Making TRUE Connections

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.

Candidates: Reach out and refer

There are jobs to be had! After having the pleasure of working with so many candidates and on so many job openings, I have come to the conclusion that the value of recruiting is not as well-known as it should be. Perhaps this is an industry specific issue, but it can’t hurt to have a recruiter in your network working aggressively with your resume, regardless of what field you’re in. How can we make the value of recruiting known?

One way is by becoming the industry standard for hiring. In the manufacturing and engineering industry, this already is the case. If job seekers become used to the idea that the main way into a company is through a recruiter, then I have a suspicion that recruiter’s phones would be ringing off the hook. That part falls on the backs of the recruiters to set the tone for the industry. We have to do our job, and do it well so that when candidates get sent by recruiters, there is a CLEAR difference between people responding to job postings. In this case, having healthy competition is good, as it is setting the precedent that recruiting is too important and time consuming for an HR representative to spend their time on.

On the flip side, candidates have to do their part to reach out and refer. Recruiters are constantly looking for new was to find and contact candidates. When candidates reach out with a genuine and honest approach to marketing themselves to companies, good things happen. As recruiters, we will do our best to tell you as much as we can about a position to see if it makes sense. I often try not to sell the people I talk to on a position. I don’t want to throw someone in a position where 6-9 months later, they are regretting the acceptance of a position because they felt they were misled or did not understand the position. If the conversation does wind down to the understanding that this particular opening may not make the most sense for this particular person, then the candidate should do their best to refer someone who they think would succeed in this role. Your friends and coworkers will be grateful and flattered by your referral, even if they are not looking, or are uninterested in the role. The fact that you thought of them as a good person to fill a role will forever resonate in their memory.

It is important to remember that most recruiters only make money when they place a candidate in a position. If a firm develops a reputation for placing candidates that don’t fit well, their clients will most likely not come back for repeat business, and that firm will feel it. Most recruiters know the value in having a client repeat their business and will do their best to send the right candidates for the right job. Take comfort in the fact that recruiters want to send you to the positions where they think you will have the most success.

If you’re a candidate, remember that if a recruiter is holding off on you for a current opening it does not mean that they won’t send you for another position that opens up next week. Some job requisitions open and close in a matter of weeks, and it’s all about having your information already in front of the recruiter when that requisition opens.  This is why it’s important to reach out to a recruiter sooner rather than later. The same goes for any friends and coworkers, if you want them to thrive in a job that’s a good fit, their information needs to be in front of the recruiter before the job opportunity is.

At the end of the day, you have to do what makes you comfortable, but I think you’ll be hard pressed to come up with reasons not to have your information in front of a recruiter. Reach out to one of us today!


Have you used a recruiting service in the past to help market yourself to potential employers? What other advice would you give to job seekers about using recruiters? Most importantly–what have you got to lose!?

Hiring the best talent in today’s market

Look – I get it, you’re busy, he’s busy, she’s busy – heck even I’m busy.  Hiring qualified candidates in our field has become more difficult recently and it’s not difficult to find out why – EVERYBODY is hiring right now!  I am literally getting calls and emails from both current and old clients on a daily basis wanting specific candidates as soon as yesterday and they are willing to pay for them, and unfortunately for most of us, not everybody can throw the $$$ around.

Now, the traditional thing to do for employers is to get the job openings up on Monster and CareerBuilder and let the resumes trickle through.  I’ll be the first to admit, for certain roles, I do this as well – but I’m not seeing very many good candidates and I can’t imagine the majority of you are either.  Right now the job boards are diluted – way too many openings and not enough qualified candidates have almost rendered the boards ineffective.

How does one solve this problem?  What you need to do is make sure you are utilizing all of your resources.  There are more avenues to finding qualified candidates than Monster and CareerBuilder.  How many of you have tried actively recruiting on LinkedIn?  How many of you are utilizing Facebook, Twitter and even Craigslist?  How many of you have a good pulse of your industry i.e. has anybody laid off recently?  Who’s closing their doors?

These resources take time and effort because you are not going to make 3 calls or put up just one posting to find the right candidates.  These options will require more thought, research and proactive activity, so don’t let yourself make the excuse that you don’t have the “time.”

The good – Not a lot of people utilizes these options, so the individuals you find on these sites probably haven’t been contacted by 3 other companies and 5 other recruiters.  That’s the bad with the boards – everybody is talking to several people and you always find yourself competing with another recruiter/company for the candidate.

What I’m saying is that if you want to continue to use the traditional efforts of hiring solutions, you will continue to compete, settle for the low hanging fruit, and find yourself replacing the same positions over and over again.  Try something different, put a little time into it and I think you’ll find the payoff to be worth your while.

We want to hear from you! What creative recruiting methods have you tried when looking to fill a position? Is posting openings to the job boards working for your company? Have you tried using a recruiter to help?