Welcome to day three of my 30 posts in 30-day challenge.

Advice for Recruiters from a Former Recruiter

Dear Recruiter, To Be Named Sooner or Later,

The following information is free and yours to use however you see fit. I only ask two things in return.

  1. You read in its entirety
  2. You pass this on to someone else you think could benefit from its contents.

Before, I was a Founder, technologist, sales manager, or in a leadership position. I was a recruiter just like you. So, believe me when I tell you “I understand” what your day-to-day is like and what it feels like to be in your shoes.

Being a recruiter can be a highly rewarding career but It’s not for everyone. A recruiter’s life can be a rollercoaster of emotions, it’s hectic, stressful, and at times you feel like the most under-appreciated person in the room. It requires a unique personality and set of skills to be successful.

8 Crucial Candidate and Recruiting Skills

Always stay curious: As a recruiter you don’t have to be technologists, but you must be conversant with industry jargon if you hope to attract the best candidates. If you don’t know the difference between ServiceNow and SAP, you won’t have much success lining up the right candidate.

Always Be a Student: Learn Your Business.
  1. Get to know your candidates (not just what’s in your “database” or their resume). Be aware that a candidate and client share the same alma mater or belong to some clubs, groups, or other organizations.
  2. What are the client hiring processes: What is the process or sequence of processes I need to understand to help my candidates and client during your recruitment cycle hire? What are there motivators to help you fill the position faster?
    1. E.g., Who handles procurement, HR onboarding, who signs off on the budget, signs off on candidate hiring, hires, type of candidates they hire (specific skills required and experience).
Track Key Metrics
  1. Time-to-hire: To gain valuable insight into the workload and productivity of each recruiter you can track this metric three ways:
    1. Time from search kickoff to accepted offer.
    1. Number of hours spent on each requisition.
    1. The breakdown of time-to-hire (i.e., the intervals of time from when you’ve sourced a candidate, when you’ve screened them, when you’ve interviewed, etc.).  
      1. Note: This will also allow you to discover any inefficiencies in your overall process such as a delay in the interview process, etc.
  2. Source of hire: If you keep track of where your top candidates originate (LinkedIn, referrals, collage fairs, etc.) you will be able to measure the effectiveness of recruiting sources over time. As a result, you can then make further investments in those sources that provide the highest ROI.
  3. Retention rate: Following the retention rate of new hires can help you improve recruitment and employee retention policies.
  4. Quality/productivity of hire: Admittedly, this metric is typically tough to measure and based on subjective feedback. Nevertheless, tracking it will allow you to stay updated on new employees’ successes.
  5. Cost per hire: Just as a sales team measures new customer acquisition costs, you can weigh the financial investment your company must make to attract and recruit new hires.
  6. Hiring manager satisfaction: Here’s another subjective metric. An internal survey completed by stakeholders will tell you what worked, what didn’t, and what you can improve upon during the next search.
  7. Applicant satisfaction: Create a standardized survey for new hires so you can collect feedback that will assist in improving the overall candidate experience in the future.

Be focused: I know this sounds like an easy decision, but I can’t begin to tell you how many recruiters I speak with who lack simple focus. They move from opportunity to opportunity; they neglect to build relationships with brands and candidates. They are robot recruiters, robocalling or trolling LinkedIn with the lowest level of commitment and effort. They aren’t promoting advocacy for candidates or job seekers: they are only working for a paycheck. Don’t be this person, or if you are, rethink your career calling as a recruiter.

Be people-focused: You’ve chosen a career that you need to know and genuinely like people. This is where your communication skills and understanding of human nature get tested.

Listen to others: I recommend you follow Stephen R Covey’s rule of “Seek first to Understand then to be Understoodand take the advice from management icon; Peter Drucker “60 percent of all management problems are a result of faulty communications.” Spending time getting to know the people around you will help you avoid these situations and deepen those relationships.

Don’t be afraid to be different: It may sound old fashioned, but people love to receive REAL mail. Send hand-written cards, make unsolicited check-ins with clients and candidates, remember life events –birthdays, anniversaries etc.). Whatever you feel will set you apart from your peers and leave a positive impression with your clients and candidates.

Put yourself in your candidates’ shoes: When I’m contacted by recruiters, I’m floored at how many miss the opportunity to make a great first impression and really grab and keep my attention.

I receive a fair number of requests for open positions (So thank you for your interest and the ego boost). Still, every recruiter tells me the same things. They are different from other recruiters. They have a personal approach, great relationships, and will be my advocate and work with the client to secure the best $$ and hiring package possible. Yet, most aren’t connecting with their candidates, prospects, or clients and fail to present answers to basic questions or address their concerns. (See Below).

  1. Who is the company?
  2. Where will I be expected to work?
  3. What is the job role?
  4. What about my profile did you like?
  5. What’s the salary range for this position?
  6. Why is this req open?
  7. How many agencies are working this req?
  8. Have you worked with this client before?
  9. What has been the feedback from those you’ve placed with said client? Are they still there?
  10. How long have you been working to fill this req?
  11. How many candidates have you already submitted?
  12. What stage of interview process are the other candidates you’ve submitted?
  13. Why haven’t you filled it?
  14. Is this role FTE or C2C/1099?
  15. Is this position paid on an hourly, daily, or annual rate?
  16. What is the duration or length of engagement you have presented?
  17. Will this contract or FTE position be a guaranteed 40 hours?
  18. Will I be onsite, remote, or combination of both?
  19. Are you able to share JD or anymore details beyond what the client has provided?
  20. When is the expected start date of this position?

I’d like you to remember that the essential point is simple; the key to your success as a recruiter is to involve people. Your in the feeling business and people want to be included in the process and know they are making an informed decision that feels “right.” Being as inclusive as possible will improve your recruitment cycle times, leave a positive impression on both candidate and client, and boost your referral and repeat business numbers and even boost the mural of the office. If you’re interested learning more about inclusion services or would like to explore implementing these services into your organization, hiring a company like INvole may be a good next step.

Well this is where I’m going to STOP, allow to to absorb what you’ve just read and say Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my post. I hope you found it helpful and wish you good luck in conducting your candidate search.

Okay, that is it; day three has been logged. Now it’s time to get ready for day four.