Relationship Recruiting: The Ultimate Recruiting Engine
by Roy Notowitz -Managing Director,Â Notogroup Executive Search
Broad Changes Sweeping the Hiring Landscape
The economy, the Internet, and the varied needs of the three distinct generations of employees in the workforce have created a complex hiring climate. Despite the fact that next generation recruiters have become savvy users of applicant tracking systems, social networking tools, and data mining tools, there has been a steady decline in recruiting departments’ ability to develop talent pools or communities. This decline is documented by a 4 year Electronic Recruiters Exchange survey conducted by Kevin Wheeler of Global Learning Resources. In recent years we have seen in-house recruiters with a heavy requisition load relegated to spending 75% of their time searching for, and responding to, low hanging fruit from their overflowing email inboxes and resume databases.
Here are some ideas that we recommend to clients who are interested in learning how to boost their relationship recruiting power:
Preparation and Planning
- Define the pool. Simply think about what function or functions have the greatest impact on your business and put your focus there.
- Do the math. Reverse engineer by calculating how many hires you plan to make and then multiplying by 50-75 to ensure that you have enough contacts to generate a sufficient candidate pool.
- Save time. Go for quality over quantity! Leverage the most effective candidate generation channels such as: employee referrals, diversity networks, targeted professional associations, and industry trade shows.
- Build excitement. Is your company cool? Develop an employment brand and collateral that speaks to your audience and creates contagious enthusiasm.Â
Making it Work
- Foot in mouth: Don’t assume that people you call will want to be a candidate for your jobs; they will definitely tell you if they are interested. Your approach should be straight-forward, simple, and non-threatening.
- Keep it real: Pick up the phone and check in every once in a while when you do not need to network. The relationships need to be meaningful, reciprocal, and genuine.
- Track data: There are many variables such as: timing, company fit, job match, compensation, and relocation that need to align properly in order to make a hire. It’s very powerful when you can recall this type of information.Â
How to Connect
- Know the industry. This is a no-brainer. Credibility is everything, therefore you need to absorb as much as you can about the industry and continue to stay on top of it.
- Prepare for the call. Google everything! Use your network to find out the connections, interests, and talents of the person. Devour websites and read current press releases to learn something interesting about their work.
- Be interested. What makes you interesting to them is that you are interested in them. An intelligent dialogue will then unfold naturally.
In order to build the competency internally, you need to hire passionate recruiters who are energized by people. Then, create a department structure that has sufficient recruiter support to ensure that those recruiters have at least 75% of their time focused on building relationships with high potential candidates.
Developing an internal sourcing team may not make financial or operational sense for your company. If your company falls into this category, then another viable option is to develop a strategic partnership with a search firm that has a deeply established network and a credible reputation in your industry. Regardless of how you procure the resources, a well-designed long-term relationship recruiting strategy will result in a significant advantage in today’s challenging hiring climate.