Recruiting. Find humans, place them in a new career, everyone is happy, the end. Sounds easy, right?
Or so I thought…..
Being a new talent matchmaker, having less than a year under my belt, has been one of the biggest career challenges I have faced yet. What could be so hard about seeking great talent and filling a position? I have 400 applicants in my inbox.. this should be a breeze! Run through them all, see who fits the requirements, and boom! Well, I have learned there is much, much more to the art of “Talent Matchmaking,” and the process that brings it all together.
Where to start? My first “aha moment” was that client relationships, and building partnerships, is key to this entire process. Having so many “bosses” can be challenging at first, but as soon as you own the client relationship, you are off to the races! You must understand the company’s needs and culture, not just what the job description reads. You have to truly dive in with both feet. When I was trained on this “reading your client’s mind voodoo”, I was shown this video as an example of getting deep into our client’s heads and culture. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. (Yes, I work for a really cool company. Sorry I am not sorry!) There is a confidence that comes with submitting potential new hires, knowing you have built a solid foundation with the client. The recruiter understands the process in which to best relay all of the perks of the job, and how to really make that company’s culture shine.
So step one, you understand the client’s needs, but how do you even go about finding these “one in a million” candidates? This for me has been one of the most difficult practices. You have a clear picture of the ideal employee in your mind, but now what? To start, I have the support of a fantastic team, as it really does take a honed practice of knowing how and where to look. There are tricks to the trade that only come with seasoned veterans, and from them, I have learned the following:
The art of sourcing and how to use a Boolean search (I’m sorry, a boo-what?)
There is a technique to utilizing the best search terms for your job description. By combining the correct couple of buzzwords, a whole new candidate pool can be opened up to you! Learning how to glean these nuggets of a lengthy requirements list, you can find the most well suited candidates on your job sites. Be prepared to have to focus, yes, that is hard for us millennials.
How to write the most “attractive” emails to garner a response
There is so much more to hooking a candidate by email then simply stating the obvious: “Your resume looks great, I have a job for you.” A level of creativity, passion, and genuine interest in the candidate’s past can really help seal the deal of getting a nod back-- because let’s face it, this level of recruiting really resembles dating. And for the love of sweet Lassie do not be that recruiter that calls the desk phone of potential candidates. No, I will not explain this. It’s just absurd and is what turns potential candidates off from recruiters.
Now time to put your detective skills to use on the phone screen
You must be sure you are asking the correct questions of the candidate while you have them on the line. Any potential employee can read back to you their resume. How do you actually get to know them on the phone? Can you get them to open up and tell you what really makes them passionate? How are you different than any other recruiter? What are you doing to make yourself stand out to this candidate? By diving into their dream job scenario, workplace lifestyle, and what they do outside of work for fun, the recruiter will be able to get a clear understanding of their needs, matching up to the client’s. But be careful! Don’t always just hear what you want to hear to make a connection. This phone screen may be the only interaction you have before the client speaks with them…. so be sure you take your time. Know the facts, know the history. Don’t be caught off guard when your client asks why the candidate left said job in 2008. Be so ready, so prepared and overly confident in your ability to present your candidate. Be proud of your candidates. Own this process.
After all of this, you are ready to submit your perfect candidate to the client. This is when the real nail biting comes in, as not only have you already begun to build a rapport with the candidate, but you want to make sure the client is equally impressed. This makes interview process a long one, full of going back and forth, scheduling hassles, meetings that may fall through, and timelines that get stretched. I have learned that staying organized, patient, and fully open to communication leads its way to the end goal: A job offer! This is the best part! When I can offer a candidate a new dream job they didn’t know existed and solve a client’s needs… I’m winning at life!
To recap, recruiting is just not for everyone. It is not for the weak and it’s not for the folks who can’t handle the up and down emotional roller coaster that comes along with it. It goes so much deeper than I could have ever imagined. I am playing with three entirely different parties, and hold each one to their own impeccable standard. I owe the client the best candidates I can find to strengthen and keep our partnership going. With the potential new hire, I am putting their life’s bread on the line and want to make sure I am pairing them with a group they can grow and become a lasting member of. I’m relocating candidates and their families across the country and that must be taken seriously. Lastly, I am working to build my career with my team and making that relationship bloom stronger everyday. While being new may have its challenges, I have been able to come in with an open mind and begin to absorb all of the fantastic tidbits of wisdom from my team, our clients, and each and every candidate I am lucky to speak with. This will be a career I grow from, and will actually have an impact on the lives of others!
Cheers to 2016! To all the new recruiters out there, if you ever want to chat, have coffee (or wine) I would be more than happy to meet with you and share this passion for talent matchmaking. You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.