What The Elite Recruiters Do Not Tell You
here are no secrets to success — despite what the Internet may tell you.
Think about the happiest people you know. Other than your insufferable neighbor who has photogenic children and can’t shut up about his new Lexus GS Hybrid, the most fortunate people you know work hard and don’t take shortcuts. They don’t brag or boast. They measure progress in years instead of days. And they spend time building relationships and learning from mentors and leaders.
Here’s the real truth: The best recruiters will share their wisdom if you ask nicely.
The best recruiters are data-savvy sourcers.
Genuine recruiters get their hands dirty. They dig deeper, deconstruct boring job descriptions, and create profiles of ideal candidates. They are willing to perform very unglamorous activities such as cold-calling, researching Internet databases, and profiling candidates.
It’s not sexy. The greatest recruiters are experts in primary and secondary sourcing methodologies because they want to ensure that no stone is unturned in the quest to identify both active and passive candidates. Companies such as Stryker and Key Bank require their recruiters to think of themselves as data-proficient sourcers, which requires some knowledge of how to perform a Web search query.
Sound difficult? Good things come to those who work hard. Follow their lead and learn a little more aboutBoolean search operators. Once you learn the basics, a whole new world of recruiting opens up to you.
Top-performing recruiters display exceptional salesmanship.
I hate to break it to you: Recruiting is sales, although many recruiters don’t believe it. If you’re a recruiter who displays salesmanship, you are persuasive and confident. You understand human behavior without being an unbearable jerk who took a single undergraduate psychology class. You aren’t afraid to appeal to ego, either.
Do you want a passive candidate to leave her job? Do you want a hiring manager to increase the salary range so you can lock down an extraordinary candidate? The best recruiters possess the right mix of self-confidence, motivation, and persistence to move the needle. You can’t be a recruiter without being a sales professional. That’s how you make placements and exceed your organization’s expectations.
Strong recruiters have crucial conversations.
I’ve never met a recruiter who liked to waste time, and yet so many in-house and third-party recruiters are afraid to have important and courageous conversations. Don’t fear difficult conversations at work, because the most successful people in this world speak candidly. When it comes to recruiting, sometimes you have to call BS on an important requisition or a beloved candidate who is not the right fit for your organization’s culture.
Excellent recruiters are tactful and professional, but they are powerful advocates for the truth.
Successful recruiters don’t blame the technology.
Back in the day, recruiters blamed the telephone for all of their problems. Then it was the newspaper’s fault, until the fax machine came along. Now recruiters are in the habit of blaming the Internet, job boards, applicant tracking systems and applicants themselves for sub-standard results.
As my friend Ben Gotkin writes, please stop blaming your ATS.
No technology can replace the human-to-human connection required to motivate a job seeker to move from passive to active status, and no mobile device will overcome objections and help a nervous candidate accept a new role. The greatest recruiters know this, and although they have a mastery of the latest gadgets and platforms, they are mature enough not to blame the Internet, like a 14-year-old, when times are tough.
Want to be a successful recruiter?
Here’s what the best recruiters aren’t telling you: Successful people arm themselves with information, including the latest trends in talent acquisition and recruiting. They seek out new technology partners and recruiting systems. And when all is said and done, they get on with the business of recruiting.
The best recruiters get to work. In 2016, that’s what you ought to be doing.
By Laurie Ruettimann is a former Human Resources leader turned influential speaker, writer and strategist. You may know her as the creator of The Cynical Girl and Punk Rock HR, which Forbes named as a top 100 website for women.
Ruettimann has been published in a variety of places including Entrepreneur, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report and USA Today. She has lectured at business events around the world held by Harvard Business School, SXSW, American Marketing Association, MediaBistro and many others.
She is also recognized as one of the Top 5 career advisors by CareerBuilder and CNN.