Even though many Americans are still looking for jobs in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, employers are also struggling to fill open positions. In fact, recent reports show that the United States of 6 million open jobs, which is a record number.
The difficulty of finding qualified candidates for necessary positions has led to the development of another career field: recruiting. Recruiters are an important asset for companies and firms. This is especially true for employers seeking applicants with specific skills and abilities.
But recruiting also brings its own set of difficulties. Recruiting challenges include identifying contacts, building relationships, and making good matches for employers and candidates.
Unfortunately, there can also be a stigma with recruiting. This can make it hard to confront the other recruiting challenges.
If you are wondering how you can overcome stigma as a recruiter and build your success, then keep reading. Here are our top tips for combatting stigma.
Where Does this Stigma Come from?
Before we get into strategies for overcoming recruiting challenges like stigma, it is important to understand why this stigma exists. This will help you develop the strategies you need.
Lack of Proper Training
While recruiting has been around for a while, the technology boom in the 90s and early 2000s led to rapid growth in the profession. To find qualified candidates with specific tech skills, firms hired many recruiters for entry level positions. While many of these recruiters became talented professionals, many of them did not.
This quick growth and lack of training led to the development of bad habits and tactics that have given recruiting a bad name. For instance, to reach their goals and quotas, recruiters would use high-pressure sales tactics that turned candidates off. This early reputation has led to many of the recruiting challenges that exist today.
Being Too Pushy
These sales tactics gave potential job candidates an image of recruiters as pushy salesmen.Candidates began to see recruiters as someone trying to get them to buy things they didn’t want or need. Think used car salesman, or timeshare presenter.
In many cases, recruiters feel that they need to use these tactics in order to perform well on the metrics they are evaluated by. Keeping up with goals and numbers requirements is just one of the many recruiting challenges recruiters face.
But this approach can easily backfire. The more recruiters push candidates, the more apprehensive candidates feel about the situation.
Not Delivering Good Results
It would be one thing if recruiters were known for being pushy, but good at what they do. Sometimes, however, candidates assume that working with a recruiter will land them with a job they do not want.
This can also be a result of trying to reach metrics. Instead of taking the time to find the right job for the right person, recruiters might be tempted to rush. While this can place candidates more quickly, it doesn’t necessarily place them well.
Ultimately, this can lead to both unhappy employers and unhappy employees. These employees won’t stay long where they’re placed, which leads to poor retention rates.
Changing the Narrative
Word gets around. If an employer or an employee has a bad experience working with a recruiter, they will tell others in their circle about what happened. This can create recruiting challenges as recruiters try to attract new clients.
So what’s a recruiter to do? Simply put, it’s essential to change the narrative. To overcome the stigma associated with recruiters, you must prove the stereotype wrong with the excellent performance.
Here are a few ways to change the way that folks think about recruiting so they’ll want to use a recruiter for their next job hunt.
Treat People Like People
One of the biggest recruiting challenges is balancing the need for relationship building with the need for meeting goals and metrics. But even though it is important to achieve your goals, the truth is that the best way to do this is by adding a personal touch.
Sometimes, recruiters make the mistake of acting like the client is their only customer. Candidates have picked up on this, which has made them feel like recruiters don’t have their best interest at heart.
Taking the time to build a relationship with candidates can help change their perception. This way, they will actually be excited to work with you.
The first step to building a relationship with your candidates is to have conversations with them. Start by learning about the candidate: what their skills are, what their needs are, and what they’re looking for in a position. This will give you a better idea of who the candidate is, and where they will be a good fit.
Also, there is nothing that a recruiter hates more than a time-wasting candidate. It can be very frustrating to spend time working with an individual, only for them to never return your calls or show up for an interview.
So make sure to never be a time-wasting recruiter for your candidates. If you say that you plan to follow up with them, make sure to actually do so. If you don’t keep up, a candidate might get anxious, and start looking elsewhere for work.
Have a Proper Pace
Another one of the biggest recruiting challenges is handling multiple candidates at the same time. If you are working to place multiple people, it can be difficult to keep up with all of them.
It can be frustrating for candidates if this distraction leads to delays in the recruiting process. Many job seekers have a timeline in mind when they are looking for a new job. Try to be sensitive to this schedule when working with candidates.
Find the Right Fit
Of course, there is such a thing as moving too quickly when placing candidates in jobs. If you are too hasty, you run the risk of pairing a candidate in a job where they aren’t well suited.
When you are talking to your candidate, don’t just find out what their skills are, and what kind of experience have. Instead, find out what their goals are, and what they’re hoping to get out of a new position. This way, you can place them at a job that helps them advance their career path, instead of giving them options they find irrelevant.
Going Above and Beyond
We’ve gone over some recruiting strategies that you can put into practice to show candidates that stigmas do not apply to you. But keep in mind that it’s not enough to simply not display negative behaviors. Rather, you should also elevate your approach to show that recruiters can be truly great.
Here are some ways you can go that extra mile for your candidates. This will help you defeat stigma and other recruiting challenges.
Consider Personality and Culture
We mentioned in the previous section that it’s important to get an idea of what candidates are looking for in a job. But it’s also important to consider the candidate’s personality, and what kind of culture they will fit well in.
When working with employers, find out what kind of environment they foster in their workplace. This will help you identify what types of candidates would be interested in working for them. Intangible factors like corporate culture can affect how long employees will stay at a job.
Be Open to Different Types of Candidates
Keeping an open mind is important because finding qualified candidates can be one of the biggest recruiting challenges. Some of the best candidates may not be the kind of people you expect to find.
The days when an employee started working with a company at a young age and continued there for the rest of their life are over. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, estimates indicate that the average American will have held 10 jobs by age forty. This means that the candidates you’ll find may have varied paths that have brought them your way.
For instance, a candidate who is older, or has recently been laid off can be a great option. These candidates have more experience and may be more likely to stay at a company.
Also, don’t count out candidates who currently have jobs. The truth is that most candidates look for a new job while they already have one.
Classic recruiting strategies like email blasts and phone calls can still be effective. But a great way to address recruiting challenges is to take a more creative approach to identifying new candidates.
Tools like social media can help you connect with new candidates, and keep up with candidates that you’re currently working with. Being willing to try new things can also help combat the stigma that all recruiters care about is numbers.
Overcoming Stigma and Other Recruiting Challenges
While there can be a stigma in recruiting, that does not need to stop you from becoming a successful recruiter. Keeping these tips in mind will help you face this challenge head on.
If you are ready to face stigma and other recruiting challenges head-on, MeetToby can help. Check out our tools for recruiters, which will help you follow-up with candidates and get more responses.