It seems like the trend towards automation in the talent acquisition space has gotten to a point where recruiters need to be reminded we are dealing with humans. While advances in technology such as predictive analytics to help us better determine where to source and aggregators that gather social data and contact information on target candidates help us as recruiters, these tools should be considered resources that can support us as we focus on the human side of recruiting. Recruiting is, and has always been, a people business defined by how well the recruiter can build relationships with clients and applicants. The people element is what got me into this space and what continues to make it so much fun.
In the 2+ decades I have been a recruiter I have witnessed ebbs and flows in the labor market, including a recent major shift which has placed us back in a candidate driven economy with more jobs to choose and candidates who are more selective and more demanding. These candidates not only expect an easy and painless application process but a positive experience enhanced by a strong employer brand. Therefore, companies need to strengthen their brand while recruiters improve how it is delivered and perceived by the desired talent pool. A good initial impression makes a difference, especially to those candidates who may not be looking for a change now but could be in the future.
For the recruiter, the process is simple. Know the brand and treat every candidate like they want to be treated, with respect, whether they are right for the job or not (which is usually as simple as letting someone know their candidacy status in a timely manner). One outcome is that the candidate will tell other potential candidates that they had an exceptional experience, which could turn a “not the right fit at the time” highly qualified candidate into referrals, recommendations, and future hires.
The bottom line: Do right by people. Recruiters who can create a more personalized experience and go above and beyond for each-and-every candidate they work with will engage with those most sought after, help strengthen and reinforce the company brand, and in the end, ultimately win the war for talent.