Whether you are a recruiter working as an employee or run your own recruitment agency, you need to make sure you and your team are future-ready.
Many of today’s recruitment experts note that in the not-so-far future, technology will automate almost all monotonous, manual aspects of recruitment, technically doing away with human effort in the process. Things like sourcing, curated talent pools, communication delivery, timeline management, organizing, etc. will all be automated and will require negligible to zero human intervention.
What this implies is that the role of humans in the remaining part of the recruitment process will become even more critical to the success of the entire endeavor. Things like candidate interaction, personalizing communications, selling, negotiating and networking skills and a culture of empathy will set you (and your company) apart.
Here is a quick list of behavioral indicators that will make you and your business future proof, and set you up for success going forward, especially when you are growing your organization. You can use this list to look for winners when hiring for your recruitment team, as you scale.
Become a digital native
As much as it may sound like a generational cohort, it is nothing more than an attitude that some seem to adapt more easily than others and is fairly regardless of their age. A digital native is someone who is open to learning and quickly adopting to technologies and platforms that today’s digital suite has to offer them.
This would include, but not be limited to, optimally using social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, applicant tracking systems, sourcing platforms and the entire gamut of recruitment technology that is being brought in by our thriving start-up ecosystem.
You and every member in your team need to be comfortable with technology, and open to implementing new ways to reach out, connect with, source, process, manage and communicate with candidates, other team members and clients.
This attitude to ride the digital technology wave and being open to experimenting has little to do with your age, as experienced by me first-hand working with hundreds of international recruiters this past year. Consequently, what has worked for you and your business till now might not work tomorrow.
Become a networker
If you aren’t already, start networking. The human capital industry is built by people. Network with colleagues, peers, influencers, candidates, vendors, and clients. For some of you, it might not come naturally – it doesn’t to me either, but that has never stopped me from trying and incrementally get better!
When you finish a meeting with a potential client, end it with a future action item even if it doesn’t result in business. Something far-fetched like a quick catch up on coffee or your favorite beverage a couple of months down the line would do just fine.
Moreover, network offline and online. Connect, share thoughts and ideas, and react to theirs. What’s better — look for people with established networks and reach, and hire them!
Building your network takes years of work, and is a strong, tangible indicator of dedication, hands-on experience, hard work and even success. Recruiters with an established network in their areas of specialization are assets for any team/ organization.
Become a specialist and build credibility around it
This becomes more important as you grow in experience and seniority, or are running your own agency. If it’s the latter, one way to pick specializations is to follow upcoming technologies/industries carefully, and then bet on them.
Read up, connect, and share with experts in those fields, and apply recruitment fundamentals. Build credibility in your areas of specialization, and own them inside out. Likewise, hiring specialists with high credibility in your team significantly increase your chances of success.
The key is to be smart about choosing your specialization, and then carefully building your credibility around it. Nothing attracts a client more than a credible authority from their own industry.
Develop a culture of Empathy
As recruitment becomes more about meaningful interactions between human beings in an otherwise automated world, surprisingly empathy, of all the soft skills, can make you truly differentiate.
Empathy stems from genuinely caring about your clients and candidates. Care about deeply understanding your client’s ethos and company culture, and what kind of a candidate they are actually looking for. Alternately, actually connect with candidates. Understand their dreams and aspirations. Also, always look to get into professional relationships where you can actually add value.
Sure, hire team members who can run on quantitative targets. But also make sure they can empathize with people and situations and can help you design the candidate experience that will set your employer (or company) brand apart.
Own the (recruitment) process
Recruitment is a process-heavy job, which is one of the many things that make it so hard. It is a long series of steps to placement (hire/revenue/win), with a lot of potential leaks in between.
This frustrates people who either do not understand the process well enough or do not respect/believe in it to go through it diligently every time. This makes them susceptible to take short-cuts and increases their chances of making critical mistakes that can easily result in a drop in quality of the candidate, of communication, of candidate or client experience, resulting in loss of business.
Learn the process. Tinker with it constantly till you make it your own and start believing in it. When you hire recruiters in your team, ask them to do the same.
In a few years, you will be recruiting for roles that don’t even exist today. You will be required to connect with, sell, and sell to – the millennials and the Generation Z. Acquiring and mastering these critical set of skills and behaviors, and encouraging their adoption in your teams and companies will gear you up good for whatever the future has in store.