When you say “I’m a recruiter” at a cocktail party or dinner, it always makes heads swing around. The reaction is predictable yet fascinating. Whether someone is looking for a job or not, they want to know what you do and how you do it. They want to know the secret to finding a job, as if it’s one of the fountains of youth. That secret feels like an elusive art to them as most candidates are never taught how to look for a job, write a resume or any of the other job search skills we tend to take for granted.
Of course, the alternate reaction is the “I have a story” line. The one where they tell us a story that’s flat out embarrassing to our industry. You know, the one about that time the recruiter never called back. The really lame and spam e-mails where they called the candidate by the wrong name. When they tried to recruit them as a Java developer because they had the word in their profile, not their skill set. “I’m not one of them,” we say – trying to convince the person we’re not all bad and explaining our own strategies that don’t involve burning bridges.
Those of us who apply the energy and effort that is truly required of recruiting cringe a little at these stories. We know where we stand but it’s hard to be in an industry where there isn’t a real distinction between good and evil for our audience, i.e. candidates. Where not everyone who competes for the same talent that we do realizes that we aren’t just dealing with lists and databases but rather sitting as gatekeepers to passion projects and sometimes pitfalls, too. We sit in a role that’s part time therapist, detective and even bad news bearer, just to name a few.
Training Talent Detectives
It’s proof that we as an industry lack the fundamental training and certifications to legitimize and qualify our profession across the board. There’s not one source for truth and training but rather a million options and conflicting information. There’s good, bad, and really ugly advice when it comes to the array of teachable moments in recruiting and no filter for new recruiters. That information leaved our rookies to decide what’s worth their time and what’s not by trial and error. We’re desperate to learn. At least the good guys are.
Many times, information is delivered in blips – a one hour webinar or eBook that only give you a glimpse into a case study without context. It’s good information but not always so easy to translate it into action items. These trainings forget the most important part: the humans. Really, we should be focused on improving our profession by creating better experiences with people and making recruiters smarter and more humane.
Yes, I intentionally used the word humane because it’s dehumanizing to be ignored, to get form letters, and to feel like we don’t know where to go next. That’s the nature of work – it creates internal value. It makes us feel like we’re special.
That’s why I’m proud to host some of the people who are trying to solve this credentialing and learning gap with a new recruiting association, ATAP, this week on RecruitingLive. We’re going to talk about the new association and answer your questions on recruiting, the evolution of our industry and how they plan to contribute. If you’ve been hearing the buzz but have questions, join us live.