In the fast-paced world of recruiting, where we’re all moving a mile a minute to find and hire the right candidates for our organizations, it’s easy to excel in certain areas but worry when we see things slipping elsewhere.
The trick is to dwell on what’s in your control and not obsess over what isn’t. That said, even if it’s just incremental, I like to believe there’s always room for improvement in your job.
Here are my five tips on becoming a 100% better recruiter:
1. Put the best interest of the candidate first
Remember, this is someone's livelihood you are impacting—don’t take it lightly. Being a part of someone's future is a powerful thing. Truly wanting to help them in their career development is exciting but it also carries a lot of responsibility.
Continue to check in with the candidate during the interview process. As things progress, try to make sure the role and team still feel like a fit to them, both short and long term. Believe me, they'll be grateful.
2. Act as a client/hiring manager partner
While it's easy to work autonomously as a recruiter, it's crucial to act as a partner to the client or hiring manager.
I set up weekly check-in meetings with hiring managers to review new candidates so I can get their feedback on the spot, discuss candidates they may have screened since we last spoke (if we haven't already had a separate debrief meeting), and ask how they feel about the search to date.
If hiring managers believe there are enough quality candidates in play, I feel good about my performance. If they worry they aren't seeing the quality and type of resumes hoped for, I start another deep sourcing effort. I want to leave them feeling confident that we'll fill their req on time with the right person. It really is a team effort.
3. Stay on top of details throughout the entire hiring process
Take notes, make lists, build spreadsheets and set up reminders—whatever works for you. Misplacing or misinterpreting important details can cost you a star player and reflect poorly on you as an employer.
This diligence is important because it shows you care and helps eliminate errors. When speaking with a candidate, compile detailed notes on compensation expectations (salary, bonus, benefits and stock, if offered), commute (is it a realistic distance to travel daily?) and status of their job search (are they close to receiving other offers?).
Gauge their genuine interest in the company and role so when it comes time to negotiate, you have their words right in front of you. In fact, before we fly non-local candidates in to interview, I have another call with them to discuss the details we’ve previously noted. I want to ensure we’re still on the same page before we invest in travel and a possible relocation.
4. Tackle a little bit of everything every day
Schedule out your day in a way that allows time for meetings, phone screens and reviewing new applicants or sourcing.
I allow myself a maximum of four phone screens a day, no more; otherwise, burnout starts to set in from talking and asking questions, intently listening and trying not to get distracted. If that means I have to push a candidate call out a few extra days, it's better for everyone because they will get my undivided attention.
Some days are crazier than others, but don’t wait until Friday to review every new applicant. You might find yourself catching up on 200+ resumes and feeling like they all look identical after the first three dozen. That's unfair to candidates who could be perfectly qualified and truly want the job. They took the time to apply; you should take the time to accurately review their experience.
5. Don't get overly attached to the end result
Only so much of the hiring process is in our control.
We can have the best intentions to hire the most amazing candidate in record time, but things happen beyond our grasp: candidates accept better offers, interviews go awry, job specifications change mid-search, hiring managers switch responsibilities.
Take heart. I've learned that when things don't always go as smoothly as expected, we often do find a better suited candidate for the role. And, of course, you probably instinctively know that it's smarter to focus on the things you can control and focus your efforts there.
Believe me, staying on your game will lead to more lasting professional relationships, positive candidate and hiring manager experiences, and overall productivity for yourself and your company.