Exceeding expectations in recruitment

Recruitment has always had a challenging reputation. I suppose when your job involves letting more people down than you can possibly please, it’s inevitable. But those low expectations can lead to complacency, which is a shame because it also creates plenty of opportunities to exceed expectations.

Right now, many recruiters find themselves doing the same work, in the same way as everyone else - because it was effective in the past. And that’s a problem.

In recruitment, as with any business, it’s fairly easy to claim that you’re different. To say your processes are unique and your delivery is special. But if that’s not actually true, sooner or later, it’s going to leave you exposed.

To avoid a rude awakening, you can choose to up your game. To take the time to explore the problems your hiring managers and candidates are facing, then do a deep dive on how you can address them. That way, you can come up with tailored solutions offering value that genuinely goes ‘above and beyond’.

Some businesses struggle with simply speaking to the people they want to attract. They could have excellent packages, benefits, and even culture - but getting that across and out into the ether is an easy place to fall short. Help them do that from the very start, and you’re already miles ahead of every recruiter who simply anonymised their job spec.

Others may have nailed their attraction, but once they’ve got the candidates in the process, they see them drop like flies. Why is that? Where’s it going wrong? Sometimes this involves an honest conversation about the process - a conversation that many others will avoid. In being brave for their own good, you’re taking that extra step.

In any case, you’ll need to understand the value of the service you offer and why it suits your market. One size doesn’t fit every company or candidate, because everyone is different. Their problems are different. Their needs are different. Effectively responding to this means learning your industry inside and out, so you can offer services that you know will genuinely benefit those people you support - candidate and client side.

It’s no longer enough to just copy and paste out a brief, and see what comes in. No one’s tackling this market by relying on whatever comes up from your first Boolean search.

It means taking time before you advertise to go through marketing and business strategies. Discussing the job spec to find out what’s actually needed and what’s on offer. And more than anything else, it means being willing to push back, to challenge what’s happened before, and demonstrate a different way of thinking. Questioning a part of the process that seems to be missing the mark, to keep all parties accountable, and to influence your candidates common frustrations for the better.

You can also work on your own brand, putting your name out there by giving value. Social media is a great place to show that you’re not the same as everyone else, investing the same effort in you as you do for your candidates and clients.

When expectations are low, it sounds easy enough to raise the bar. But if it actually were easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

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