Mike Ramer, CPC, CSP, is a highly-rated recruiting industry trainer, known for his innovative techniques and interactive, hands-on style. He has 20+ years in recruiting and managing his firm, Ramer Search Consultants (www.RamerGroup.com), in the New York/New Jersey area. He has trained 2,500+ recruiting professionals at 60+ industry events and conferences including NAPS, ASA, Fordyce and IPA. Mike will be a featured speaker at NPA’s Global Conference in New Orleans, March 6-8, 2014.
Successful recruiters know that gaining exclusivity and making placements starts with building credibility and trust with companies and candidates. After a first contact/conversation, people might look you up online. If a prospective client or candidate googles your name, what are they going to find out? Here’s the good news: You can manage what people see about you online.
Most recruiters think of the Internet as the go-to place for recruiting (sourcing candidates). I also think of the Internet for marketing, branding and P.R. (obtaining clients).
Today, recruiting professionals need to build their online brands to capture new business. As I say in my training, “It’s not so much about who you know anymore, it’s about who can find you on the web.” There are methods you can implement so you will be found more online.
Step #1: Build your online brand by leveraging web technology and social media.
Step #2: Do the things in recruiting that the Internet and technology cannot.
I’ll start with Step #2 first. Creating relationships and building trust is more important today than ever before. The Internet has created “transactional” relationships. They are impersonal. What should you do instead? Be personal.
The most successful recruiters focus on building deep relationships. Imagine if there was no computer on your desk, what would you do to recruit candidates and market companies? Use the phone all the time. Follow up with personal notes. Send birthday and holiday cards. Take clients or top candidates to lunch. Or, go to a sports event or drinks after work. The personal touch has always worked and still does.
The most successful recruiters also know that managing expectations is key to success. You can manage client and candidates expectations through the process by simply stating what you will do, then doing it. Strive to exceed expectations. I recently had a client pay more than our original agreement because he appreciated the high quality of results my firm produced. Similarly, I had a client that needed a report the next day and our office scanner wasn’t working. Because the client was 20 minutes away, I had the report hand-delivered. She called the next morning with a new assignment. Deliver more than expected.
8 relationship-building techniques:
1. “Bob, I’ll send you a follow-up e-mail this afternoon and mail you my card.” Then do it.
2. Meet select clients and candidates in-person, if you can.
3. Open up to people. Tell stories and give advice. Share your personal side. Laugh. Find common likes that create bonds. Find engagement points: Family, sports, hobbies, travel. (Tread carefully with religion and politics.)
4. When connecting with people, let them know they can “look you up” online. Make sure your online information is professional and updated in the right ways.
5. Truly listen to people. Ask questions and talk less.
6. Be thoughtful. Send a note of thanks or an interesting article from a conversation you had.
7. Ask clients and candidates, “In an ideal world, what would like to be doing?” Help them get there.
8. Give and you shall receive. Genuinely give your time, advice and referrals. It will come back to you.
For Step #1 above, building your online brand with web technology and social media, takes the right strategy and know-how. Do you have an effective website, blog, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles? How personal should you get online? Where should you draw the line between business and personal? How do you maximize the use of photos and video? Just as important as what to post online is what not to post. In my training, I explain all live on the Internet.
I’ll end with what I call the “holy grail of recruiting” and wish for all recruiters reading this: Companies and candidates find you on the web. They check you out online. They like what they see. They contact you and you have a conversation. They want to work with you exclusively on your terms.