Quit smoking. Cut down drinking. Eat healthier. Exercise more. Be… better. No doubt one or more of these crossed your mind as the new year rolled around – but what about your professional resolutions?
With 2016 officially in full swing, it’s an apt time to reflect on your career. Where you want to be, what’s been holding you back, what you can do better this year than last. With that in mind, we reflect on the top 7 recruitment bad habits – and what you can do to avoid them. Did you know that your firm, and hiring team can benefit from free online recruiting software? Let us show you how. Click here to let Recruiteze help you recruit easier!
It’s resolution time, folks. If you catch yourself doing any of these, it’s time to banish the habit.
1) You’re Stuck in a Rut
You know the old adage: if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
This applies to everything you do. Sourcing. Writing job adverts. Interviewing. Headhunting. Using social media. If you rely on the same old channels, the same old language and the same old processes, you’ll be much less likely to find that game-changing candidate.
Shake things up a little. There’s no need to abandon everything you’ve known, but try and recruit more mindfully. Recruitment can sometimes feel mindnumbingly routine – break the routine and try something new.
Do things in a new order. Write a new email template for business development or headhunting. Make BD calls at a different time. Get someone with a different perspective to sit in on interviews. Ask candidates for a video submission instead of a 1st stage telephone interview.
2) You Avoid Making Calls
If you listen to anyone, listen to Greg Savage. A highly experienced recruiter and influencer in the recruitment space, one of Greg’s biggest frustrations with recruiters is that they refuse to pick up the phone.
Having been a recruiter myself, I speak from experience when I say cold calling is hard. It can be awkward and uncomfortable. It goes against our natural social impulse not to a make a nuisance of ourselves.
So many recruiters, wanting to avoid that sinking, sweaty-palms feeling of picking up the phone to someone who might not want to speak to you, just don’t.
They revert to emails. To social media. To InMail. To something where you don’t have to be directly confronted by your own unpopularity. They hide behind technology.
The facts bear this out (from Greg, via Social Talent):
Unfortunately, response rates are more then twice as high by phone. There are plenty of studies illustrating this. For example, Salesforce found that telephone outreach out-converted email outreach by nearly 200%.
If you’re one of the 94% of recruiters not using the phone to prospect, make that your 2016 professional resolution. Your business will thank you.
3) You Send Generic Emails
Emails and InMails do have their place. A well-timed, well-researched email can open doors to you, as a recruiter. An InMail can provide a direct line to senior candidates who you might not otherwise be able to reach.
But, and there’s a big but: spam. It’s tempting, I know. If you view recruitment as a numbers game, the extended reach that email or InMail provides you is incredibly attractive.
You can see how recruiters do the math – if you’re averaging a ratio of 25 cold calls to get one candidate, it seems obvious that 100 emails will net you 4 candidates, with a fraction of the effort.
The math is wrong, though. 100 generic emails are worth a fraction of a personalized email (and a fraction again of a personalized call).
If you want your prospects to sit up and pay attention, you have to write better InMails. Tailor each message to the recipient, to their background, interests, activities, mutual connections, passions, anything. Anything that is specific to them.
And no, Dear [First Name] doesn’t count.
4) You Aren’t Transparent About Following Up
If you’ve been reading the RecruitEze blog for a while, you’ll know our perspective on candidate experience: you simply can’t ignore it.
A great candidate experience means a stronger brand, better hires, better retention and more loyal prospect base. A bad candidate experience and word will spread quickly and your brand capital will decrease. You’ll find it more and more difficult to make critical hires. Ultimately, exaggeration aside, a bad candidate experience can drive whole businesses into the ground.
Which comes back to following up. One of the biggest complaints candidates have about recruiters is that they never call back. I know – recruiters are crazy busy and it’s impossible to call back every single person you speak to. I remember it well. Time spent not on revenue generating activity isn’t, you know, generating revenue.
It seems like a deadlock – but it needn’t be. Simply being up front to candidates about when they should expect to hear from you can go a long way.
If a candidate wasn’t right when you first qualified them, be honest. Tell them you’ll call them if another opportunity comes up but otherwise, not to expect to hear from you. Explain that you have to rely on generic ‘you haven’t been successful this time around’ emails because of how busy you are.
Whatever it is you do, the frustration from the candidate side comes when they expect you to do something you don’t. Bringing them into the loop from the get-go lowers their expectation, decreases the frustration, and improves the candidate experience. You don’t have to call everyone back, but you do have to be honest. Win/Win/Win.
5) You Give Up Too Soon
Closely linked to not picking up the phone is the idea of persistence. Repeatedly calling back prospects when you’re been explicitly discouraged from doing so goes against our instincts. It’s much easier to grit your teeth through the first unsuccessful call, then write them off as a prospect and call someone else.
- 44% of sales people give up after one ‘no’
- Another 22% give up after two ‘no’s’
- Another 14% give up after three ‘no’s’
- Finally, a further 12% give up after four ‘no’s’
In other words, a staggering 92% of recruiters give up before the 5th contact.
Then, consider the fact that 80% of sales are made on the fifth contact. Yup. That means that 8% of salespeople are winning 80% of the sales – all because they’re persistent.
So, if you feel like quitting this 2016, remember that persistence really is king, so far as recruitment is concerned.
6) You Shy Away From New Technologies
Recruitment isn’t the place to always rely on what’s worked in the past. It’s a fast-paced, competitive, rapidly evolving industry and you should be constantly looking for new ways to gain a competitive edge.
There are new innovations, technologies and tools released on an almost daily basis. Refusing to try them is limiting yourself.
Embrace social media recruiting, for example. Think of ways you can leverage big data to refine your recruitment strategies. Experiment with different online recruiting software packages. For instance, Recruiteze is free online recruiting software that really helps you save lots of time with your daily hiring tasks. Give it a try without obligation today!
Don’t shy away from new technologies because they’re new, in other words. If you do, you can be sure your competitors won’t – and you’ll be resigned to the recruiter graveyard.
7) You Neglect Your Pipeline
Recruitment can feel a lot like fire fighting. Emails coming in more quickly than you can answer them. The phone ringing off the hook. Multiple active roles who all needed candidates yesterday.
One of the biggest recruitment bad habits is to spend so much time on the immediate tasks that you forget about the long-term game. Yes, you might be inundated with roles right now, but getting through next month’s slump means having a thriving job and candidate pipeline.
The best recruiters hit consistent billing figures month on month, precisely because they nurture their pipeline. Good recruitment is like chess – you should be thinking 2, 3, and 4 moves ahead.
So, even when you’re completely flat out working your active roles, still make time for business development – at least weekly if not daily. Make time for candidate outreach via social media. Make time to build relationships with passive candidates. Make time to blog.
Spend time on the activities that will pay off for you longer term (anything to do with building relationships) and you’ll be able to build a sustainable, consistent recruitment business.
As we move into 2016, it’s high time to banish those recruiter bad habits for once and for all. As an industry with a notoriously low barrier to entry, it’s an unfortunate fact that there are more than a few bad apples in the barrel (through ignorance more so than will).
However, it’s also easy to differentiate yourself as there aren’t that many great recruiters out there. Becoming great at recruitment isn’t like becoming great at Astrophysics or Economics. That’s not to say it’s easy, or simple, or not worthwhile but simply to say that there are minimal highly specialized skills you need to do it. It’s the small things: look at point 5. If 92% of recruiters aren’t even making the 5th call on which 80% of sales hinge, that’s a really easy way to set yourself apart.
Make these 7 things part of your professional New Year’s Resolution and 2016 will bring you better candidates, better clients and more money on the board at the end of each month.
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