Thursday, 13 February 2014

What can HR learn from recruiters

By: Lloyd Gordon business director/board director

One of the key things that the human resources can learn from recruiters is the treat the process of scouting for new talent as a marketing exercise.

More people than ever are constantly on the look out for a new position. Unlike years ago, where changing a job was uncommon, and considered as big an upheaval as moving home, nowadays people are willing to change.

The constant stream of social media and the fact it's often used as a recruiting tool makes accessibility to the jobs market a daily feature. It streams in, like the news. This creates awareness and competitiveness. Marketing positions becomes a more creative task. Organisations need novel ways to hook and secure the best talent.

Reach out further

Building a unique career site on the company webpage is a good idea, as is casting the job opportunity out into the social networks. Attracting a maximum number of applicants is the ideal, and this is not always achieved now with a straightforward jobs board. Having a larger pool of talent to pick from increases the chances of finding the candidate who is the best fit.

Use of analytics is another key tool that recruiters utilise to better understand their clientele. The more information on the candidate the better. Skill set, salary expectation, career ambition, geographical location and willingness to move, are all significant data.

Interest and friendship groups are not irrelevant. The right person is not always the one who sounds good on paper, they have to really want the job, and to see it as a progression. HR will all too often select on basis of suitability without taking in the bigger picture. This can soon lead to a brain-drain as the talented start looking again.

Learning curve

This creates an opportunity to learn from past mistakes. Why did that person not stay with the company? Are you reaching out to a wide enough spread of applicants? How much traffic comes to view the career page? Can you improve it? The tools are there to find and engage, it is a matter of using them.

Recruiters go in-depth into an individual’s circumstances and find out what they really want, including money. HR need to do likewise. Everyone is their own 'brand' these days and recruiters take pains to fit that to the company’s brand and style.

Cultivation of the relationship is at the core of the discussion. A good receuiter will keep a strong candidate in mind, even if the right position is not immediately available. HR should do this too, by maintaining precise databases and being able to recall previous applicants.

Work both ways

Perhaps the major lesson HR could learn from recruiters is not to sit back and let people come to them. Actively searching in the vast pool of talent out there is by far more effective. A recruiter has a two-way relationship - with the client and with the job-seeker. HR need to position themselves in the same way. They are not just 'the company', they have the interests of the applicants at heart too. It is symbiotic is the two can match. Many candidates are creative and clever. It is time for HR departments to live up to those criteria too.

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