How does a recruiter not only survive but actually thrive in today’s climate where most markets and sectors are saturated, where there is an ever-changing threat from social media and internal recruiters strategically placed to cut recruitment costs.
How do you ensure your stay ahead of your game and become that “go to” person that is trusted and well-connected; equally, happy and content in yourself?
Recruitment evolves like any other sector and it is hard to predict what future trend will dominate the chat forums – job boards were regarded as the greatest threat to our sector in the noughties, internal recruiters this decade, is AI the next threat to our sector?
Regardless, the reason I am typing this as a recruiter who is finishing their second decade in recruitment is that whatever happens, people will still want to deal with people in their quest for a new role or to find them their next employee.
This is not a naive and utopian ideal. Much in the same way as those who like to diagnose medical conditions on google, seeing a doctor in the flesh to properly ascertain a diagnosis is the only way you can feel reassured.
So my top tips to recruiters who want to become the top of their sectors:
1. Keep it real
Have empathy with your customers. Remember what it felt like the last time you were a candidate. What did you learn from recruitment processes: think about what made you impressed with your recruiter and mimic their behaviours and even improve upon it. If you have hired staff before, think about the psychology your hiring client will go through so you can demonstrate an understanding of the process they have to go through. Don’t try and be something fake.
No news IS news. As frustrating as it seems, when a candidate is waiting to hear whether they got the job, it takes just a few moments to call a candidate and dare I say it, keep them warm. Often, decision makers are involved in business critical decisions in addition to recruitment and so they will sometimes be delayed in coming back. By keeping in touch even to say, “I havent heard yet but when I do hear you will be the first to know”, builds trust and respect for the job you are trying to do
There is no such thing as one size fits all – yes there is a protocol and a process that all recruiters (should) follow. But the best recruiters add their own style and finesse, as any singer has their own original sound, a dance has their own flair: a recruiter should have their own unique style of behaving and an honest and genuine approach is always the best way to win the trust of customers.
Ask to be endorsed by your customers/candidates who are now excelling in their roles: clients who have hired their best employees from you. Reciprocal endorsement takes time but shows how much you value THEIR relationship with you too.
5. Use your feet
With unethical or poorly regarded customers. Don’t put up with bad practise from a client who behaves without the best interests of its staff. Equally, don’t be afraid to tell candidates who don’t mirror your values that you won’t be helping them in their new roles.
6. Social media guru
Experiment and then embrace all forms of social media that are appropriate to your audience. Get ahead of the curve. Don’t replicate your competition but be aware. Be original with your content and spend time investing in your audience numbers.
7. Be a host with the most
Get in front of your audience by engaging with them face to face. Host an industry relevant event, with inspirational speakers. Invite the best customers to dinner. Give something back without an agenda and the hidden benefits will be loyalty and building a network of confidants.
What are you doing to ensure you are the top of your game? How have you navigated through the threats in the market to ensure consistent and successful rewards?