Talent Acquisition

The Art of High-Tech/High-Touch Recruiting

Sponsored by MightyRecruiter.

As an expert in helping small businesses achieve their hiring and recruiting goals, Rebecca Barnes-Hogg knows that it’s the people that make an organization. From the time she started helping her high school friends find summer jobs to the present day, Rebecca has always excelled at matching the right people with the right opportunities.

Today, as the founder of YOLO Insights® and author of the upcoming book The YOLO Principle (SPARK Publications, 2017), Rebecca has developed a unique approach to recruiting. In her upcoming webinar for MightyRecruiter, Rebecca explores the challenges of recruiting in today’s dynamic recruiting landscape and shares her high-tech/high-touch recruiting techniques for successfully snaring qualified candidates in a tight labor market.

You’ve written that “Recruiters have to be proactive and engage with candidates long before an opening exists.” Why is that important and what are your best tips for making and maintaining those connections

The reason it’s important to engage with candidates even before you have an opening is that the labor market is so tight—and if you look at the numbers, it seems like it is only going to get worse. For recruiters to efficiently fill positions, they need to be looking at talent all the time to create a pipeline, even when they don’t have an open position. Recruiters should always be building a pool of candidates for future use.

To do that, my best tip is always to be listening to potential candidates for qualities that employers want, even if you don’t have a requisition for it now. I’ll talk to candidates about their skills and which other industries or positions they might be interested in pursuing down the road. It’s about thinking outside the box as far as where their skills might fit, even if it is outside their current industry. Often, there are possibilities for moving candidates into other roles that the jobseekers themselves may not have ever considered.

How else do you connect with candidates that might be different from the way other recruiters operate?

This may seem odd, but I try to build relationships with candidates by giving them good advice. When I am interviewing someone, and they do or say something that I know will disqualify them from an opportunity, I’ll tell them. For example, I had a candidate who kept mispronouncing the client’s name. She was perfect for the position, but I knew that if she went in there and mispronounced the company’s name, she would be out of consideration immediately. So giving jobseekers tips and friendly advice makes interviewing easier for them, and later they remember me because I treated them well and helped them. Now when I need help from them, they are going to take my phone call, or answer my email, or give me their friends’ names. I view recruiting like building a spider web; you are always throwing out things and creating new patterns and new ways to reach people

From a spider web to the World Wide Web, I know you place substantial value on social recruiting. What’s your process for using social media to engage with candidates?

I don’t know that I have a process, per se. It’s more about reading between the lines. What words are jobseekers using? What are candidates talking about? And what aren’t they talking about? I monitor a lot of different Twitter feeds for things related to recruiting. One of the things that I like to look at are recruiting-related hashtags – #recruiterfail, #recruiterspam, #ihaterecruiters are some good ones. The things you read about when you look at these hashtags are funny at times, but it’s sad because recruiters are doing things that bother candidates and they don’t know it. At the end of the day, it hurts them and their reputation. I look at these hashtags to see the things that recruiters are doing that candidates don’t like and make sure I act differently.

Another simple thing I do is that when someone starts following me on social media, I’ll do a little investigating to look at their feed and then I’ll send them a little note thanking them for following me. The key to social recruiting is to be human and have it be a two-way street.

You are also a big proponent of recruiters doing their due diligence through research, and collecting business intelligence pay off. Could you explain how research can help a recruiter sharpen their recruiting strategy?

This is where search engines can be your friend. Regardless of your preferred search engine, learning how to use them effectively is critical. When I am working to fill a role, I’ll do a search on the industry to find out what the top ten news stories are currently. This gives me an understanding of what problems the industry is facing and what its challenges are at the moment. I can then use that information when I recruit to find people who can address those particular difficulties.

For example, I am doing a search right now for a client who has some bad reviews on Glassdoor. The company is now looking to hire HR staff and so rather than trying to gloss over the bad reviews when I am speaking to candidates I mention that if they do their research, they will find these bad reviews. The reason I do that is that as candidates for this company’s HR staff, they will have the chance to help turn those negative reviews around. This kind of research on my part and this kind of transparency can help me find candidates who are excited about that kind of challenge and identify those people who are looking to gain experience in organizational development. Just by knowing the challenges, you can craft questions that will help you identify the perfect candidate to help that company fix whatever problem they are facing.

If you were going to summarize your webinar in a few sentences, how would you describe it?

The focus of the webinar is that recruiting today is about relationships over everything else. Recruiters have to build relationships with current employees, with candidates, with potential candidates, and with your community. These sources are where your future workforce is going to come from. It might come to you through your career site, through social media, or through referrals, but you have to build relationships, and you have to be human about it. I’ll be giving a bunch of tips and tricks and tools about how to create those relationships by using online tools and some old-school tactics, as well.

This post is sponsored by MightyRecruiter. Be sure to join their upcoming webinar, Today’s Recruiting Landscape: Where to Post Jobs for Best Visibility, Which Benefits to Negotiate for Qualified Hires, and More, on Tuesday, June 13, and ask your questions first hand!

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