THIS is recruiting greatness. Are YOU up to it?

There has been endless talk about the future of recruitment, and I have suggested that there are brilliant opportunities for recruitment companies, if they make the right changes.

But what about the desk recruiter? The foot soldier? The person who is actually at the coalface of client and candidate interaction? What must they do to remain relevant? What skills must they develop?

The dangers for the dinosaur recruiter are clear. But every week I am asked, “What does the modern recruiter look like? What do I have to be, or do, to be great at this job going forward?

Well firstly, lets be clear on one thing. Many of the age old recruiter skills — which I call the craft — remain critical. In fact we need to hone and re-train in these ‘human interaction’ techniques.

The future of recruitment is where art meets science. Where technology combines with highly sophisticated human influencing skills.

And so I put some considerable thought into defining the DNA of the modern recruiter. Have a look at the infographic for a quick view, but for the detailed skills required, read on.

Click here for infographic

The modern recruiter is a complex beast. Indeed, I am now coming to believe that no one person can in fact manage all these diverse skills and tasks, nor have the range of core competencies required. So, a future blog will suggest how the structure of modern agencies should change to include specialists in sourcing, branding and networking.

But for today, lets break down the four key skills sets of the modern recruiter. How do you shape up?

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 3.21.51 pm

The Modern Recruiter is a Sourcing Genius.

Sourcing – identification.

You can’t recruit someone unless you find them first. The best candidates will not come to you. You need to identify them via deep Internet searches, including LinkedIn, but also Boolean search and social searches. The skills required here include research, online search, lead generation, legal hacking and data-analytics. It’s a geeky, techie kind of skill-set, which many of today’s recruiters clearly lack.

Sourcing – engagement.

But finding someone online is just the beginning, and frankly that is the easy part. Now it’s about engaging with that person in a sophisticated way. We can’t just spam them with Inmails, the tactic de jour, for so many lazy recruiters. That is old school and increasingly ineffective. Engagement is now a seduction, a romance. It must be tailored to each target recruit, and requires the ability to create interest, to craft a message that will get a response, to qualify prospects and crucially, the ability to phone-source, and all the nuances that this much underestimated skill-set involves.

The Modern Recruiter is a Branding and Marketing champion.

Digital Branding.

Built into the DNA of the modern recruiter is the ability and the discipline to develop a strong online brand. This includes using LinkedIn as a branding tool, not so much a sourcing platform. It might mean a compelling Twitter presence, or blogging (which is immediately available to everyone on LinkedIn by the way). So the skills include content creation and curation, on top of the engagement and community building.

IRL Branding.

The days of the smart-arse, cocky, spivvy recruiter are over. If you talk about ‘punters’ and ‘deals‘, modern recruiting has passed you by. The modern recruiter understands that candidate experience is everything. Skills shortages mean you will rely more and more on referrals, recommendations and repeat business. So now the  demeanor of a modern recruiter includes empathy, quality, service-ethic, humanity, trust and humility.

The Modern Recruiter is crazy about the ‘Craft’ of recruitment.

Yes, ‘craft’. Many of these skills are as old as our industry itself, but so many recruiters lack even the basics. I am talking about the ability to finesse outcomes. To influence decision-making. To manage the process. To get a clients to see a candidate who is brilliant in real life, but patchy on paper. To manage a counter-offer. To keep a temp in a role for the full commitment. To negotiate fees and margins. This is where relationships are key. The modern recruiter is a superb candidate manager, a career coach and a part-time psychologist. They have the intellect (yes intellect!) to engage, negotiate, close and influence. They have deep industry sector knowledge and so build real trust. And you cannot fake that.

The Modern Recruiter is a Networking nut!

We have always said ‘recruitment is about sales’. It’s clearly as much about marketing now, but ‘sales’ is still critical. But far more sophisticated sales than the days of just ‘smashing the phones’, cold calling and spam. The modern recruiter is a skilled networker, IRL and online. They are ‘connectors’, community builders and immerse themselves deep into niche. Yes, they will have old school hard-core sales skills, but nowadays the recruiter is also a deep listener, a problem solver and an account manager

Agency recruitment is a massive and diverse job. So boo-hoo to our critics who say that the job of a recruiter is easy and basic. It is not. Done well, it’s a highly complex job, and only those dedicated to continuous learning will master the art and science that is modern agency recruiting.

This post originally appeared on The Savage Truth


The Savage Truth Speaking Tour continues on and on. Coming up; Australia, NZ, London, Glasgow, Dublin.


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