Turns out I made a list.
ERE.net and Leadtail just released the 50 Most Popular Recruiting Influencers list and I found myself on it.
Considering the company on same I have to say I am very very humbled. Yes, its true. Recruiters can, and often are humble.
My craft is oft-maligned yet today I offer no defense (defensiveness is so last year…) but rather a prescription, as in, what works.
Even through I don't pretend to have all the answers experience has taught me there are a few keys to credibility in this noble and misunderstood occupation.
- Want to be a better recruiter? Communicate. Period. Over time I've seen that as searches get more and more difficult (purple squirrel anyone?) the neophyte ducks down thus losing support while they vanish into the mist. Your client is not fooled, or amused when you are harder to find. In fact, when things are difficult, over-communicating becomes key. The best recruiters I know are always clear on status and plans. Unambiguous communication of the good, bad and ugly is the only rubric you need.
- Make it easy for your clients to reach you. Yes, I know that sounds elementary but ask yourself a question: why did you get your current assignment? Odds are the difficlulty of finding the last recruiter routinely was a factor. Maybe a big one. Today there are so many different ways to be available to your client you run the risk of being Always On as I wrote yesterday. Yet you need to be reachable and given the clients' business variations this won't always happen at a traditional time. Be grateful for the work. Flexibility is part of the recruiters' code. You'll have to be okay with that to serve their interests well.
- Its true we romance candidates. Every recruiter I know delights in taking someone who would be a great fit and sheparding them through a sometimes confusing – even Byzantine – hiring process and seeing them succesfully placed in a job. Beware: do not fall in love with a car, a house or a candidate. Like? Yes. Love? No. For love is blind. Its imperative to remember who is footing the bill, whose interests you serve. Be your client's advocate and agent in all things.
Stand and Deliver
- Act ethically and forthrightly and you not ony serve your client but yourself. A good rep goes a long way in this business, and having clarity around goals and roles is essential. The stereotype of the recruiter-as-used-car-salesperson is just that: a myth. If you want to last and get referrals you have to deliver on your promises and have ethical behavior. Always. Not just when easy and convenient. Make this your standard and clients will search you out.
Soon I'll write more about the first discipline I fell in love with in HR – the recruiter. A storied and fun role it adds value to organizations large and small.
For now I just wanted to share a few keys that work for me, and ask you to think about how they might help you. List or no list, taking our discipline seriously is not a bad way to start the day.