Work hard on honing your soft skills!

As an outsourced recruiter, my main responsibility is to find qualified candidates – plain and simple. While Social Media Optimization is something that I am passionate [ahem, obsessed] about, I need to always stay focused on filling uncle20sammy reqs first, and proposing New Media solutions second.

While a lot of this might sound familiar to most of you, there are plenty of talent acquisition specialists that are overlooking the obvious and it is affecting their time-to-fill metrics and retention ratings. Since there is a new Twitter app or blog article highlighting a new technique coming out every day, let’s spend sometime to go over the basics of any successful recruiting campaign. New recruiters, listen up, this one’s for you!

  1. If you have a large, untapped pipeline – why add to it?

This will sound familiar to you if you’ve ever been to Glen Cathey’s blog ( – if you haven’t I suggest you do so immediately). It is a concept that I completely agree with. The key here is to identify the talent that is already in your ATS (or other candidate tracking software). It is not efficient to add to your pipeline if you don’t really need to. Start with Boolean search strings – they always bring me better results than the built in search engine, so they should be second nature to you. Also, don’t just look in the reqs that you are working on for that day – find older reqs that required similar skill sets. While some candidates apply to every req that posts on Monster, others might submit an application and move on. In other cases, candidates might apply to a job they “want” but aren’t ready for yet; reach out to them and point them to a position that is right up their alley. There are more job seekers than there are open jobs, and it is our job to find them and guide them in the right direction – and if you do, I can guarantee you will get major props when they interview with the VP of HR. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Make sure you are value-oriented.

Look for ways you can make an impact in addition to filling your reqs with top-caliber candidates. As a recruiter, you are on the front lines and should be aware of hiring trends. Also, if you’ve been doing this for a while, chances are you know exactly what candidates are looking for because you’ve had conversations with thousands of them. In my experience, I have dealt with many hiring managers who may have had unrealistic expectations of an ideal candidate (they want you to “chase the purple squirrel”, so-to-speak). It would be nice to get a tenured sales professional into an entry level sales role, but that is unrealistic. By building relationships with your hiring managers, you can offer insight into what could be a great hiring decision. Also, make sure you prep your candidates if they are granted an interview – they are representing your recruiting ability! Later on in the consideration process, make sure you work with the hiring manager and HR to ensure that an offer is sent out promptly (ever worked with a manager that wanted a month to think about it). By bringing in the best quality talent to your company, you will be recognized as an asset.

3.  Always be aware of new tools and tricks of the trade.

Web 2.0 is a term that is tossed around frequently and rightfully so. Advances in interactive web content have changed the way that we communicate and these changes are directly affecting the way that companies position themselves online and attract new talent. Companies both large and small now have employee-managed blogs, Twitter profiles, YouTube accounts, and even live chats set up. These advances are both mutually beneficial for potential candidates as well as recruiters and hiring managers. Chances are if you are reading this, you already knew all that! My point? Be aware of these progressive new techniques and implement them if appropriate. If you are not finding the people you need, you should look at your existing methods and refine them before adding something new. However, if you are 100% certain that you have exhausted your search, definitely switch it up! Einstein said that insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” While what you’re doing might not be insane, you get the idea.

As I was writing this, I read an awesome quote (which I obviously retweeted) from @zappos: The best businesses are those that have figured out how to combine profits, passion, and purpose.

Combine your passion and purpose for recruiting into a strategy that leads to a profitable hiring solution for your client or employer.


About Adam Fields:

employee20of20the20month Adam Fields is a RPO Consultant for Seven Step Recruiting in Boston, MA. He specializes in delivering high-volume recruiting solutions and is an advocate for customer-service oriented delivery. Adam is a young-gun within the recruiting community with only 2 years under his belt, but is rapidly developing a myriad of soft and technical skills. Adam’s passions are snowboarding, Subaru rally cars, and Twitter!


By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.