Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to realize a successful recruitment effort. As the nation slowly reopens for business and organizations look to bolster their staff rosters, both recruiters and job-seekers are hard at work looking for that perfect fit.
Let's take a look at what a winning recruitment effort looks like from both sides of the interview table.
Targeted > The Spaghetti Approach
Most employees have had the experience of opening up a LinkedIn inbox full of irrelevant or off-target requests from recruiters. On the flip side, many recruiters have found themselves wading through resumes that are wishful thinking at best. The issue here is one of targeting. It's easy to throw job or candidate options at the wall and hope that something sticks. But it's an inefficient and frustrating way of going about things.
Whether you're the recruiter or the recruited, aim for fit. Take the time to think about what you're looking for, then seek it out in a targeted way. This often means going analog - for example, tapping into alumni or professional networks or attending events - rather than firing off a bunch of emails. You may get fewer leads, but they'll be much stronger ones.
Reveal Your Cards Early On
The responsibility is on both parties to know upfront what matters both to themselves and the other person and arrive armed with this knowledge and a clear sense of what will work or won't for them.
Sure, being evasive about key factors such as compensation can extend the initial recruiter-candidate courtship a bit, but it's also a great way to waste time and energy on a poor match. Recruiters should be forthcoming about the terms of the role they're recruiting for, and candidates should know what they do or do want in a role - and what they can reasonably expect. Yes, some things are negotiable, but it's vital to make sure you're not running into a dealbreaker before that point.
Additionally, make it a point to be open with the other person about your current situation. If you're casually exploring vs. actively looking, it's only right to say so. Or be clear if you're assessing the overall candidate pool rather than hiring for a role that starts next week. The right opportunity might present itself in the future.
Think Beyond The Bullet Points
It's easy to get caught up in checking off boxes instead of focusing on the bigger picture. But by looking for the perfect on-paper match, it's easy to miss out on a great real-world match. Whether it's an initial telephone catch-up or an in-person meeting, recruiters should be mindful that the person in front of them is more than their resume. Sure, they may (or may not) hold a particular degree or have certain experiences, but often what really matters is a good fit, the right personality, and a willingness to learn. Skills and knowledge can be learned, but it's much harder to change a person.
Candidates can make this work in their favor by ensuring that they offer more than just what's on their resume. A solid online presence, evidence of thought leadership, and a clear interest in professional development can all help here. So can properly preparing for an interview. Additionally, when considering a certain role, candidates should also be mindful that they don't have tunnel vision of their own. They should try to think beyond the responsibilities listed on the job sheet and consider factors such as the company culture and opportunities for growth.
A No Can Be Temporary
No one likes to be turned down. But in recruiting, it's often a matter of timing. Maybe a great candidate isn't yet ready to move to another state, or they're wrapping up a year-long contract, or they need more money than the current role can support. On the flip side, maybe the recruiter is looking for a slightly different skillset, a certain personality fit for a team they know well, or someone who can start tomorrow. Keep the line of communication open, because that present-day "no" may just turn into a yes down the track.