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It’s that other most wonderful time of the year, and chances are you are dealing with the summer slowdown. And while some try to work the angle that it’s all a myth, you’ve been in the business long enough to know better. You’ve got better things to do than getting hooked into futile debates while meanwhile, your candidate pipeline is starting to trickle away. Suffice it is to say that whether or not the slowdown exists, summer is a disrupted time for recruiters and their workflows.
But that doesn’t have to break your stride. Just as savvy job seekers have a different playbook for high and low seasons, so do sage recruiters. During the high season, recruiters are near or at capacity for managing candidate stocks and flows, and the focus is on execution. But during the low season, when there is spare capacity, the focus shifts to getting in position to execute.
With that in mind, let’s look at some key activities in the recruiter’s summer playbook.
1. Warm your contacts back up
During the high season, you connected with a lot of different people and started many conversations that are likely still open. Summer is the time to reconnect with those contacts and continue those conversations. Successful job seekers know how valuable the art of following up is. But it applies just as well to your side of the table.
With whom could you be following up? Start with hiring managers, LinkedIn contacts, candidates in the pipeline or the Mighty Recruiter Resume database where you can have access to qualified applicants who you can invite to apply for a job, as well as potential boomerangs, company alumni, and pre-candidates who have queried your company.
The idea is to access job seekers already within your reach that you could move to the next step in the hiring funnel. During summer, you’ll likely have to persevere and be more flexible with setting up meetings. But you’ll increase your chances of getting your timing right with candidates, which is so critical to successful recruiting.
2. Generate your own leads
There are lots of ways to do this without getting too salty. One of the best places to start is right in your organization. Get involved with employee onboarding, and ask current and recent on board if they know of anyone they would recommend for various openings.
Spread out your efforts and ask for referrals from influencers within your own company. Don’t neglect community managers, content creators, and user group leaders. Ask if they know of anyone that you should know of. Visit all these people in your company personally. And, find out if anyone in the organization has conducted informational interviews, and see if they have someone to recommend.
For entry-level roles, consider reaching out directly to new workforce entrants. Chances are it will be the first time they’ve been contacted by a recruiter, and they’ll be eager to engage.
3. Audit your job ad writing
To adapt an old saying from the sales profession, “Have you looked at your job ads recently? Everyone else has!”
Summer is an excellent time to evaluate the advertisements you have been using to attract the talent you want, and perhaps apply some tough love. Recruiters can use this time to take the lead on job ad writing, meeting with hiring managers, revising and editing text, and managing all the approval back and forth that takes up precious time that nobody has during the high season. And while you’re at it, get some honest feedback on how your emails to candidates and other correspondence reads.
4. Audit your system
Summer is also a time to do a reality check on your hiring funnel. It is very easy to operate at a high volume for several months and stress the system, develop leaks, or get out of calibration. One of the first areas you’ll want to look at is your job ad distribution channels. Is the mix working well overall, or are there underperforming channels? Are you fishing in the right ponds?
Next, you will want to review your CMS tech solution. Is there excessive application abandonment, and does information get lost? Finally, you will want to review your overall recruitment marketing. How does your employer brand come across to target candidates? How is your candidate experience? Be prepared to make adjustments. During this time you will also be auditing your vendors, suppliers, and contractors to make sure your people, processes, and technology are tuned for performance.
5. Take some chances you’ve been meaning to take
Reach out to a few especially intriguing candidates. Pick up a new skill or upgrade an existing one. Write a few content pieces for your company blog. Connect with some of the more charismatic influencers within your company’s community of practice. Find new ways to refresh and renew.
A recruiter for all seasons
Too often recruiters get complacent during the high season and turn from being brokers into order-takers. They sit in their offices with their doors closed waiting for hiring managers and staffing problems to come to them, and for candidates to pop out of their ATS.
Summer is the time to break out of that and switch into active recruiter mode. It’s a time to replenish your pipeline and tap new sources, but also fix leaks and tend to some probably much-needed maintenance. A high-performance recruiting function is like a high-performance sports car: if you’ve been driving it as it was designed to be driven, it’s going to need some maintenance, especially if you plan to drive on more challenging roads. Working your summer playbook will pay off when activity picks up again, and you can’t afford a breakdown.
About the author: MightyRecruiter is an intuitive, comprehensive, and transformative recruiting solution. Source passive candidates, track and manage applicants, access an expansive resume database, take advantage of Mighty’s free job postings, and hire the most relevant candidates for your jobs, all at no cost.