Recruiting Trade Secrets for Beginners

So the title got your attention did it?  Well, then hopefully you get something out of this post that helps you improve your recruitment whether your an internal corporate recruiter or a third party agency person.  

Before we begin, let me dispel some assumptions.  There are no trade secrets to reveal here.  What I'm going to share is maybe some ideas to counter what you THINK are the right things to do to be successful.  Some common misconceptions, if you will.

There are three steps to actually improving in the areas I describe.  First, you must understand what is being written.  You have to read it a few times and spend time contemplating.  Second, you must accept the truth in it and be willing to make changes.  Lastly, you must "do" what is stated.  This last area is where most of America in general and the world lacks discipline.  It takes guts to do some of these things because it goes against what you think are normally the right things to do.  For instance, what if I told you don't make 100 calls per day but instead focus on making 10.  It takes guts to do that if you've been taught its a numbers game so make more calls.

Happy reading.  I hope this stuff helps.

1. SLOW DOWN.  As mentioned before, merely sending more emails, making more calls, posting more jobs, joining more groups (contrary to what your boss tells you) DOES NOT make you more successful.  Yes, it is a numbers game, but if you're already doing it wrong, you're just wasting time!  Think about it.  Also, the more you do and expose the "wrong way" of doing things, approaching candidates, pitching the job opportunity, etc., it actually will make things THAT much harder on you since you will have tainted the pool of viable candidates with your less than expert approach.  They are less likely to talk to you and furthermore give you a referral.  How often do you actually go back to a restaurant after you find a fly in your soup or a cockroach on the wall?  One bad experience will ruin you so slow down.  Make sure you're doing it right and then go out there once you've adequately prepared. 

2. BECOME EXPERT.  Instead of doing more mediocre substandard work, once you've slowed down, research.  "Sharpen twice, cut once".  Look up the terms that you don't know anything about.  Ask your boss, coworkers, and... yes.... the candidates you speak to about their tools.  Be candid, they already know you're not an engineer and have mixed feelings about recruiters so don't pretend to know something you don't.  You'll only lose even more credibility.  They'll tell you everything you want to know, believe me.  There's no point in going off running if you're headed in the wrong direction.  Out of everything you ever do as a recruiter, this might be the most important thing that truly distinguishes you.  I can't tell you how many bad recruiters there are out there.  They call DBA's and ask them if they're interested in a a QA position.  I've seen it!  They call software engineers and tell them they have the perfect Business Analyst position for them.  Read the job description and take the time to thoroughly read the resume.  Research terms.  Know what you're doing before you begin.

3. LISTEN.  Listen to everyone.  This includes candidates.  What are they saying and more importantly, NOT saying?  Do you believe them?  Just listen and soon enough you'll hear it.  You'll know when you've found the right one.

Good luck.

If you're interested, please invite me to connect on linkedin.  My email is

Views: 608

Comment by Arianne Bachove on July 24, 2012 at 4:42pm

Great post. Simple and true. I never pass up an opportunity to ask my candidates questions. They're going to give you a lot more insight than a Google search would. Plus, let's be honest, people in general, enjoy talking about themselves and what they do. I still do a lot of research on the internet but the best information I've learned, has been straight from the candidates mouths.

Comment by Joshua Lee on July 25, 2012 at 2:19pm

Hi Arianne, glad to see your feedback. I learned early on, don't pretend to know something, especially in IT. I actually gained so much more by merely asking candidates help understanding something. You're right. Usually, they're pretty happy to talk about it. :)


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