Recruiters. Technology-driven, resume-shuffling, price-cutting drones?

This can sound like a cliché but it’s never going to be more important than in the next few years.

Recruiters must build relationships. Real ones.

So many of the people who lost their jobs in our industry over the past 2 years did so because their relationship with clients and talent were superficial or non-existent. They had become technology driven, resume shuffling drones who competed on speed and price alone.

Now, the core competence of every recruiter is the ability to find great people and build relationships with them. This is what all great recruiters must do.

Recruiters need to get out of their organisation and get to know people at all levels who might be useful to them and their firm. You might use technology to help create the initial relationship, or it might be via networking or sales effort.  Then you need to leverage that by using social media including Twitter, blogs, websites, and anything else that will create authentic interaction with a potential candidate pool.

But remember, the technology part is an enabler to the solution, it is not the solution. More than half of every recruiter’s time should be used to network, build relationships, communicate, and get involved with candidates. Start now to get a head start on your competition. You need to build a community of talent who you know and engage with. Just running an ad on a job board is the lowest level of candidate interaction I can think of. It’s not differentiated in any way, and of course it does not work and that will get even worse.

We have to fundamentally shift our mentality in relation to candidates. “Just in time” recruitment is history and job boards will increasingly become ineffective.

Recruiters who can provide real career advice, listen to candidates’ concerns, and truly consult on which positions might be the best fit will be recruiters who grow and prosper in this, and any economy.

So if you are going to thrive in the recovery you will need to find new and innovative ways to engage with the talent market because I guarantee you, talent shortages will be back with us soon.

In fact, top recruiters will build talent communities that they communicate with on an ongoing basis. “Post and pray” will not be enough.

Those recruiters who stick with outdated sourcing methods, who fail to innovate, who fail to really work at sourcing, will fall way behind. And won’t reap the full benefit from the recovery when it comes.

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