In today’s recruiting landscape, there’s a lot of emphasis on the idea of “success.” But what does that even mean? Is it crushing KPIs? Or just showing up every day and making sure everything gets done?
Well, if you ask pro athlete Tim Tebow, he would tell you, “Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do.” He would also say something love and purpose and offer up a whole bunch of other platitudes that probably won’t serve you or the reqs you’re trying to fill. Because recruiting success remains mostly subjective, accounting for the individual, organization and all the other extenuating circumstances that remain outside a recruiter’s control.
The variables are plenty: low unemployment rates, a growing skills gap, generational differences and so on. Compound all that with the specific needs of tech recruiters versus corporate versus financial and your head starts to spin. So is it any surprise that there’s no clear cut definition of recruiting success? If you said no, you’re already my people. If you said yes, well, keep reading and hopefully this piece will change your mind.
Finding Your Starting Place
Somewhere there’s an inspirational poster hanging up that reads, “Success begins with you.” And guess what? That wise-looking bald eagle or otherwise majestic mountain scene is both inspirational AND accurate.
There is, in fact, a lot that you, the recruiter, can do to set yourself up for success. Typically, this starts with getting organized – and staying that way. From your basic run of the mill office supplies to apps and extensions for calendars and scheduling, your setup is yours and yours alone. It sounds silly but even having your favored pen or notebook can make a world of difference for productivity and in turn, success. Know what works for you, against you, and what takes up space. Remove what does not serve your work.
Working with Your Organization
Your organization’s role in your success is a bit trickier. Depending on your employment situation (internal, external, agency), there may be limitations on what you can and cannot dictate. In a perfect world, you will want to audit and assess existing technologies, weigh in on any new buying decisions, work closely with others on the talent team including recruitment marketers and stay aligned with changing business goals. If this isn’t your situation, you’ll still want to gather as much information as humanly possible about everything your work touches, from systems and solutions to job descriptions and postings. Staying informed is critical. Technologies change, workflows get updated, and being lazy isn’t an option.
Equally important, is maintaining a continuous dialogue between you, the individual, and the organization you serve. If there’s an opportunity for improvement, voice your opinion. If you’re not getting enough information from the hiring managers, examine the existing process and suggest improvements. Even with support from the hiring organization, you remain the master of this destiny and need to wield your power and expertise accordingly. You need to be able to measure your outcomes as well as the perception of your work.
Tackling Everything Else
Outside of you and your day-to-day, there’s a whole big world that’s inadvertently contributing or detracting from your ability to perform. For that, we have data and metrics to help us uncover what’s working – and what’s not. Yes, it’s a tight job market, and yes, that’s making things more challenging, but like history, labor trends tend to repeat themselves. To ensure you succeed no matter the hiring climate, you’ll need to get a firm grasp on the bigger picture. Beyond analyzing your current efforts, that means networking every chance you get, forming solid relationships with the candidates you meet, checking in on the competition and developing a strong sense of self and brand.
Owning your skillset, leveraging this to the best of your ability and consistently giving your all is the best way to succeed in this line of work. At some point, job seekers will ghost, hiring managers will reject even the most qualified candidates and technology will almost definitely fail you. It’s happened to all of us before and will likely happen again. In the meantime, decide what successful recruiting means to you personally and make that your top priority. Because, as it turns out, Tebow was onto something, it’s not about money or fame, but looking yourself in the eye at the end of day and recognizing a job well done.