6 harsh truths that will make you a better recruiter

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies” – Larry Bossidy

The phrase you are what you eat translates nicely to recruitment.

Companies are built on great employees – hiring is therefore the most important thing we do. There are so many recruitment channels in today’s digital society that it’s increasingly difficult to stop some stuff slipping through the cracks.

This is by no means an indictment on the state of recruitment but there is always room for change, room for innovation – if a shark stops swimming it will die, constant improvement is the only way to become a better recruiter.

1. Stop writing so many job ads

Automation is great right? With just one click your job ad can be in front of thousands of eager candidates.

The problem?

The rules are different now. There is no horde of active candidates waiting to find your jobs and apply. Adverts tend to be presented in employer centric terms, there’s little focus on genuine engagement.

Do away with costly advertising and focus less on products that let you post your job to hundreds of boards with one click – less than half of recruiters think the current system works well anyway.

There is a clear information assymetry here, and recruiters are struggling to connect with the best candidates. Neither party is satisfied.

2. Better LinkedIn research means better results

We all know how useful LinkedIn is to approach talent, but how often do you research the end user before you send that in-mail message? Carelessness at this stage can easily put candidates off.

Taking just five minutes to check if a candidate is the right fit for your organisation is all it takes.

- Do they have similar past employment – if you’re looking for a enterprise sales rep do they have experience in the role?

- Do they have the right skills?

- Where are they based? We often overestimate a candidates willingness to take on a horrific commute or relocate. This alone doesn’t necessary rule a candidate out, but it should play a role in our decision.

There can be exceptions here but candidates tick all the boxes here will be far more receptive to your approaches.

3. Shorten your applications

Would you want to apply for your job?

It’s easy to hide behind the rhetoric that “the more you know about a candidate the better placed we are to judge them”, but do we really need to know how many A*’s they got at GCSE?

Lack of satisfaction with applications is seeing a rise in gamification – recent research suggests that by the end of 2014 more than 70% of the world’s largest companies will have at least one gamified applications.

L’Oreal saw significant success with their ‘Reveal’ campaign. Allowing candidates to participate in the launch of a mock product, the game attracted more than15,000 players – many of whom would never have considered applying.

4. Communicate better

Great hiring is so much more than just matching candidates with job descriptions.

The best recruiters take time to get to know their candidates – find out what makes them tick, learn what they’re actually looking for.

The problem?

Currently most companies lack the framework to roll out this kind of continuous engagement process. Candidates slip through the cracks and are abandoned if they don’t meet company requirements.

Instead, by redirecting these candidates to a talent community we can continue to evaluate them and provide them with carefully curated content.

Maybe there’s a different role that they would be better suited for? Maybe in six months time you will have more openings?

A pool of engaged talent lets you develop an internal referral system. You already know who you can hire before roles become available.

5. Interview like a pro

Behavioural competency interviews are not the gold standard. Following a strict playbook of questions that are designed to determine candidate suitability often leads to a leaden, unflexible process.

It’s still essential to determine that a candidate has the core skills that will allow them to succeed in your company. When you’ve established this, you should consider the idea of “hiring for cultural fit”.

How will the applicant fit in with your team? Do you want to sit next to them for 8 hours every day? Will they be invested in the business or are you just a stepping stone?

Finding answers to these questions lets you work out what kind of colleague they will be. Are they worth it?

6. Start following up (now)

The treatment of candidates you don’t hire has never been more important. Hard won recruiting reputations can be quickly damaged by disgruntled applicants on social media and review websites like Glassdoor.

At this stage a shocking 73.8% of the feedback candidates receive is little more than a standard template – hardly conducive to a great candidate experience. Taking a little time to correct this will help stem negative reviews and may even lead to unsuccessful applicants referring their friends.


About the author:

Ben Slater is VP Growth at Beamery, Beautiful Recruiting Software Powered by Machine Intelligence.

Want to learn more? Check out a demo

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