I realized, like many of my recruiting colleagues, that most of us fell into recruiting. It's been a great career choice that allows me to meet new people everyday, but most importantly to build long lasting relationships with both clients and candidates alike. As I looked back on my career to analyze my successes and shortcomings, I began to think about the advice I would give my younger self. This got me thinking, and I became curious to know what advice other recruiters and clients would say to their younger selves. After connecting with a few of them, here is what we said. Check it out.
Focus on what you can control. You can't control who the hiring team selects to hire. You can't control who applies to your open role. You can't control timing. The dream of dreams candidate could apply the same day you extend an offer to a candidate that was best for the role at that time. Respect timing. What you can control is how you treat your candidates. You can control treating them the way you want to be treated as a candidate. From the initial reach out to welcoming them on their first day. You can control focusing on relationships and strengthening them for the future, and you can control equipping yourself with research and active listening to become the best you can be! Offering someone a job is one of the best feelings, so let that be your guiding force as you go forward in your career.
Two pieces of advice I could have used earlier in my career... 1) ABUD – Always be using (labor market) data. If you want to be the guide on the search and not be guided, weave data into your conversations at any stage and sit back and watch a hiring manager’s or candidate’s reaction. 1) Less is more - Whether you are speaking with a candidate or a hiring manager be concise and let them do most of the talking! Same with digital cold calls. Be brief, original, personalize the message and, whatever you do, do not regurgitate the job description! 60 words or less!
Always readily admit when you don’t know something—even with candidates. Saying, “I’m not familiar with <<insert topic>>; can you explain it to me?” to a candidate will actually help you gain credibility. Candidates you want to hire (i.e. those who are passionate about the role and understand its remit intimately) will likely happily explain in a way you can easily understand, and appreciate your candor. Those who don’t know the topic well will struggle. Either way, you will get the information you need, and learn in the process.