If you're not doing this, another recruiter is...

Everyone likes to think of themselves as an innovative, modern recruitment partner.

But the basics don’t change that much, everyone has the same high level goal - match good candidates to good jobs. 

However, the processes in recruitment are constantly updating, as tech evolves and recruiters and candidates alike are becoming more aware of their worth. Perhaps the most innovative thing a recruiter can do is show enough humility to acknowledge this.

That being said, there’s no denying how far we’ve come over the years. Here’s a little glimpse of how recruitment has changed.

Way back then...
Rewind a cool 25 years and it’s 1996 (sorry). Recruiters were typically found sitting behind a desk on a high street with job vacancies handwritten in the window. Fax machines were relevant. People came to see you if they wanted a job. 

We didn’t have ATS systems or online job boards, and nobody batted an eyelid if a client gave a 3 line brief. You’d still spend hours registering candidates and filling in their paperwork.

Back then...
Jump forward just a few more years, and on the coattails of our collective relief that the millennium bug didn’t end the world, this thing called the internet makes its way to offices (surely this will never take off).

But it did. And that meant only one thing - bigger reach. Ok, maybe two things - bigger reach and higher expectations. 

With shiny, new online job boards came more applications. And generally speaking, the more applications, the higher chance one of them will have the right skills. You might have had 100 accountants reading your ad online and 60 might apply. For the recruiter, this meant access to swathes of qualified people, especially when compared to those who’d previously turned up at the office or responded to printed ads.

Things were pretty cut and dry at this point. If you didn’t have a CV that matched what the recruiter was looking for, you wouldn’t hear back and that was the end of the process. No real questions asked, maybe a few grumbles - but that’s just how it was.

Now this.
Fast forward to today and things look pretty different. Technology is everywhere which has enabled transparency. Social media is a primary method of communication. People talk, other people listen, client and candidate expectations rise. This impacts company branding, with employers and recruiters alike being forced to do better. And that can only be a good thing.

We’re miles away from how things used to be and rightfully so. Today, people are no longer viewed as commodities to be pushed around from place to place. And they definitely aren’t expected to simply apply for your jobs regardless of how little effort you put into selling it. Weird, right? 

Today, you need to know your market. You need to know relevant professionals and build real relationships with them. You need to understand your clients' business inside and out, so that you can go to your databases and social platforms to find the right people, then give them the type of information that instills confidence.

You’re still advertising and using job boards (after all, you still want that juicy reach) but now you need to use all the information gathered through building and nurturing those strong relationships to actually sell your position. To meet your ideal candidates’ elevated expectations.

Ultimately, you’re now headhunting people who are in high demand. It’s not a game of “sit and wait” - it’s “go out to the haystack, find that needle, and make your proposal irresistible”. 

You’re approaching people who are happy and comfortable in other positions to convince them that the job you’re recruiting for is too good to pass up. You’re guiding them through the entire recruitment process, so they don’t forget this on the way. You’re investing in them and making the process a pleasure. If you're not doing that stuff, chances are, another recruiter is.

Our 4 key stages of modern recruiting:

  • Stage 1: Attract
  • Stage 2: Engage
  • Stage 3: Retain
  • Stage 4: Qualify
  1. Attract
    The control in recruitment has switched from being heavily weighted on the side of the recruiter to the candidate. That means, to attract the candidates you want, you need to work for it.

    The briefing stage is now incredibly important, else you won’t be looking up the right street and even if you stumble across someone, you won’t have the info to convince them that yours is the opportunity they want. 

    What do they do? Where do they hang out online? What kind of media do they take in? How can you attract someone else like them? What do they want? All pretty big questions that need to be answered before you start searching.

    In 2021, to attract the people you know your client will consider for the job, you need to put yourself in their shoes. Figuratively, of course (or else they’re unlikely to thank you). Putting an advert in the industry publication or pasting a JD onto job boards won’t cut it. A modern recruiter needs to target the audience in a whole host of new ways. Marketing and recruitment crosses paths at many points (far more than some marketers and some recruiters may care to admit), so you need to perfect your marketing skills and approaches.

  2. Engage
    Nice, you’ve got their attention, now you need to engage. But wait, that’s easier said than done. 

    Why would they apply? Why would they be interested in what you have to say? You may see the benefits of this role, but for them, you’re just another recruiter sitting in their DMs. Tech recruiters in particular know the struggle.

    At the end of the day, we’re human - building relationships is what we do best. Recruitment gets a bad reputation for a host of reasons, a big one being flaky recruiters. Not hearing back, not enough information, and not enough commitment to returning the time invested by candidates.

    This impacts the way candidates treat you and your roles - and if a person isn’t fully committed to the position or to making a move, you’re more likely to lose them. They might initially have some interest, but without you building a solid relationship and keeping their eye on a prize, they’re more likely to lose sight. Or they’ll backdoor you, but at that point, it may even be deserved.

    One of our recent reports shows that the relationship candidates have with recruiters is the stand-out factor in seeing them get successfully hired.

    Another solid way of engaging someone with your business or agency is word of mouth. Referrals are gold. And for someone to speak highly enough of you to suggest their friends or family follow suit, you’ll need to have made a good impression.

  3. Retention
    Retaining the candidates that go through the recruitment process with you is incredibly important. We don’t suggest you do that by hiring each and every one of them, but to let go of the relationship you just spent so hard building would be criminal.

    They got this far in the process for a reason. Whether it was a qualifications match, a culture fit, or a hefty bribe - there was something about them that was employable. So, even if they aren’t the right fit this time around, or they miss out to someone better suited - what’s to say they won’t be right for the next job? Or for another client you have? Or to spec into another company you saw advertising for something similar?

    Seeing them as a number only harms you. And with social media and CRMs (customer relationship management) making it so easy to maintain relationships – it’s literally there in the name. There’s no reason not to retain this talent.

    So, get thinking, what can we do to keep this person interested? Keep. Building. Relationships.

  4. Qualification
    The further you go in a recruitment process, the more engaged and invested the candidates are (if you’re doing it right). You’ve done most of the hard work by now - this last qualification piece is placed in the hands of your client.

    Dropouts are rife in recruitment, but if you’ve put enough emphasis and effort into your relationship building - the likelihood of someone ghosting you is lower. But you still need to nail the candidate’s interest in the role so that those drop-offs are minimised even further.

    There’s nothing worse than a client being really keen on one candidate in particular then along the way, they disappear into the abyss without even saying goodbye. So, keep them engaged throughout the qualification period. Interviews can be grueling - be supportive and keep working with your clients to make each process more candidate-centric.

    As the industry changes a little bit more every day and the emphasis falls onto different areas, there’s always going to be more work to do.

What’s next?
Is there space in the future for recruiters? Always. Will the industry be taken over entirely by tech? No. 

It’s going to be a very long time until AI can assess soft skills and build those genuine, personal relationships that the recruitment industry relies on. So, keep your process as human and simple as possible. Think about each step and what that entails. Invest in your people and invest in your tech.

That’s where we can help, idibu links to CRM and ATS systems, letting you post jobs in different places from a single client. While your success still relies on reach, being in many places at once, having a one-click function saves you a huge amount of time. And as this boosts your efficiency, you’ll be freed up to focus on your attraction, engagement, retention, and qualification.

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