In a world where candidates often disappear into the digital world through online job boards and LinkedIn posts, it can be difficult for recruiters to stay focused on building relationships in the physical world. Often, there's a temptation to follow candidates online and forget all about the human element of recruiting.
However, recruiters are likely going to make more of a difference by ensuring they continue to do the basics well to drive engagement: Create and build genuine relationships, and talk to people in person instead of bombarding them with more digital traffic. With that in mind, here are three elements of the recruiting process you can change to create engagement with your clients.
1. Make the conversation about more than just them
Ideally, you'll have built genuine relationships with a range of candidates you know you can rely on. To take engagement a step further – and simultaneously grow your candidate list – ask about their current or former colleagues, fellow alumni and friends to find out more about their network. Are any of them high-performers in your industry specialisation? Start a conversation, make the candidate feel like an important part of their network and see how the relationship develops from there.
Referrals are an important and organic part of the recruitment industry, and are often a much more qualified lead than yet another online submission. If you've grown strong relationships with the candidates you work with, they should be a vital source of these potential goldmines.
2. There is a place for technology
The relationship between technology and the recruitment industry is a rocky one. As usual, it all comes down to how recruiters make the most of technology, and which options they choose to use and which they ignore. Where an over-reliance on online job boards and social media can dilute quality candidate pools, using a recruitment system that fills in the gaps where people sometimes make mistakes can be the perfect mix of humans and technology.
Technology should augment the human elements of the recruitment process.
Essentially, technology should augment the human elements of the recruitment process, making it easier to build relationships by reminding them of appointments and keeping a record of a correspondence and candidate details. Us humans are forgetful, so letting a recruitment system fill in these gaps and help us to be the best we can for our candidates makes a huge difference. It can also stop you from hiding behind screens and doing everything through social media, giving you the confidence to reach out over the phone or in person and have meaningful discussions.
3. Be professional
For candidates, approaching a recruiter is a big deal. Not only do they have to impress you, they then need to ensure they meet the expectations you've communicated to their eventual employers as well. They've likely gone all out, revising CVs, creating cover letters and ensuring they're presentable for an interview situation. Imagine if they turned up to meet you and you hadn't done the same?
According to a guide produced by the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP), professionalism is highly valued in the industry. This is especially true for recruiters, as they have to keep their appearances up for both clients and candidates to create confidence and assure them of their ability. The IRP states that this can include everything from knowing the ins and outs of a certain industry, being aware of new focuses on issues such as diversity and simply being attentive to the candidate's needs.
In a recruitment industry dominated by technology, there's still plenty of room for you to focus on the human side and the relationships this entails.