Talent Acquisition

Walk Like a Recruiter…Think Like a Candidate

I often blog tips for recruiters to help them with their option paralysis and here’s one tip I really think more recruiters should adopt: think like candidates… (walking into an interview like an Egyptian may just freak them out!)

If you’re a recruiter reading this blog, congratulations for taking the time out to do that.  But how do you find the time bearing in mind how many tools you have at your disposal, how many competitors you have (which include your clients, and even savvy candidates to get to the job before you do!), and you don’t have a time machine?

The amount of kit you have access to is possibly giving you “option paralysis” (I never get sick of using that in meetings!) The amount of online content has never been greater, and it’s growing, while you sleep, source, advertise and whilst you read this (really insightful!) blog.

Why should recruiters think like candidates?

Well, if you do you are likely to get:

  • More relevant job applications
  • Less pointless approaches
  • More profile views
  • More followers / connections / likes / comments / shares etc…
  • More respect
  • That enough?

Some Obvious Thoughts:

  1. Use their language not yours when talking online – you’ll get more profile views, more shares / likes / comments / respect. In my early recruitment career I was involved in many a row about FMCG and TMT not really being a candidate term and that recruiters needed to use keywords that candidate use (especially if they are not candidates yet and thus are not hunting for jobs loaded with your techie speak).
  2. They don’t all realise that they are candidates. Yes they have put their CV on to LinkedIn, but the vast majority have no clue about being recruited / head hunted / InMail’d. They will often find it irritating to suggest that they are job seekers. What are you doing with your profile and online activities that will make them feel comfortable being approached by you?  I could write a book of tips on this (and trust me, they’re super-quick-and-nifty-no-excuses tips… ) but you’ll have to wait for another blog for those.
  3. News flash – just because you advertise a job, doesn’t mean your ideal candidates will apply – unless you’re Kevin with a dreamy field and a ball! (Those who don’t get that analogy are too damn young!)

Some Not so Obvious Thoughts:

  1. Are they on Twitter? Stop rolling your eyes!  Get off of your bike (my mum used that term to get me to listen and stop being insolent!).  Really think about using this medium to listen and approach – it’s really effective.  Using Twitter is only ineffective if all you do is bleat on about jobs all day long, so stop it and be smarter! Some of my recruitment clients have made placements from listening and approaching on Twitter – think about it!  And don’t use the excuse that you don’t know if they’re on Twitter, ask them if they are!
  2. Are you a business developer?  Do want to find vacancies? Check out where candidates look for jobs – of course job boards, but where else?  For example, have you tried the ever so gorgeous TwitJobSearch (no, it not a search engine to find twits!)  My recruiters foam at the mouth with this – a way of searching Twitter for jobs, without having a Twitter account oh yes sir!
  3. If you have great client and candidate meetings and have the odd 15 minutes here or there, write some stuff down and approach a reputable blog in your sector and submit some content. (If you don’t know what blogs in your sector attract candidates and clients you really need to nail this down, see point 2 in the “obvious” section, rinse and repeat). Editors of blogs get really giddy about external content. No excuses. You’ve all got something to say otherwise your meetings would be really dull. Blogging really doesn’t take that long, you won’t go grey and you may even find that your ideal talent and clients will respect you more and be more open to a coffee (at which point you can totally dazzle them).

So, you now have a few things to consider:

  • Can you grab 1 or 2 things from this blog and get more tactical?
  • What the hell was I on about re: Kevin and the ball?
  • How are you going to get the Bangles’ “Walk like an Egyptian” out of your head today?

By Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Director at Barclay Jones, a Consultancy working with recruiters advising them on the most effective use of technology, web and social media to improve their business processes, recruitment and bottom line. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaMariJones.