As recruiters, we are tasked with finding the right people for existing job openings. This usually involves some serious searching for a variety of factors from location, to pay, to skillset, to culture. Add on the fact that hiring companies want several candidates to pick from, and our time spent with each person in the search only gets shorter.
In order to do this well, we have to talk to a great number of candidates. In order to do that, we have to spend time searching, as well as trying to get them on the phone. When we finally get them on the phone, we are so pressed for time, that it’s easy to rush through learning what we need to help decide on them and move on to the next call, and as a result, we don’t fully invest and develop a relationship with the candidates. This usually results in miscommunications and mistrust for both sides.
I purpose that as recruiters, we open up and show some vulnerability to our candidates so they can understand and trust us. This is obviously a two-way street, and if a candidate doesn’t open up at all it’s going to be difficult to trust them. We should try to take the time to get comfortable and put everyone at ease and on the same page. It’s tough to do that on an initial 10 minute call and a few minute follow up calls.
The job of recruiting is essentially professional networking. Using the network to connect people together to help each other out. I think the best networkers know the value in deeper relationships, and value maintaining them.
There’s responsibility on both sides, and the recruiter can take the lead as the networking professional and reach out. The candidate should also take some ownership of the relationship and do what they can to stay on the radar of the recruiter. I recently learned the hard way that just like in personal relationships, you have to show restraint in how often you reach out to someone. Too much communication can become overbearing, from either side of the table.
At the end of the day, nothing should be forced. The conversation just go naturally from the value that both people bring to the table, but that can only come when both parties are comfortable and trusting. Take the time in those initial conversations to develop something real, and then maintain the connection beyond that first talk.
If your relationship feels too transactional, it probably is, so take the time to learn something personal and let them know that you are a human being. Again, both sides stand to benefit from the value the other brings. Start to build true connections.