This guest post is by Phil La Duke, co-founder of Rockford Greene International a Monroe, Mich.-based business optimization company. He is also an editorial adviser for Facility Safety Management magazine, a regular contributor to ISHN magazine, and a contributing editor and safety columnist for Fabricating and Metalworking magazine.
Despite lingering unemployment, many recruiters are faced with a dearth of the kinds of candidates for which the customers and hiring managers are looking. And while it’s tempting to dismiss them as unrealistic and cluelessly looking for a dream candidate that doesn’t exist, the fact remains that recruiting has changed and many recruiters find themselves in a strange and intimidating landscape when it comes to finding suitable candidates. Social Networks, job boards, and online applications continue to quickly change the way job seekers look for positions and recruiting may seem pretty daunting, it needn’t be.
While the tools job seekers use to find job openings continue to change, the basic fundamentals of recruiting remain essentially unchanged and those who master the basics will have a significant leg up on those who don’t. Here are some tips for using the basics to attract the best candidates:
- Be professional. New technology doesn’t automatically mean new etiquette. Follow the traditional rules for communicating with candidates—texting, instant messages, and emails are not suitable alternatives for phone calls and traditional correspondence. Remember grammar and spelling still count. Job seekers are more leery of how recruiters represent them to the hiring manager and online communications make it easy to make typos, grammatical errors, or just write badly. Take the time to print and edit your correspondence before sending them to a candidate.
- Work your network. Too often recruiters wait until they have an active search before working their networks. Take time each day to personally connect with people in your network. Why? Because the ideal candidate might be someone in your existing network who has acquired new skills, gained new experience or completed critical training. When the tough position comes in you will want to be prepared to move quickly; there is truth in the old adage, “it’s not what you know it’s who you are”.
- Inform Your Network. People will only be able to help you if they know specifically what it is that you do for a living, and specifically what kind of work you are seeking. Talk to your family and friends about your job and you may be surprised at how few understand your professional skill set. An informed network not only allows you to find opportunities, it also allows opportunities to find you.
- Talk to your contacts about their goals. The turbulent economy has left a lot of people reconsidering what they want to do for a living. By knowing your contacts goals, you can become a key resource to them, and they in turn can quickly and accurately lead you to the best candidates. Understanding, and even guiding candidates in a career transition can forge lasting relationships between you and candidates that can last a career.
Technology may have changed some of the mechanics associated with recruiting, but the tried and true methods remain virtually unchanged. Technology may speed the recruiting and application process but it will never replace professionalism and good old common sense.