4 Brutally Honest Lessons Every Recruiter Needs to Learn

2 min read

With the unemployment rate hovering around a low 3.5%, the job market is a “seller’s market.” Meanwhile, the attitude toward job search and employment has evolved significantly over the past few years. Tactics that had worked for recruiters in the past may no longer be relevant — they may even drive the new generations of job seekers away!

Here are 4 brutally honest lessons to apply to your recruiting process if you want to attract high-quality candidates:

People Roll Their Eyes At Canned Messages

You may be able to send out more emails or InMails by using templated messages but your response rate is going to suffer.

People are tired of receiving copy-and-paste emails — imagine getting 10, 20, or even 30+ similar messages every week from dozens of recruiters just like you! Some recipients would reply to your message but form a slightly negative impression of your company. Some would regard you as a nuisance and tune you out altogether. Others might even actively avoid future contact with you.

To increase your response rate, go above and beyond templated messages. Make your subject lines relevant, personalize the message, explain why the candidates may be a good fit for the job, and talk about how the opportunity will benefit them.

Use different strategies than other recruiters. Act more like a marketer who want to first engage a prospect then lead them through a funnel to create a lasting relationship.

For example, you could create an ad campaign on LinkedIn targeting your perfect candidate and use a whitepaper lead magnet to attract top of funnel prospects. Once their in your funnel, you can use messaging tools like SMS, email and on-site chat to engage them and move them closer to the interview stage.

Stop being a sales person and start being in the relationship business.

Recruiters Aren’t the #1 (or 2 or 3) Go-To Resource

Most people begin their job searches with their network — friends, family, past colleagues, etc. Recruiters and job postings don’t even make that list!

You can’t sit around and hoping candidates will be knocking down your door. If people look to their networks when they’re searching for opportunities, you need to become part of their networks so you can effectively engage with them in the process.

It’s all about who you know, not just how you’re recruiting. Instead of sending out an email only when you need to fill a position, build an extensive and high-quality network so you’ll become one of the first persons that come to mind when candidates start their search.

Keep in mind that when people give you access to their networks, it’s a gesture of trust so treat it with respect. If you don’t value the connection, you’ll lose access not only to the candidates but also to their networks as well.

Everybody Can Collect Information About Candidates

Sure, you spend a good chunk of your day scouring LinkedIn, social media, GitHubs, and other sites for information about candidates and ways to get in touch with them.

However, every recruiter can access these public profiles! What most of them aren’t doing is to leverage the information to build personal connections with the candidates. Yet, this is the key to creating a favorable first impression, establishing rapport, and distinguishing yourself from other recruiters.

Do your homework, look up various sources, and see how you can connect the dots before reaching out to a candidate. Also, look for mutual connections and other commonalities that you may have with the candidates (e.g., lived in the same city, have similar interests) so you can build meaningful relationships with them.

Candidates Care More Than Job Title and Salary

While pay and benefits still rank among the top 5 key factors to employee retention, today’s candidates look for more than a good salary or an impressive title. Career growth trajectory, management style, company culture, job fit, and time and/or location flexibility all affect how much a candidate is attracted to an opportunity.

In particular, more employees are prioritizing job satisfaction because it makes them healthier, happier, and more productive. People who are satisfied with their jobs experience less stress and sleep better, which result in more energy, better physical health, and higher engagement at work.

Job satisfaction is defined as the extent to which employees feel self-motivated, content, and satisfied with their jobs. It’s a feeling of fulfillment and enjoyment they derive from work. This may be different for different people so it’s all the more important to have a two-way conversation to find out what makes the candidates tick. You can then highlight the various aspects of an opportunity to attract talents that are the right fit for the position and the company.

Will Crenshaw Will Crenshaw is a freelance business writer focused on creating content that provides actionable information to the business, tech and finance communities online.

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