Relationships and Recruiting

by Veronica Blatt

Our guest blogger is Pam Robison of J. Gifford Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. J. Gifford Inc. is a small, quality conscious firm providing highly individualized recruiting services to clients on a local, regional, national and international basis. The firm’s recruiting activities are focused on professional, technical and managerial placement, as well as contractor and international staffing for clients. Pam is a member of the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.

I’ve been in the recruiting industry for nearly 20 years now. I actually “stumbled” into this career after deciding to leave a large US-based manufacturer during a downtime in the industry. For 2 of my 17 years there, I was the human resource manager where one of my responsibilities was recruiting. Back in those days we would network as much as possible to gain referrals. We also placed ads in local papers and sat back waiting to receive resumes by mail. It wasn’t really much different when I began full-time recruiting in 2001, except technology had advanced to the point of website job postings and email. The advances in technology certainly helped reduce the lag time between the posting of a job and receiving responses from potential candidates. Read the rest of this entry »


Recruiters, Now’s the Time to Innovate

by Liz Carey

With Covid-19 shuttering the doors of retailers and restaurants alike, many businesses are thriving by thinking outside the box – sit-down restaurants have shifted to carryout service, grocery markets and butchers are now offering home delivery, salons are selling do-it-yourself dye kits, breweries are now manufacturing hand sanitizer, and apparel companies have shifted operations to make masks.

As a recruitment firm, you have likely been affected as well. Maybe your clients have shifted to Zoom video interviews, rather than bringing candidates in. Or, they may have slowed the hiring process or stopped it altogether. This means that, like the businesses mentioned earlier, you might want to start thinking creatively as well.

During an economic downturn or period of turmoil, some organizations will innovate and make adjustments, from which they will see the success continue long after this pandemic passes.

According to this article about wholesaler retailers thriving during the pandemic, “a successful long-term strategy involves identifying the aspects of your operation that you simply cannot afford to lose and focusing on the big picture.” Instead of scrambling and cold-calling and pushing sales on those who may not be interested… focus your efforts on your top clients or candidates. Call your client to assist with ideas on how to manage the crisis. Start a conversation with them, even if they are not hiring now.

If your client is hesitant to bring candidates in due to social distancing efforts, offer to facilitate video interviews. If your client has instituted a hiring freeze, think outside the box and ask them if they would consider contract/temp hiring, which often comes from a completely separate budget. Or, offer to build a pipeline of candidates for when the economy bounces back. If you are in an industry where jobs have completely dropped off, ask your clients if you can help them in another sector that hasn’t seen a dip – you can be their ‘one stop shop.’ If there really is just no job reqs you can work on for them, offer them other services, like competitor assessments or salary mapping. For candidates, offer resume reviewing, social media profile tidying up, or a salary benchmarking chat.

This is the time to think creatively and offer solutions, when most everyone else is scared and panicking. When this pandemic is all over, people will remember those recruiters who reached out and offered help.


Thanksgiving Thoughts for Recruiters

by Liz Carey

Here in America, it’s the day before Thanksgiving, and a time to reflect and express gratitude for things that give your life meaning. In the recruiting world, this may be a time where candidates assess whether their work gives them satisfaction and if they find it meaningful. With the start of a new year coming up, candidates may be at the point where they want to make a change if they don’t feel they are making a positive impact in their current job.

I recently read a great article that suggests steps employers can take to help keep employees satisfied with meaningful work, which ultimately will help ensure the retention of top talent: https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2019/11/27/how-to-make-work-more-meaningful/

Similarly, recruiters can take this time to reflect and express gratitude for all the people and tools that help make you successful. A quick email blast with a Thanksgiving wish can help remind candidates that they aren’t just a number to you… and it will reinforce that personal connection that makes your work meaningful.

Recruiting can be stressful and time-consuming, but take the time to remind yourself of the success stories of finding a candidate their dream job, or fulfilling a difficult need for your client, or sending a lead to a trading partner that helped them land a new client, and it may help you appreciate the hard times and realize how rewarding this line of work is.

Be thankful for your candidates, clients, and trading partners; when you make your next placement, they’ll surely be thankful for you.


Warning Signs That You’re Becoming “Yesterday’s Hero”

by Liz Carey

Screen-Shot-2016-05-22-at-2.03.34-PMGlobal recruitment leader Greg Savage of the Savage Truth recently posted a video stating that the recruitment landscape is littered with “yesterday’s heroes” – recruiters who don’t evolve and are stagnating.

Here are some of Savage’s warning signs you are becoming one of “yesterday’s heroes”:

•    Hide behind email – If your default action is to send an email, you miss the opportunity to influence the outcome of those little moments of truth that allow recruiters to really consult – the opportunity to send a candidate to a client, to qualify a job order. While email is easy and efficient, it’s not as good as picking up the phone or meeting face-to-face to help build relationships.

•    Job board addicts — If your default action is to whip an ad up on a job board, you might be on your way to becoming one of ‘yesterday’s heroes,’ Savage says. Be proactive, not reactive.

•    Only focus on active candidates – Along with that, if a candidate to you is somebody who comes to you, you’re missing out. The ‘modern recruiter,’ as Savage calls them, will go out and hunt candidates down. “They’ll be skilled hunters, talent magnets, seducers of candidates who will find those candidates that are not actively looking and engage people before they start looking,” Savage said of the ‘modern recruiter.’

•    ‘In real life’-phobic – If you steer away from opportunities to sit opposite a client or candidate, and would rather send an email or text, you may be on the way to becoming one of ‘yesterday’s heroes.’ Recruiters who are scared to actually get in front of a person because they lack confidence or they think it’s not important enough and is a waste of time, are going to miss that moment to influence, to make a difference, to be consultative, and to build relationships.

•    “Spray and pray” resumes around town – The reason clients come to you is because you are a specialist. You want them to believe that only you will find that “purple squirrel” for them. If you are just throwing resumes against a wall to see if they’ll stick, your client will lose trust in you for wasting their time and not catering to their specific requirements and company culture. Just because you talk to 10 people doesn’t mean you have to send them all along – pre-qualify them and solidify that trust and relationship with your clients.

•    Social media-phobes / time wasters – If you think social media is irrelevant, or, on the contrary, if you waste time on social media, you might be heading down the wrong path. Build a brand, and use content effectively. Don’t resist change.

•    Treat candidates like cattle – If you herd candidates into your office or schedule calls and interviews with them, only to never follow-up with them or talk to them again, that will breed negativity. Keep good relationships with your candidates, as they might be, or might know someone who would be, the perfect fit for your next job order. Even if they aren’t a fit for this specific job, follow-up with the candidate and keep in touch – they’ll be appreciative for hearing back from you, and you never know, you might get a referral out of it.

Times have changed and the industry has become relationship-centric. It’s all about candidates and it’s about serving your client. Modern recruiters know the importance of adding value and showing what you can do for a client or candidate, not just focusing on how much you can bill. Long term relationships are what keep you in business.

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Recruiting Networks and Personal Relationships

by Veronica Blatt

Recruiting networks can be formal or informal. There are many different business models that are successful. Some recruiters are drawn to a transactional model, where the focus is on the placement, not necessarily on a long-term partnership. Other networks, like NPA, are relationship-based. While our members are certainly focused on making placements, they are vested in NPA as member-owners of our cooperative structure. They spend time cultivating relationships.

I am proud of the close relationships our members have with each other, and equally proud of the relationships between our members and our staff. Our members are successful because they meet each other face-to-face. They talk on the phone. They shake hands, they share war stories, they vacation together, and they cheer for each others’ kids. NPA members celebrate their successes together, and lift each other up when the chips are down.

Since May, NPA members have supported each other through the deaths of three of our longtime members. They have attended funerals, sat Shiva, sent cards and memorials, and helped run their fellow partners’ businesses. Heartfelt condolences have come from members throughout our global recruiter network. NPA members know each other.

These members were more than just email addresses. They were mentors, leaders, volunteers, and friends. And they are missed. Rest in peace Lou, Dave, and Dan.