Thanksgiving is this week in the United States. Due to travel restrictions related to Covid-19, a lot of people aren’t traveling to relatives’ houses for dinner, instead opting to stay home and do it themselves. So this past weekend, I took inventory – I have a roasting pan, a turkey baster, a thermometer, twine, a carving board, a knife… I’m all set, right? Then I realized… I have no idea how to cook a turkey.
In recruiting (just as in the kitchen), having the tools doesn’t make you a recruiter (or chef). Just because you have LinkedIn Recruiter doesn’t mean you will be sourcing guru. Just because you throw a couple jobs on a job board doesn’t mean you’ll have a 100% fill rate.
Quality recruiters know that it’s good to have tools in your toolbelt, but you need to know how to use them, and also to not rely on them solely. Focus on establishing a connection, and building trust and respect. It sounds simple, but its what successful recruiters know – recruiting is a relationships business.
So sure, use LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter to connect with a candidate, but it comes down to picking up the phone and having a real conversation with that candidate to truly connect. They may receive dozens of emails or texts from recruiters per week, mostly using templates or reading from a script. Stand out by making a genuine connection and showing interest in their needs and wants. Developing rapport and having a conversation about their motivation and goals will also help prevent any disconnect or miscommunication along the way. If they tell you along they way that they want to work for a startup, you know not to pitch them to Google or Amazon. When your relationship with a candidate is solely via email or InMail, you might get these nuggets of info.
Same goes for business development with clients… how many emails and InMail’s do you think they receive. Rather than being one of the many recruiters begging for a role, use your toolbelt to look up the key decision makers at your target companies, and then call them up for a conversation. Ask them where they are having difficulties and offer suggestions. Tell them about your Most Placeable Candidate and how that person could make a positive impact on their team. It needs to be a back-and-forth conversation, not a sales pitch.
Get in the mindset of making a connection, rather than exhausting all your tools. Making and fostering relationships is how you find qualified people and make placements. LinkedIn, Indeed, Facebook, etc. are means to an end – but the end is the relationship.