Today, I spoke to Craig Fisher, aka Fishdogs. He is a hot shot recruiter, social media strategist, speaker and founder of A-List Solutions based in Dallas, Texas.
What do you recruit for and what geography do you cover?
Our main business is IT staffing and executive search. We mainly cover the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. But we have clients with offices nationwide that we service as well.
How’s business and outlook for the year?
Business has been brisk since December. Our projections are good. We’ll set records. But last year started strong and then fell off as unemployment rose.
What is the key to your success?
Our clients like us because we have a good combination of technical and business knowledge. So we get under the hood and discover what the client’s real needs are. This usually differs substantially from the given job description.
We also talk with current employees and try to develop a personality profile that will work long term. Then we are able to really target specific candidates vs. sending multiple resumes to see what sticks.
What are the trends you have spotted in your field?
Sourcing is a bigger and bigger deal. I have been a full desk recruiter and did all my own sourcing. But I have also employed dedicated sourcers for specific searches. It’s great to have someone who can just churn out skill-qualified candidates.
Unfortunately you still need a good recruiter to vet these candidates thoroughly. And that’s where the process often breaks down. We find more candidates, but they are not vetted, pre-closed, etc. So candidate to hire ratio is no better. Maybe worse. It is taking longer to hire overall.
How much do you use social media to find clients and candidates?
We use social media all the time to find clients and candidates. Most of our new clients come from social media. Many of our candidate or candidate referrals do too. For sourcing, Linkedin is by far the most effective. Linkedin is also good for creating groups of candidate and client communities.
Twitter is best for actual relationship building. You can have better conversations there than on any other platfform. I like to use Twitter to compliment my Linkedin and Facebook accounts. Facebook is becoming a better referral tool as I create more groups there for specific communities. But Twitter is still where the conversations take place.
How important are resumes and cover letters?
Resumes and cover letters are still very important. But they may begin to take more of an online or virtual form on sites designed to keep the information fluid and dynamic.
What are your best tips to jobseekers in a tough market?
Spread your digital footprint. Get your entire resume complete with keywords into Linkedin. Have a nice profile pic there too. Don’t just rely on submitting resumes to job boards. Grow your Linkedin network and reach out to people in the companies you want to work for. Contribute to the groups in which they participate.
Become a trusted resource of valuable information. Then ask to be referred in for positions with their organizations. Start a blog about the space in which you wish to be hired. Post good content and more information about yourself there. Occasionally refer your growing network to an article you have posted there. Position yourself as the expert.
Are job coaches, career coaches of any use to jobseekers?
Yes, certainly. Most good recruiters can help as well. But remember to use your head and speak to references before paying money to a coach.
Any other pearls of wisdom you would like to share?
A great way to grow your Linkedin network is to first follow those you wish to connect with on Twitter. Network with your targets there for a week or two before going back to Linkedin to ask them to join your network. Let them know you have been following them on Twitter and would like to connect on Linkedin as well. Remember to be a vaulable contributor on Twitter as well as Linkedin. Don’t just ask for help. Contribute first.
Related: Secrets of the Internal Recruiter, Interview with David Cherry from McAfee