are human. Am I saying that if you begin a relationship with a new college graduate it is the same as developing a connection with a CFO? No, but what I am saying is that every human interaction is built on finding common ground, trust, compassion and the willingness to accept each other’s position and attempt to come up with the best means of finding a win/win on both ends.
That being said, how do I establish, maintain and grow a relationship with a candidate that will provide the candidate with an excellent client experience? Simple; plant the seed, feed the ground and the seed with water and nutrients, spend time with the young blossoming bud and celebrate its victory as it spreads its beautiful colors and provides oxygen to is surroundings.
Now how do we translate that series of metaphors into a working knowledge piece?
Here are some key things to remember when you begin a new relationship with a potential candidate:
1. Learn about the background of the candidate and determine if there are common elements which can help to establish rapport. What are his/her hobbies? Where did they go to school? Who did they work for and are there networking contacts you have in common? Do they like sports and if so, what teams? Stepping into an initial conversation with a common ice breaker can help relieve the tension of a presumed interview setting and allow for candid and flowing conversation.
2. Remember that we are all human and all desire the same pursuit of happiness, family, health and balance. Whether you are talking to someone that made half a million last year or someone that made thirty thousand, we all have the same goals. Some are driven by work life balance, financial or challenge of work, but we all want to belong to something that we believe in and that is grounded in stability. Don’t change who you are as a recruiter if you are talking to someone at a higher professional level or lower. Be yourself and use the same comfort tactics you would use with any candidate. In the end, the candidate will admire you and be open to sharing more information.
3. Research and understand the role you are looking to fill. In a high volume work setting with a diverse set of roles on your work bench, the expectation is that you will not know all the day to day duties of a role or the software/hardware components necessary to perform the duties of the role but there are some elements that a candidate would like to know in initial interaction. What is the culture of the team? What are the challenges facing the role? What professional background will be most successful? What are the growth opportunities and training? What are the expectations of successful performer? Having a working knowledge of the role prior to client interface with provide you with a level of respect that will set you apart from you colleagues.
4. Don’t be afraid to open up a little. If an opportunity presents itself to share insight into your own life and experiences with the organization, let your guard down and show the candidate that we are a company built on relationships and family values.
5. Sharpen your marketing skills. Know what your company does well and shout out how proud you are to be a part of the organization. Share in the wins, awards, financial options, growth opportunities, open communicative culture, training, volunteer work and all the great things that your company does and offers. Sell, sell, sell. You are trying to purchase a commodity and in order to do that, you have to convince that commodity that they want to be part of this. Taking the big step to a new role is in fact a very big step. You need to guide them to the door and in a way, open it up as well.
These are a few little insider hints on how to get an edge, when you pursue top talent and want to close the deal.