The Evolving Role of Recruiters

Posted by Mark Jackson on Fri, Mar, 03, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

switching ATS image-2.jpeg

Recruiters as brand ambassadors – as opposed to salespeople - for your organization

Let’s face it. It’s a candidate-driven marketplace out there. It is more difficult than ever to attract and retain qualified employees. As a recruiter, you’re charged with filling open positions with the most qualified candidates. But there’s more to it than attracting top talent; you need to find the right match for your organization so every hire becomes a productive, engaged, long-term employee. Competing for talent in a buyers’ market requires the recruiter’s role to evolve from a transactional salesperson to a brand ambassador – responsible for establishing the organization’s reputation as a desirable place to work, and keeping the attention of both today’s and tomorrow’s job seekers. Just what makes a brand ambassador and how can you get there?

Convey Your Brand

As an ambassador, your job is not to sell applicants on your company. Instead, you want to serve as a matchmaker, accurately communicating the organization’s brand and identifying applicants’ individual brands to find an ideal match.

What do we mean when we speak of a brand? In this context, it’s not a marketing term. Your brand is your organization’s essence – it’s core values. It helps to think of the organization as a person and assign personality traits to it. Is your organization resourceful, adaptable, creative, independent, serious, spontaneous, responsible? And you’ll need to think beyond the organization’s brand to consider both the department and hiring manager’s brands as well.

You, as a recruiter, are the initial human point of contact for your company’s brand and are in the unique position of using both your experience and your discretion to make vital hiring decisions. You’re searching for a brand match – the perfect relationship where both parties share parallel goals and approach professional life in similar way. 

Salesperson Versus Ambassador

What is ambassador-style recruiting? Essentially, it boils down to respect for the candidate. A respect for their time, their goals, their skills and their potential contribution to your organization. Here’s a look at some of the pronounced differences between salesperson- and ambassador-style recruiting. 

Salesperson-Style Recruiting

Ambassador-Style Recruiting

Match based exclusively on resume to job comparison

Match based on meeting the brand vision and goals

Focus on easily-defined “hard” skills

Consideration of “soft” skills like leadership, oral and written communication

Success based on filled vacancies and speed

Success based on engagement

On-boarding is company-focused (internal tasks and paperwork)

On-boarding is part of the employment experience and geared to promoting early success

Applicant Experience and Onboarding

An ambassador-style recruiter should understand what’s it like to be an applicant, and hone the recruiting and onboarding process to be an overall positive experience. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that new employees decide within the first 30 days whether they feel welcome in the organization, and that one in 25 leave their jobs because of a poor (or nonexistent) onboarding program. There are areas in the applicant experience to focus on: 

  1. First impressions: Are your job listings up-to-date and does the language accurately reflect the position and the ideal applicant? Do the listings help convey your brand? Do applicants receive confirmation of the submittal of their resume or application?
  2. Process: Does the process move smoothly with organized, timely interviews? Do you process resumes efficiently? Are non-selected applicants politely notified?
  3. Finalization: Is the onboarding process geared to the applicant? Do they have the tools they need to succeed? Are early expectations communicated?

As part of the applicant experience, we can’t stress enough the importance of treating each applicant with the respect they deserve. You should be looking to attract not just today’s applicants, but tomorrow’s as well. Today’s runner up may be tomorrow’s perfect candidate.

The ambassador-style recruiter is focused on building relationships, not closing deals. By putting the applicants’ first, respecting their time and individuality, and meshing their brand with yours, your organization has the best chance to win top talent - today and beyond.

For more game-changing strategies that will dramatically improve your recruiting process, register below for webinar on March 7th, 2017 at 2:00 pm EST:

Game Changing Strategies to Elevate Your Recruiting Success

Tags: candidate experience, recruiter, applicant experience, Hiring, recruiting, recruiting strategy

Rethinking the Role of Recruiters

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Aug, 04, 2016 @ 07:08 AM

recruiter-ambassador_superhero.jpg

Recruiters as brand ambassadors – as opposed to salespeople - for your organization

Let’s face it. It’s a candidate-driven marketplace out there. It is more difficult than ever to attract and retain qualified employees. As a recruiter, you’re charged with filling open positions with the most qualified candidates. But there’s more to it than attracting top talent; you need to find the right match for your organization so every hire becomes a productive, engaged, long-term employee. Competing for talent in a buyers’ market requires the recruiter’s role to evolve from a transactional salesperson to a brand ambassador – responsible for establishing the organization’s reputation as a desirable place to work, and keeping the attention of both today’s and tomorrow’s job seekers. Just what makes a brand ambassador and how can you get there?

Convey Your Brand

As an ambassador, your job is not to sell applicants on your company. Instead, you want to serve as a matchmaker, accurately communicating the organization’s brand and identifying applicants’ individual brands to find an ideal match.

What do we mean when we speak of a brand? In this context, it’s not a marketing term. Your brand is your organization’s essence – it’s core values. It helps to think of the organization as a person and assign personality traits to it. Is your organization resourceful, adaptable, creative, independent, serious, spontaneous, responsible? And you’ll need to think beyond the organization’s brand to consider both the department and hiring manager’s brands as well.

You, as a recruiter, are the initial human point of contact for your company’s brand and are in the unique position of using both your experience and your discretion to make vital hiring decisions. You’re searching for a brand match – the perfect relationship where both parties share parallel goals and approach professional life in similar way. 

Salesperson Versus Ambassador

What is ambassador-style recruiting? Essentially, it boils down to respect for the candidate. A respect for their time, their goals, their skills and their potential contribution to your organization. Here’s a look at some of the pronounced differences between salesperson- and ambassador-style recruiting. 

Salesperson-Style Recruiting

Ambassador-Style Recruiting

Match based exclusively on resume to job comparison

Match based on meeting the brand vision and goals

Focus on easily-defined “hard” skills

Consideration of “soft” skills like leadership, oral and written communication

Success based on filled vacancies and speed

Success based on engagement

On-boarding is company-focused (internal tasks and paperwork)

On-boarding is part of the employment experience and geared to promoting early success

Applicant Experience and Onboarding

An ambassador-style recruiter should understand what’s it like to be an applicant, and hone the recruiting and onboarding process to be an overall positive experience. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that new employees decide within the first 30 days whether they feel welcome in the organization, and that one in 25 leave their jobs because of a poor (or nonexistent) onboarding program. There are areas in the applicant experience to focus on: 

  1. First impressions: Are your job listings up-to-date and does the language accurately reflect the position and the ideal applicant? Do the listings help convey your brand? Do applicants receive confirmation of the submittal of their resume or application?
  2. Process: Does the process move smoothly with organized, timely interviews? Do you process resumes efficiently? Are non-selected applicants politely notified?
  3. Finalization: Is the onboarding process geared to the applicant? Do they have the tools they need to succeed? Are early expectations communicated?

As part of the applicant experience, we can’t stress enough the importance of treating each applicant with the respect they deserve. You should be looking to attract not just today’s applicants, but tomorrow’s as well. Today’s runner up may be tomorrow’s perfect candidate.

The ambassador-style recruiter is focused on building relationships, not closing deals. By putting the applicants’ first, respecting their time and individuality, and meshing their brand with yours, your organization has the best chance to win top talent - today and beyond.

For more on ambassador-style recruiting, check out our on-demand webinar

What Every Company Ought to Know about Ambassador Style Recruiting

Tags: candidate experience, recruiter, applicant experience, Hiring

4 Ways to Promote Better Recruiter/Hiring Manager Relationships

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Jun, 16, 2016 @ 10:06 AM

face2face.jpg

A Bersin report found that “developing strong relationships with hiring managers is the top driver of talent acquisition performance.” In fact, it was found to be four times more influential than any other factor studied. 

Yet many employers are clearly failing at managing the recruiter/hiring manager relationship. From the same report: 80% of recruiters believe they have a good understanding of the jobs they’re recruiting for, but 61% of hiring managers disagree. 

Given the tremendous gap in their opinions, it’s no wonder managing the relationships between these two groups is one of our “4 Keys Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.”

The recruiter/hiring manager relationship is critically important for two reasons: 

  1. The recruiter needs to understand the skills and qualifications the hiring manager is seeking for given job roles or the wrong candidates can be delivered, which results in bad hires or delays in hiring.
  1. The recruiter and hiring manager need to work together to avoid time-costing bottlenecks that slow the hiring process. Bottlenecks frustrate candidates and increase time to hire. 

So, how can you promote quality relationships between your recruiters and hiring managers? 

  1. Encourage frequent, effective communication at every step of the process. At many organizations, this isn’t happening—which isn’t surprising, considering the statistics above from the Bersin report. “The lack of communication between recruiters and hiring managers is the biggest challenge we have in the industry—period,” Steve Lowisz, CEO of recruiting and recruitment research firm Qualigence International, told SHRM.  

  1. Take steps to build trust and agreement. Have recruiters and hiring managers meet face to face in an effort to establish themselves as partners working together toward a singular goal: making quality hires in an efficient manner. As part of this, recruiters and hiring managers should agree upon written expectations for the relationship and how they’re going to work together. Doing so will help them stay on the same page, especially since both will have documentation to refer to.             
  1. Have them hold process improvement meetings. Recruiters and hiring managers should hold occasional meetings to evaluate how they can work together more efficiently and more effectively. For example, they can examine if the recruiters have been sending along the right quantities and types of candidates to the hiring manager for interviews.                                                                                                               
  1. Use modern talent acquisition software. Software will help recruiters and hiring managers stay organized by consolidating candidate and job information, and will prevent communication breakdowns by using notifications and auto-alerts throughout the process. In fact, recruiters and hiring managers won’t even have to log in to the software to be alerted of an update—smart emails will keep everyone on the same page. So, for example, both recruiters and hiring managers will be aware if changes are made to a job description. Plus, there will be no more giant piles of paper to sift through, which will save time, eliminate frustration and reduce cost. 

Your talent acquisition efforts have a tremendous impact on the future of your company. Don’t let poor or mediocre recruiter/hiring manager relationships spoil that future. 

For more on managing the recruiter/hiring manager relationship, and to learn other important steps for improving your hiring, read our new article -

4 Key Steps to Successful  Talent Acquisition

Tags: recruiter, hiring manager, talent acquisition

The Next Step After Your Candidate Rejects Your Offer

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Nov, 04, 2015 @ 07:11 AM

candidate-rejects-your-offer

Some candidates will buzz through the applicant tracking system, nail interviews and fit into your culture seamlessly. These are the types of candidates you don’t want to think twice about. But it doesn’t always turn out that way; sometimes a candidate rejects your offer. What should companies do when great candidates decide they would be a better fit elsewhere? Depending on the situation, companies may not necessarily need to scramble for another hire, but they should always see what about the process went wrong. And whatever they might do, they should never take it as an affront to their company.

Don’t Take it Personally

There are a number of reasons a candidate might reject a job offer; according to 46% of recruiters in recent survey, the biggest reason candidates reject offers is because they took another offer. It’s difficult to be on the rejection side of a job offer, but the reality is that job offers are like any other business transaction. Perhaps the job simply didn’t fit their expectations, so they chose another opportunity instead.

Tweet This: 46% of recruiters said candidates often reject you due to other offers. Read more: 

Maybe the other offer was a closer drive, it paid better or they were referred by current employees at the other company. Regardless, a candidate turning down an offer shouldn’t reflect on the rejected company as an employer. The good news is that it only it happens around 10% of the time, so companies shouldn’t encounter it too often. In most cases, it’s best for companies to simply take their lumps and move on.

 

Be Patient, Grasshopper

According to a recent survey, 55% of employers rejected many qualified candidates in favor of the one you gave the offer. A company’s first step after getting a declination from their most qualified candidate is to contact more candidates before they’re swept away from you, too. Recruiters often battle the clock when it comes to competing to obtain the best candidates for their company.

Tweet This: 55% of employers reject many qualified candidates for this reason:

Or perhaps they aren’t. If the recruiting team doesn’t feel like the rest of their candidates are a good fit for the job and don’t need to fill the opening immediately, they should instead consider waiting until another great candidate comes up. Companies should never sacrifice quality for the sake of efficiency. However, they should avoid the pitfalls of waiting for purple squirrels!

 

Take a Look at The Hiring Process

If companies think candidates declining their offers at the last second might be a regular issue, they should take a second look at how they’re hiring. If a company lacks qualified candidates and typically relies on a single person to have what it takes and accept an offer in a candidate-driven market, it might worth it for them to diversify their recruitment sources. Some of the best sources of hires right now, courtesy of a recent LinkedIn survey, are internet job boards, social professional networks and employee referrals.

Not every candidate looks in the same place, so diversifying avenues of hiring will help companies get ahold of more candidates they may not have known about before. And if candidates denying the offer at the last minute is an issue, they should think about what they can do to either be more enticing as a company or respond to candidates more quickly, so they can make the offer before anyone else does.

Tweet This: Diversify your hiring avenues for this reason:

Companies shouldn’t be too upset when a perfectly good candidate declines their offer. Instead, they should take a closer look at the rest of their candidates, their hiring process and understand that not every candidate who declines does it because of something they did wrong. Instead, they should accept it, cut their losses and keep an eye out for the next great candidate.

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Tags: candidates, recruiter

5 Tips to Make the Best of Campus Recruiting Season

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Sep, 30, 2015 @ 08:09 AM

New and veteran students are beginning to flood campus grounds and hallways, and that means a lot of potential candidates waiting out there for recruiters. From set-up to after the tear down, you need a specific plan before you enter the college campus filled with eager young professionals. There are some tips to remember, before you begin your journey to find some fresh professionals with advice from other recruiting professionals.

campus-recruiting-season

1. Set up early 

As it goes, if you’re not 10 minutes early, you’re late. Such is the case here. Take advantage of getting there early so you have ample time to set up. Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad), Employment Brand Director at CEB, said:

“The career fair that I attended was from 10 am to 3 pm. At 2:30, nearly half of the employers started packing up. By 2:58, most of the employers had left. At 3:05, we still had students at our booth. Years ago, part of my core responsibilities was to attend job fairs. My philosophy then and now is ‘first in, last out.'"

Tweet This: @shannonsmedstad says, "First in, last out." Read these best practices for campus recruiting season:

2. Let’s get visual 

Mot people are visual learners. We are surrounded by thousands of visual stimulants every day. At the career fair, you’ll be competing with all of the other recruiters there - your talent competitors. Make your organization stand out above the rest with some engaging visual displays. However, don’t rely on the campus to provide any A/V equipment you might need. It’s best to have those resources yourself, or use visuals that don’t need extensive maintenance.

Tweet This: Be simple with your displays and try not to rely on campus to provide A/V equipment. #CampusRecruiting

3. Got reading material? 

The college students at the career fair you’re attending will be browsing other booths as well. Stick in their minds with some reading material - brochures, applications, or maybe even a little bit of swag to stick in their minds longer. Many campuses will tell their students to take any and all information available from career fairs, so it’s your responsibility to provide it.

Tweet This: Make a lasting impression on campus students during recruitment season like this: 

4. Network with other recruiters 

Meet with other recruiting professionals to discuss ideas about exhibits and trends during the event. It’s your opportunity to network with other HR professionals just as much as it is for students to network with company representatives. All good recruiters should have a network of other recruiters in the event they have trouble finding the right talent, and a career fair is the perfect opportunity to do this.

Tweet This: Don't forget to network with other recruiters during campus recruiting season. Read more:

5. Follow-up afterwards 

Send impressive candidates follow-up emails or a phone call to set up an interview to see how their skills and experience (or potential experience, they are students after all) match up to the positions you’re vetting for. In order to do so, however, it’s critical to stay organized to keep and reference their information in your ATS later. Those particularly competitive candidates will be swiped up quickly, so take the time to gather their contact information and call them as soon as possible.

Tweet This: Impressive candidates are fleeting. Do this after campus recruitment:


Whether you’ve been to a career fair on the back end of the table before or not, there’s no hurt in a little refresher course in career fair best practices. Make sure you arrive early and set up early. There will be a lot of students flooding the gates so you need to make sure you’re ready for them when the doors open. Your visual aids are important; they need to be engaging and easily set up and tore down (for portability purposes). Don’t forget to give students information to take with them. Give college jobseekers the tools they need to research the company more later and information on your training and internship programs. Most of all, get the contact information from the most competitive candidates, so you can follow up with them before your competitors do.

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Tags: recruiter