Every recruiter has a different approach to sourcing the right candidate, just as one recruiter might swear by cold-calling, another might be more adept at engaging on social media. Whilst the approaches may differ, one thing remains consistent throughout – and that’s the manner in which you interact with candidates once you’ve found them.
It’s imperative for today’s recruiters to ensure that their demeanour and candidate relationship strategy are based around an understanding and appreciation of the candidate. However, with some recruiters being unsure of how persistent they should be and when they should simply give up, this blog aims to provide an insight into the do’s and don’ts of recruitment and help you adopt the best practices.
Let’s start with what you should do in recruitment:
- Do your research
Familiarise yourself with a candidate’s skills and expertise to the point where you can genuinely engage with them over the phone. Be careful contacting a candidate if you have nothing to offer, you need to provide real value in the form of real opportunities. However, being in tune with your client’s needs, and knowing how to spot the perfect candidate for them is a fantastic skill to have. Just let the applicant know you are going to market them to a specific company, and why, and don’t promise a position if one doesn’t yet exist.
- Do provide an overview and sell the position
Clearly highlight the intricacies of the job position – walk the candidate through the individual aspects your client is looking for and make the company and the role itself sound desirable. This increasingly includes not just the basics of the specific role but also the values of the company and specific policies for training and flexible working – so investing time with the client to understand the culture, working environment and opportunities for future career growth is key. Likewise, listen to your candidate and what is important to them as they look to advance their career – then you can sell the right organisation to the right candidate.
- Do be personal in your engagement
If you can’t reach your candidate via the phone, leave them a pleasant, personalised message, highlighting your desire to talk to them. Follow up with a short email or text summarising the position, making sure you’re respecting the best times to get in touch with the candidate. By leaving personalised, brief, informative messages you’re demonstrating an understanding of the candidate’s specific requirements and requests. Candidates don’t want to see the same recycled messages time after time – it indicates that you don’t care and haven’t made the effort to understand them.
- Do follow up, network and encourage candidates to apply again
Where possible, always try to inform your candidates of the progress of their application. It’s your job to keep them up to date and in the loop regarding any changes. If you don’t, you risk leaving them disheartened and frustrated. Even if a candidate hasn’t been successful, encourage them to try again for similar positions; there’s a variety of factors at play with securing a position and there’s always the possibility the next vacancy will be just right for them.
By following the guidance outlined above, you will improve both your client and candidate relationships, becoming a recruiter that is respected and held in high regard. Remember, it’s not just about you – recruiting is a relationship between you, your candidate and your client which you need to cultivate and respect.
Now we’ve outlined what you should do, here are some recruitment don’ts:
- Don’t go into phone-calls or interviews blind or unenthusiastic
If you’re contacting candidates after only conducting minimal research into their abilities, you’ll come across as indifferent and uninformed, which will not only establish you as someone they won’t want to work with, but could potentially tarnish the reputation of the agency or organisation you work for.
Furthermore, your phone manner and the tone of voice you adopt will set the mood and atmosphere of the conversation. Be clear, be succinct and be positive. You need to make your candidates feel comfortable when dealing with you and that in turn will enable them to discuss themselves with you more freely – and they’ll thank you for that.
- Don’t bombard candidates with constant emails and messages across different mediums
A great way to get your number blocked and emails filtered is through continuous pestering and badgering of your candidates. If they didn’t pick up the first time, it’s safe to assume they’re busy or otherwise engaged. Leave a message and if they’re interested, they’ll get back to you. If you haven’t heard anything for a few days, leave a brief reminder over email stating your desire to talk to them. There’s nothing worse for a candidate than constantly receiving calls from recruitment agencies and consultants whilst at work or engaged in another activity.
- Don’t ignore your candidate’s preferences
It’s a two-way process. In order for you to find the best possible position for your candidate(s), you need to have a meticulous understanding of what they’re looking for. If you decide that the candidate’s preferences are in some way secondary to your own and arrange an interview with a company or organisation that doesn’t align with what they’re looking for, you’ve not only wasted your candidate’s time, but also your client’s – making them less likely to accept a recommendation from you again.
- Don’t stick to one channel
If you’re sticking to one channel, you’ll severely limit yourself in terms of reach and visibility – even more so if the channel you’re using isn’t lucrative or widely known. The abundance of channels available to recruiters means there’s a huge pool of talent out there – you need to maximise your reach and visibility by being a part of the wider sphere.
As recruitment is a constantly changing industry, there will always be an air of uncertainty of how to interact with candidates – the fundamentals outlined above remain unchanged regardless.
If you want to transform your recruitment strategy into a quality-orientated relationship, you need to take into account multiple demands and expectations. As a recruiter, you often end up being an intermediary or negotiator between the client and the candidate, and you have to ensure that both sides receive exceptional treatment and consideration.
If you keep in mind the do’s we’ve discussed, and avoid the don’ts, you’ll be achieving recruitment success in no time.