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Creative Recruiters Will Win the Recruiting War

Posted by Will Thomson

creative recruiters win war

Recruiting is a constantly evolving profession. Once you think you have it figured out, something changes. I guess this comes as no surprise to anyone who has chosen HR as his or her field of expertise. If you are in benefits, compensation, employee relations, or training, I’m sure that this rings true to you also. We are always just trying to figure out how to be ahead of the curve, and not be the dinosaur.

Change Happens

I think society and companies have become increasingly consumed with the idea of an “active” versus a “passive” candidate.  By definition, an “active” candidate is someone who needs or wants to make a change.  A “passive” candidate is one who may be open to opportunities, but isn’t necessarily unhappy in his or her current job.  If you’re an active candidate, that doesn’t discount you from being a good one; but not all passive candidates are good candidates. Recruiters should always be looking for the BEST talent available, whether they’re active or passive.

Smarter, Not Harder

Great recruiters work smarter not harder. They use all of the avenues available to look for good candidates. Without a doubt, recruiters are salespeople: we are selling the position to the applicant, and vice versa. But we have to “hunt” and seek out the really good talent. So where do you find the best talent today?

Referrals, LinkedIn, social media, job boards, and company websites are still are the best ways for recruiters to find candidates. There are still more people than positions available. This puts an exclamation point on one main premise: recruiters and candidates have to be more creative and smarter than ever before!

Be the Change

You cannot wait for candidates to apply for roles, since  the recruiting industry is highly competitive, and hiring managers have very demanding needs and high expectations. If recruiters sat around and waited for the phone to ring or for someone to apply, then the position would never get filled.

But you can put the new approaches to work for you. It’s not by accident if you find me on LinkedIn or any social media format—it is by design. I have spent years developing an online presence and I’m very conscientious about the content that is visible for anyone to see. For that reason, having a LinkedIn profile that really stands out is imperative for recruiters. The more people find ME, the easier my job becomes.

Link In

LinkedIn is just like the white pages—you can find anyone you want on it. That’s why recruiters AND candidates need to start with LinkedIn. Whether you love LinkedIn or not, it is where all recruitment STARTS.  First impressions mean everything, so please take the time to make your profile stand out. Once recruiters find you, don’t be surprised if they contact you through some other platform, which could range from a phone call to a tweet.

But candidates should not randomly reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn to help them with their job search. Yes, recruiters can help you, but it behooves the candidate to be a bit more creative when looking for a job. As a global sales and marketing recruiter, I receive hundreds of LinkedIn invitations a week, and rarely without an explanation of why they want to connect. I simply do not have the time or interest to respond to every LinkedIn request. Just as we have to catch their attention, candidates must do the same.

Expect Great Things

As a recruiter, I appreciate a candidate who takes the extra step. Recruiters expect these things from candidates, just as candidates have expectations of recruiters. But now more than ever, recruiters need to be creative in attracting candidates. Using LinkedIn is just a piece of the puzzle. The best approach is to “use the white pages” but also call, tweet, e-mail, read blogs, or do whatever it takes to attract that perfect candidate and generate interest.

Recruiters truly should be detectives and utilize EVERY avenue to find the right individual. What worked for your last hire, when hours upon hours were spent sourcing, could simply occur this time through a referral that landed on your desk because of your social media presence.

So now that you have figured out recruiting in 2014, remember, it will change again. Both candidates and recruiters should not put all of their eggs in one basket, because another recession or a new technology could change all of these rules quickly!

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About Will Thomson

Author

Will Thomson is from Austin, Texas, and has been in recruitment and sales for 20 years. He is the Global Sales and Marketing Recruiter for Rosetta Stone, and is the Founder of Bulls Eye Recruiting. Will received his undergraduate degree from The University of Mississippi, and his master’s degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin.

4 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Lucy W. August, 08, 2014

    I must admit that I`ve used social media very often in order to check the backgrounds of the prospects. It can provide HR people with information otherwise very difficult to reach. But I find it pretty tricky to use LinkedIn to locate suitable candidates – people with beautifully written LinkedIn resumes can turn out to be very little motivated employees. I`m not saying it is not useful, but it can sometimes be deceiving.

  • Alex Fograne August, 10, 2014

    My experience has taught me that adaptability and intuition are certainly assets in recruiting. Even so, I do think they are also skills that you can train, provided you work in an environment that values long term development of the employees. One thing my mentor taught me is that I should keep looking for new ways of finding the right people – and you do that by using all the instruments in your reach.

  • Jess Rinolta August, 11, 2014

    I totally agree – I think that Social Media is a great instrument to find qualified people. It has made it easier to come across the right people for the position you are advertising. And I am particularly enthusiastic about the reference system LinkedIn provides – great tool to find out about the prospect`s relationship to the former colleagues!

  • Victor August, 11, 2014

    I don`t always feel like recruiting allows much creativity – sure, you have to know how people work and what makes them tick, but it doesn`t generally allow a great deal of innovation. On the other hand, I agree that the internet gave us some incredible tools to do both background checks and to get to know a potential employee better.

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