But how? Seven simple, but critical steps towards becoming the modern recruiter you need to be………
1. Reincarnate yourself as a born-again ‘digital native’.
Kill off all your fears, reservations and wimp-ish paradigms about being too old to learn new technologies. Go the other way. Enrol in courses. Make it your business to be part of the ‘digi-rati’. Find a ‘reverse mentor’, a ‘young-un’ in the office who can show you the digital ropes. Sign up to social. You need to do this. Now.
2. Use your ‘neck-top’ more than your laptop.
In fact, commit to making a conscious decision every time you are about to type an email. “What outcome am I looking for here and what is the best way to achieve that outcome”. If an email will get the result, fine. But maybe the phone is the medium that will give you the best chance of encouraging a reluctant candidate to go to an interview that you know she will love once she gets there. Or indeed, a text might spark a response from that great temp you need to start with your best client tomorrow. And you know what? Maybe a coffee meeting is the best forum for a nuanced conversation with your $200,000 candidate considering a counter-offer.
3. Build your personal digital brand.
Let me be direct. Stop effing around on this. Learn how to use LinkedIn to build your brand. And Twitter. And blogging. You need to be seen as different. A thought-leader in your space. Or if that’s too grandiose for you to stomach, at least a recruiter with something helpful and insightful to say! We have to market ourselves differently ladies and gentlemen, and mindless cold calls aren’t going to do it anymore. ‘Social’ is not a ‘fad’, or a ‘task’, or a ‘project’. You have to embed social in your everyday recruitment activities. You need to become a ‘talent magnet’, and your brand will be the way to do it.
4. Reinvent yourself as a ‘skills hunter’.
You can’t recruit someone unless you find them first. The best candidates will not come to you. You need to identify them. The skills required here include research, online search, lead generation, legal hacking and data-analytics. This is all about being proactive, aggressive and smart about identifying hard-to-find candidates. It involves digital sourcing, phone sourcing and active social sourcing, where you use social sites as a database of candidates that you target and hunt down.
5. Hone your seduction skills.
Finding someone online is just the beginning, and frankly that is the easy part. Recruiting is about engaging with that person in a sophisticated way. We can’t just spam them with Inmails — the tactic de jour for so many lazy recruiters. That is old school and increasingly ineffective. Engagement is now a seduction, a romance. It must be tailored to each target recruit, and requires the ability to create interest, to craft a message that will get a response, to qualify prospects and crucially, the ability to phone-source, and all the nuances that this much underestimated skill-set involves.
6. Fix your candidate interaction.
The future of recruitment is about candidates. Skills shortages will take care of that. Traditional sourcing channels will become less effective. Referrals, recommendations and repeats will be a major source of unique candidates for you. But only if you understand ‘moments of truth’ in the candidate experience. Start with this very simple candidate care charter. 95% of you won’t be able to stick to it.
7. Commit to a year, indeed a career, of continuous learning.
Sure, many of the skills you learned early in your recruitment career, will always remain valid. But new skills, technologies, channels are emerging all the time. You have to stay on the edge. Constantly beta-testing, and refreshing your skill-set. You own your career. No one else is going to have sleepless nights about your career. You are never ‘done’ as a recruiter. There are always new and better ways. Seek them out.
Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.