By Jessica Meglio
Senior Recruiter, Turning the Corner, LLC
Recruiters can get a bad rap. I’ve heard of recruiters being criticized for being uncaring, late for scheduled calls, mass messaging people for jobs, poor follow through, being impersonal and unengaged. I get it, I’ve heard it and even experienced a “bad recruiter” before in my own job search. But truth be told, not all recruiters are bad, in fact, I believe that most recruiters are well-meaning individuals who enjoy connecting people to their dream jobs.
What some recruiters lack is a dignified process. Recruiting is a very fast-paced profession. There are many moving parts and to keep on top of it all, you must have strong procedures in place and follow them diligently. Having a defined process creates trusted candidate relationships, stronger client relationships, and benefits the company and the applicant.
When I first get a new requisition, the first thing I do is schedule a time to review the company and job details. This isn’t the typical “what will this person be doing” question. Sure, that comes along at some point, but I am more concerned with what does your company do? What are your company values? What are the unique characteristics that will thrive in your environment? What are your company’s challenges? Successes? What makes your company so great to work for?
Once I have a good understanding of the company background, I ask similar questions about the actual position. What personality traits/skills does this person need? What will be their challenges be? How will you manage this person? My goal is to thoroughly understand the position, what the company needs to be successful, and what they can offer a qualified candidate.
Sometimes Less is More
When it comes to candidate sourcing, I focus on finding quality people who have the strengths and skills our client needs. I message the candidate based on something relevant in their profile and experience. I don’t blast out form letters as many as my recruiter peers, but the messages I send out get replies because they are relevant and personal to the candidate. Similarly, I am selective about who I interview. They have to meet the mark in several areas before I schedule time with them. Being more selective attracts better applicants for our clients.
Before I ask any job-specific questions in the interview, I take a few minutes to understand what the candidate wants. I’ll ask them “What type of position are you looking for?”, “What is important to you when considering an opportunity?” “What do you need from your manager to be successful”? “What is your ideal environment”? Asking these questions allows me to understand what they need from their job. Additionally, it allows me to understand if their needs align with my client’s needs. It creates an environment where the candidate feels confident that they have a recruiter who is engaged with what they want as well as what our client needs. It’s a two-way street always, and I like to serve as an advocate for both my clients and candidates.
Active job seekers get very frustrated with recruiters when they fail to followup. Understandably so. Communicating with applicants through the recruiting process sets a tone of respect and creates a positive image of our client. I make it a point to reach out to applicants and clients to ensure everyone knows where we are at in the process. In fact, this has led to our clients getting top talent over another company because the applicants feel valuable.
If we decide that a candidate is not a fit, I will connect with them to explain why they were not selected to move forward. I try to give as many details as possible, even if I must deliver a smidge of criticism. Providing candidates with valuable feedback helps them fine-tune their interview strategy and strengthens the relationship between the recruiter and the candidate.
The offer process is yet another part of the recruitment process that can influence the overall candidate experience. The recruiter is the quarterback of this process. The goal is to present an offer that is a win for both the company and candidate. Too many people make offers that won’t be accepted or don’t truly understand what the candidate needs or what the company is presenting with pay, benefits, PTO, and so many variables. An offer that isn’t acceptable to both parties not only is unproductive but wastes valuable time. What the recruiter does or doesn’t do will leave an impression on both the candidate and the client.
To prevent “negotiations” once an offer is extended, I like to get the salary needs upfront. I have an open conversation with my candidates about what they need to strongly consider an opportunity. If they provide a range, I navigate the conversation in such a way to hone in on the number they really want. I will say “So you are okay if I submit your resume in the 80k-85k range?”. I follow up by asking “in the event you do receive an offer, you will accept a salary in the 80k-85k range?”. We discuss other variables such as vacation time, insurance, 401k and equity if applicable. Once I am ready to send a candidate, I spell out to the client what the candidate’s needs are. That way they understand if they like the candidate, they know what they will need to offer if they do indeed move to next step. Understanding this information upfront is essential to avoiding hiccups at the offer table.
We Want to Give Recruiters a Great Reputation
I love being a recruiter and finding great people for fantastic companies. We have developed processes and standards that help our clients find and hire the best applicants while treating candidates with the respect and dignity they deserve. Our goal is to give recruiters a good name and your company the best people to keep moving you forward.
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