I love hitting the road in my RV. I like being able to stop when I want to enjoy the view at a scenic overlook or just sit and talk around a camp fire at night. However, the time I forgot to fill the LP tank and so didn’t have heat on a 20-degree night? Not a trip highlight.
We’ve all forgotten something on a trip – whether it was a passport, sunscreen or cell phone charger. Similarly, in recruiting, there are also essential items we can’t forget to pack. Here are the top 10 “must have” things that recruiters must have traveling the road to recruiting.
1. Candidate knowledge. Prior to meeting with a candidate, recruiters must have background knowledge about him or her. At minimum, do a quick preview via a search on LinkedIn and Twitter. In addition to obtaining knowledge about professional skillsets, learn about their life interests so you can connect on a personal level. It also helps you know what candidates look like, so if you’re meeting in a public location such as a coffee shop, you can greet them with confidence.
2. Company background. Recruiters must always pack with them client insight as they pinpoint talent. The interview is a two-way street, says Lisa Holden. “The candidate is determining whether or not you, the work environment and company are a fit. Recruiters are often responsible for a company’s first impression so make sure it’s a good one! Check out the company you’re recruiting for on Glassdoor so you know what points candidates are likely to ask about and prepare answers that align with the company’s brand.”
3. Job descriptions. Always have open jobs’ details and descriptions with you. Look at your recruiting software and any notes you might have about the company culture and background. Ask the candidate questions customized for that job to gain better clarity into that “just right” fit during the interview.
4. Ability to listen. Recruiters must remember to pack the ability to listen. Katrina Collier says listening is about more than tuning in to what is said out loud. “A great recruiter knows how to find out what’s not being said. I always joke about the 2 ears: 1 mouth ratio but it’s so incredibly true.”
5. Communication skills. Be able to explain clearly the benefits of the company, the specific requirements of the job opening and what skills the candidate needs to have. Suzy Tonini says that clarity is crucial in an interview. “Explain to me what [the] company does as if I’ve never heard of it.”
6. Niche knowledge. One thing that recruiters must have at all times is niche industry insight. Niche knowledge helps you to better connect with talent because you know their world, language and trends in that industry. It also helps you improve recruiting efforts, since you know which companies are expanding or downsizing. For example, if a company’s losing money, people who work there are more likely to talk to you about career moves.
7. Culture sense. Knowledge of a client’s corporate culture is key to pack at all times, says Jessica Merrell. Ask the candidate questions to see how she’ll fit within the company’s culture and work environment. “It doesn’t matter how great a candidate looks on paper. He or she must be able to work with the team.”
8. Responsiveness. Scott Wintrip says that the most important thing a recruiter can have is speed. “[Be] the most responsive provider who provides quality talent on demand. Achieving this requires better focus, improved execution, and a nimble response.”
9. Mobile access. Recruiters should always have mobile access to their staffing software via smartphone or laptop. You need to be able to respond to passive talent when they’re ready to change careers or email resumes when you’re assigned a new job order.
10. Assurance of follow-up. Mike Lejeune says that recruiters must stay organized and systematic about communicating with candidates after the interview is over as well. “I need to develop the ability to be able to reach out to candidates in a number of ways – verbally, writing, electronically corresponding – about the role you play.”
You’re packed and ready, fully equipped with a packing list of 10 things to have so you don’t get burned. Now it’s time to hit the road.
Read recruiting tips that include Bond’s survey results of recruiters in the whitepaper, “Topping the Charts: What Your Peers Say About How to Fill More Orders Faster in Today’s Recruiting Industry.”