Everything old in Recruiting is New Again

Everything Old in Recruiting is New Again

What a time to be alive!  Artificial intelligence for candidate matching. Advanced site Boolean strings. Free sites for phone numbers and email addresses. Plus, data lists and scrapers are making candidates easy to find these days. Non-exempt as well as high-level exempt candidates can be identified swiftly via the internet today.

The REAL struggle begins when attempts are made to woo a passive candidate to respond to our messaging for interest. Now, we certainly must train talent acquisition professionals to use modern technology for sourcing candidates. But, make no mistake, the technology exists. Almost anyone can be trained to use it.

However, today’s Recruiters and Sourcers that have not received recruitment marketing engagement training are at a deep disadvantage for recruiting in today’s market. Spending several hours sourcing the most qualified candidate is wasted when the messaging sent isn’t transparent, genuine, and worth the candidates read.

Honestly, I think some talent professionals forget to think like the candidate.


Back to the Basics

Thirty years ago, the employees in a Personnel department sat around waiting for candidates to funnel in from the two-thousand-dollar Sunday newspaper advertisements.  When the candidates didn’t arrive to fill-out paper applications, we hit the phones using the Rolodex.

God love agency recruiters, they never moved away from cold calling. But many corporate recruiters have lost the skill.

There is a magic that happens when a Recruiter goes back to the basics of leveraging referrals and picking up the phone (or text or however people like to be talked to today).

There is already a recruitment marketing philosophy that subscribes to the idea of candidates as consumers.

Consumers desire relationships.  The wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am type of recruiting gives our industry a bad name.  Anyone reading this has probably received a spam email about a job they are over or underqualified for.  That type of unsolicited connection rubs a consumer the wrong way.  The consumer wants to know who they are dealing with.

Think about your own life. A consumer likes to use the same mechanic, hairstylist or barber, auto dealership, HVAC tech, pool guy, personal lawyer, accountant, etc.…  The consumer wants to do business with someone who knows their preferences.  There is no reason why a candidate can’t see a talent acquisition professional as “their recruiter”.


Revive Candidate Relationship Building

Reviving traditional standard operating procedures that center around relationships with candidates and peers is how tough positions will be filled through the pandemic and beyond. Asking for references and referrals, knowing your candidate’s preferences, leveraging your own network, gathering allies, asking for help, sharing and networking are old-school techniques that are not only free, but take little time to complete.

Our tendency is to run to the internet or post a position when up against the wall on a role is a new problem. There was a reason we used to just hit the phones when we struggled on a position years ago. Because it was free, fast, and it works!

Humans have a tendency to respond for help, so let’s use who we know to our advantage and ask for help. Modern-day crowdsourcing is really just an updated telephone tree.

So, what is the best-case scenario?

I am not advocating that we ONLY use old-school methods to identify and connect with candidates.  There are talent acquisition professionals that take a mix of traditional recruiting methods and combine them with the technology of today. This is ideal, and a healthy way to stay engrossed in our occupation.

The most important thing to think about when recruiting and sourcing today, whether you use technology or not, is to think like the candidate. Refrain from getting caught up in protocol and hype. Speak to your candidate using transparent words.

Try to break the HR Lawyer speak. There are plenty of ways to be truthful without getting sued. And, just listen.

Listen to the candidate, that is the best Sourcing tool available.

Happy Hunting!

Christine Hampton

Christine is a Doctor of Business Administration candidate researching talent sourcing strategies in healthcare. This is Christine's 29th year in Talent Acquisition, with the last 9 years focusing on sourcing and recruitment marketing.