Thursday, November 1, 2012

9! Ways to Restore the Human Recruiting Experience

“Send me a text!”
“I’ll text you!”
“Visit my webpage.”
“See the attached file…”
“Please electronically sign the contract and email it back to me.”
“Apply online.”
 “’Like’ me on Facebook, Twitter, blah, blah, yada-yada…”
“Join my “GoToMeeting.”

These days, it’s not at all foreign for new technology to produce unsavory outcomes. As a matter of fact, new technology is opening the door to weak communication skills. It's almost as if we have completely forgotten how to communicate with one another as...PEOPLE.

Few stop to consider that all these impersonal communications may be endangering our work! Social media, blogging, mobile, and Internet technology (in general) are hobbling opportunities that once were most fulfilled face-to-face or ear-to-ear. When we venture out to meet someone many of us are filled with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension and for what reason? Apprehension because part of the experience of meeting a particular person lies in the unknown and anticipation because underneath all of our human natured-ness (do you like that created word?) lies a social beast.

It’s the apprehension that’s winning out in this techno race of assumptions. Reasoning behind that is because for many of us it serves as a security blanket— that veil — between others and ourselves. The fear of rejection and failure is (greatly) diminished with technology. Face it, if you get electronically-rejected, it may not be the greatest feeling in the world, but it is far better than being casted-off face-to-face.

Now many of us seem detached and withdrawn in our dealings with one another and the bottom line is — candidates WILL notice! When we’re communicating electronically only, there is almost no obligation to the receiver of all your good news to reciprocate anything to you — is there? How many times do you send emails to someone, expecting a reply (or response — any kind of response!) and receive nothing? It happens far too often doesn't it? The same thing can go with text messaging. Highly easy to write off and ignore. Blog entries — who’s reading them? Really? You? How many times do you read your own blog entry? I read mine probably more than anyone else does. (this kinda contradicts why I am even writing blogs...but apparently I'm making headway with some of our readers out THANK YOU!)

So how do you make an impression?!

Return a candidate’s calls. You’ll likely be the first (and only) one to do so! Call a potential candidate and surprise them. You’re more than likely to be the first (and only) recruiter to have ever done that in their experience. How's this for a blast from the past; walk in to a company’s main lobby and ask to speak with the head of staffing. I’ll guarantee you’ll be the only one who’s done that in the last 10 years! Granted that won't always work in every situation because (duh-duhhhh), technology has halted such things. You need to set up meetings and interviews via email these days (thanks tech-Gods).

STOP sharing everything openly online — enough with that stupid word “transparency.” We’re not doing anyone any good with all our goody-two-shoes FREE banter. We’re oversaturating the market with information and misinformation. We’re part of the problem — leading others to believe getting a job is a matter of comparing this one and that one to that one and this one online.

Recruiters (and some sourcers) are routinely texting and emailing information that is sensitive and precious — made much less so in the public’s eye (and experience) by its cheap distribution.
We give candidates (and potential candidates) the idea they have all the information they need to make one of the most important decisions in their lives. They don’t and they can’t. They most assuredly can’t without your help.

When meeting face to face with someone; here's some advice from author Maureen Sharib:

Consider your appearance. Some “casual” has become far too casual in the last few years. Lose the flip-flops and pajama pants. Dress seasonally and respectfully for whomever you’ll be meeting with.
Schedule in-the-flesh meetings. when you can meet face-to-face. When you can’t use a service like GoToMeeting. It’s an electronic solution, sure but you have the opportunity to “see” and be “seen.” It’s an opportunity to sell yourself and your abilities.
Forget meeting at the local Starbucks. Too noisy, too little privacy, too many distractions, too impersonal.
Schedule your time (and theirs). Set your expectations for the time you’d like to spend with them before you meet.  People are less reluctant to meet when they understand the time commitment.
Share your market knowledge in person at first. They’ll pay more attention to your emails and texts later.
Insist on commitment. Explain you’re running a business — not a charity. They’ll respect you more.
Qualify the candidate. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have a non-compete. Explore their feelings about relocating. Talk about salary. Get the scary stuff over fast and first. They’ll welcome your interest and this will help create commitment, loyalty, and trust in you in your candidates.
Phone calls and follow-up. Set yourself apart from the madding crowd with this one.
Almost nobody else is doing it! Once your relationship is established, call them regularly (once a week is good.) It only takes a few minutes — less than five, usually.
Do Not Be Afraid of Rejection and Failure.
That is all.