From time to time, we hear ‘Recruiting must be so easy.’ The logic is, because candidates are so accessible now through social media like LinkedIn, people think it’s an easy job to “match” candidates to open job requirements. So then we hear of “recruiters” who think that because they purchased the latest and greatest in recruitment tools, they will become a super successful recruiter. It’s true, there are a plethora of tools that can HELP a recruiter – from job boards to applicant tracking systems to CRMs to AI sourcing platforms to assessment tools. But these are only tools on a recruiter’s toolbelt… they are not a “golden ticket” to success. Simply having the tools doesn’t make you a recruiter, just like having a wrench doesn’t make you a plumber.
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. Because the problem is – just as you have access to thousands of candidates on LinkedIn, thousands of other “recruiters” have access to the same candidates. And these candidates 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.