Recruiting With Impact: How Social Media Can Help
I was reading a great post by Mark Williams (aka Mr. LinkedIn) about the impact of the rise of the internet on recruiting. His perspective: the ease of finding candidate’s via keyword matches through search engine strings has eroded what had once been one of the core skills of recruiters.
What’s the skill? Knowing your candidates.
This may seem trite to younger recruiters (egads I feel old all the sudden… btw, this is Martin – hi). Mark’s got a serious point, though, and you it’s one that can impact your ability to succeed, up market as well as down. If you started out when the name of the game was high-volume hiring (ie, real-estate boom times), and learned to lean solely on sourcing via the Web after you had a job order in hand, you may well be suffering now. Here’s why: recruiters can still make money in a down market. The trick is that your value prop has to be deeper than “I can get you 20 Java developers with Hadoop on their resume”. You need to sell impact.
Impact – in a recruiter-to-client context – boils down to this: every placement you make should be someone who impacts the success of the client more than anyone else they could have hired. In a down market like we’re in now, every hire becomes massively critical because companies need to get maximum value from every investment they make. If you approach a client (or prospect) and can honestly say: “I know someone who is best-of-breed at [insert title here], is having a major impact at their current employer, but is passively looking. They’re not open to just anything, but we have a fantastic relationship and they’ve asked me to contact them if I know of something particularly interesting. Should I give them a ring about you?” they’re probably going to say yes.
You don’t get to sell that type of relationship unless you can deliver on it. You don’t build that type of relationship through sourcing. You build it (get this) by building it. Proactively. By getting to know the person, gaining their trust, and staying in touch without being a pest.
This is probably one of the best parts of social media from a recruiter’s perspective: you can build those relationships much more quickly than I could back when I started (ie: phone + blue cards + pen), and maintain them at a much more efficient level. Automatic birthday reminders. The ability to quickly comment on someone’s status. Sharing jobs to your network. Growing your proprietary talent community. On and on.
Know thy candidate, people.