Recruiters: What is your First Impression, to Clients?

Do you know what your first impression is on others?   When speaking with your clients what impression do you leave?   These are important to think about.

I believe first impressions are one of the keys to recruiting success.   Everyone we talk to has a problem that they want us to help them solve.    Clients have a job opening that needs filled and Job Seekers are looking for a new career path.    It is the first impression that they will remember.   This post is going to focus on the client aspect and relationship.   (Candidate post coming soon.)

If you are talking to a first time client, what is the impression you want to leave with them?    Are you listening to their problem?   All clients are not the same – do not treat them that way.   You have to listen to what they are actually saying.  Listen to the big overall problem as well as the smaller ones.  When I am talking to a new client, I want them to know that I am their partner and ally, their Trusted Advisor.   That I am the “Go-to-Guy” for their Recruiting issues.  They will know that I provided them with the best service, listened to and understand their issues and was up-front and honest with them regarding the process.

Hopefully, now they have decided to give you a try but they probably want to ”test you” with a harder to fill order before they start giving you most or all of their business.     This order is probably one that has been open for months, given to many other recruiters and is that “Purple Squirrel” type of position.  What do you do?

This is your chance to woo them.   The most important task to do here is to roll out the red carpet and treat them like they are your only client.    Contrary to conventional thinking, the MOST important issue is not whether you fill this order BUT how you treat them during this hiring process.    Let them know up front, what to expect from you and as a new client, what you expect from them.    Keep them in the loop the entire process.   Tell them what is difficult about this search and what potential matches you have found.  Don’t be afraid to give them the bad news as well as the good.  Make them feel at ease while working with you and make sure they feel that they are an intimate part of this process.   The new client should be involved throughout so they can start feeling comfortable with how you recruit.   As stated above, be their true Consultant and Trusted Advisor.  This is your one chance to put yourself in that category with them, versus just another staffing firm.

How you treat the first order is the factor they will use to give you more business, all of the little things do matter.

Think back, on your last new client.   What was your first impression, on them?  Now look at that person in the mirror and commit to being even better next time!!!

Do not put all your eggs in one basket…

Dear Job Seeker,

I am glad that we have started to work together, in your job search.    As a Recruiter, who partnered with you, I will do my best to help you land that NEW opportunity you are looking for.    We will talk and get to know each other, to find the best job and best fit for you and the Company.   My goal is your goal = Getting you the new job and for you to start your new career.

But what else are you doing?   Are you still looking on your own?   Are you still networking?   Are you still doing the things you need to do to find that job?   Did you update your LinkedIn profile and are you using social media?  Are you talking with other recruiters?   Do not put all your eggs in one basket.

I would love to be the one who can help you but the fact is – I can not help everyone, in their time of need.    I may not have a job opening you are a match for, at that time.  Not everyone is a fit for every job and not every job is a fit for everyone.   You need to do what is best for you – keep networking, keep participating on social media, keep applying, keep working with Recruiters and keep doing the tasks you need to do.    If I can help you in your job search or give you helpful tips, I will.     If you get that new job you have been looking for, through another venue, CONGRATS!   As a recruiter, I am not here to hurt your job search but to help and compliment it.   

In short, there are many tasks you need to do, when looking for a new job.  Do Not Put Your Eggs in One Basket, do all of the tasks you need to do, to reach your goal:  A New Job.

10 Traits of a Successful Recruiter

There are certain traits I think every Recruiter needs to have, to be successful.    Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Be structured.   Recruiting is a few simple disciplines practiced every day.
  2. Be able to adapt.   You must me able to drop what you are doing to start something else.   You never know where that next phone call is going to take you.   This is the people business, we deal with people all day long.   Even though each situation or scenario is the same – it is also different.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.   You don’t know everything.   Ask the candidate and company – they are the experts.   Keep learning and become the expert in the industry.
  4. Partner with the Candidate.   You are in this together.   Be the expert, be the advisor and counselor.   Make sure they have a good candidate experience.   They are going to get a job and if it is not yours then make sure they remember you and refer others to you.
  5. Pick-up the phone.   Too many newer recruiters are relying on technology and email.    Just pick up the phone and talk to people.
  6. Use new technology with old techniques.   You should be using social media to recruit and source.   You should be using and know boolean strings.   But you should also be networking, asking for referrals and again pick up the phone and make some cold calls.
  7. Prioritize.    What is the most important task for you to do today?    Is it sourcing new candidates?   Interview prep?  Each day is going to be different regarding which tasks are most important.
  8. Have a good home support system.   Recruiting is NOT an 8-5 job.   If that is what you want then choose another profession.  
  9. Embrace patience.   Everything doesn’t happen overnight.   My sense of urgency is not the same as others.
  10. Handle rejection.    You will hear “NO” more often than “YES”.   Get used to it.  

Did I miss any?    Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

8 Phrases that Describe a Successful Recruiter…

Question: What do you look for in a Recruiter?

Attention Job Seekers:

  1. What do you look for in a Recruiter?   
  2. What questions do you ask?  
  3. What are your expectations?

Leave a comment – tell our Recruiter community what you look for!

Social Networking’s Guide to Finding Employment

Social MediaWith the unemployment rates at an all time high, it is essential, now more than ever, to tap into alternative ways of getting noticed—and getting hired. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists have relied mainly on the job boards for their pool of resumes. Sites like CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, Dice.com, and many others are over-flowing with resumes from every industry and educational level. With such a large pool of competition, how can anyone become noticed?

Many recruiters rely on a well-crafted Boolean search string and wait for the website to spit out a handful of resumes that match their job description. But this method can only give recruiters a list of skills, completely overlooking the essence of who these job seekers really are. Most job seekers do not understand the processes recruiters use to find talented professionals, and as a result, become overlooked. The use of social networking creates a new layer for job seekers. The power of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are drawing attention. There are millions of users on these sites. This is no longer a want-ad kind of world—this is a world of cut throat competition based on who you know and who you impress. Social networking can bridge the gap between a nameless resume to a memorable meeting with executives and recruiters ready to put you to work.

LinkedIn is a networking site geared toward professionals. This site has over 135 million members with the majority over the age of 25 making an annual income in the six figure range. LinkedIn members are serious about their professions by linking up with other professionals in and out of their industries. LinkedIn members conduct themselves in a more professional matter than members of Facebook which is geared more towards casual contact. LinkedIn also comes up in the top 5% of all Google.com searches. It is a key site to present your best professional face to the working world. Connecting with co-workers and friends on LinkedIn is appropriate; however, the key is to not limit yourself to those you know. By expanding your LinkedIn connections, there are more opportunities to network with professionals working in companies you might be interested in. Also, joining LinkedIn groups can give you an inside view of company news.

LinkedIn is not the only social networking site that can help land jobs. Facebook and Twitter also have a huge web presence. Many potential employers scan your Twitter feeds and Facebook posts in an effort to get to know you. Updating your statuses to reflect that you are job hunting will get attention. People are more than resumes and companies recognize that. In fact, recently a company posted an advertisement for an investment analyst but instead of receiving traditional resumes, job seekers were asked to provide their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook links along with a video message as to why these candidates wanted this job. They are most interested in what people are like, what they are like to work with, how they think. By utilizing social media, hiring companies can get a better feel for potential hires and avoid the jungle of faceless resumes.

If you are still not convinced that social media can help you land a job, try these statistics on for size. For every six people, one gets hired using social media. Over half of job seekers use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find jobs. When polled 18,400,000 people say that Facebook got them a job, 8,000,000 give Twitter credit for their jobs, and 10,200,000 people credit LinkedIn with their current positions. And remember, the average LinkedIn user makes over $100,000 in annual income. Do I have your attention?

So, how exactly do sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help you network and land a great job? First, it is common knowledge that having an inside contact is incredibly beneficial for finding a great job. That’s how I got my current job, but not everyone has a second cousin or friend of a friend that can give inside information or push your resume to the top of the stack. This is where savvy networking can educate you and bring attention to your profile with the big bosses. For instance, searching LinkedIn for company employees can bring you to the person that might end up interviewing you. This is the time to send a private message to connect—only. Pushing your resume during this first contact is ineffective and will most likely get you nowhere. Begin by asking questions about his or her job and develop a relationship. Your contact will be more likely to endorse you if you begin this way—trust me. Also, use groups to connect with people. You will most likely link up with someone in the same group verses going straight for the HR person who will delete your Inmail. And don’t stop there, find out about the person doing the interviewing. Pointing out commonalities goes a long way in relationship building and elbow rubbing.

Using social media has its advantages for getting you noticed. Millions of members take part in professional websites. It is a bridge that fills the gap between an anonymous resume and your professional presence. Recruiters and hiring managers alike troll these sites for potential hires. Introduce yourself and you will get that virtual handshake—that’s a promise.

Resume Tailored to perfection- or not?

OK I do not want this to be some meaningless rant, but I spend a lot….no really A LOT of time going through resumes with people. I tell them the good the bad and the ugly. I go line by line and tell them what to add, what to take out, what to reword  and how to say some things better. I take pride in helping people with this.

SO…I must ask why don’t you listen to me? Why would you add 1 word into your resume and send it back to me asking if this is better?

A great resume can get you an interview! So a few things to remember:

  1. Do not use the same 4 bullet points under every job description copy and paste is never a good selling point!
  2. If you consider yourself an expert in Excel do not simply list Excel on your resume, show how you use it
  3. If you have a list of skills and software broken out at the top of your resume, be sure to add it into the bullet points of your jobs as well, hiring managers like to see how and when you gained your experience and used these skills
  4. If you spent 3 months on a contract for one role and it has 15 bullet points and 8 years at a FTE role and it has 3 bullet points this raises a question mark, make sure you are adding real experience from all roles
  5. It is no longer important for a resume to fit on 1 page, but it should not be 12 pages either
  6. The top Objective – Almost Every single person writes a version of “Looking for a role where I can build on my past experiences. I am self-motivated and work well individually or in a team environment. I am looking for a company this is interested in efficiency and performance.”  OK this is the header of your resume! The thing that is going to draw people in and sell you; and I am 3 sentences in and I still do not know what you do! How about a Summary of your career past and your goal for your next role. “I have 13 years of experience as a Business Analyst in both Finance and Healthcare industries. I have experience leading JAD sessions and creating BRDs and FRDs. My ability to listen to my clients needs and to ask the right questions enables me to document the requirements and to communicate their needs with the technical team. I am currently looking for a new Business Analyst role and am available to interview immediately. Honestly I just typed this off the top of my head and more can be added, but I think you get my point.

Most importantly don’t let me tell you all of this in a 1 on 1 meeting and then send me back a resume with the word Excel added under every job.

Don’t be scared to speak up.

I know there are a lot of people out there that have had at least one, if not multiple bad experiences with a recruiter. Heck, I have and I am one. (Not you Bruce Rowles. You are the best!) So, I understand if you get another call (probably your 3rd of the day if you’re a Java Developer) and you aren’t overly optimistic. But, if you do decide to spend time on the phone with one, and agree to being submitted to a job, keep in touch.

Now, I realize this is a 2-way street and that there has been a time or 2 in the past where you never heard back from your recruiter. But, there are some of us out there that actually enjoy helping people get jobs. We like calling you with updates about your interview times and preparing you with tips on what works in an interview.

We take pride in helping you re-arrange your resume’s format to make it “pop”. Enjoy telling you how to best learn about the company and person you’re meeting with and providing you with details about the job/company Monster’s hyperlink to HR fails to give you. These are some of the benefits of working with a top-notch recruiter.

So, with that being said, why would you entertain the initial phone call, talk about your job history, goals and desires, ask to be submitted for a job, dress up pretty for an interview, accept the job offered, take a drug test, get fingerprinted for the background check, fill out paperwork and then NOT show up for your first day?!?

No longer are you answering the phone when I call. You have decided to not respond to emails. Text message are no longer reaching you. You have officially disappeared from planet Earth. But why? Magic? Probably not.

More likely is that something just wasn’t quite right for you. You had a bad feeling in your gut. “Instinct”. We all get those feelings and it’s completely normal. What you DON’T want to do is ignore that recruiter who helped you get the job. Who taught you about interviewing and provided insight into processes and procedures that increased your interviewing effectiveness and led to an eventual job offer.

Don’t be scared to speak up regarding ANYTHING! Good recruiters are like agents. We represent you the way you want to be represented. If you have a question, just ask. If it’s not an answer you want, that’s okay. Now I know exactly what you want/think/feel so the next time we work together, the job I present you with will be more in-line with what you want and you are happy as a pig in…..

A bird in the hand…

Have you ever heard the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.”?   Simply put, this means a definite thing is still better than 2 maybes.   The same goes with Job Offers.

If you are actively looking for a new career then you are probably interviewing and applying for jobs.   Some of these opportunities are probably AWESOME.    They would offer a pay raise, a chance to work close to home and to work at a job that you have dreamed of doing.

However you have also interviewed and applied for jobs that are like your most recent one and have true experience doing.    After a couple of interviews they come back and offer you the job.    Is it your dream job?  Maybe not a dream job but a very good job that you are qualified for.   Now comes the dilemma.   Do you accept or hold out for what is the dream job.

I have heard of this scenario many times.   What do you do?    That is when I always go back to this saying.   “A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.”     I am not saying you should accept it just to accept it.   But if you have a good feeling about the job and feel you can be successful there – then YES – ACCEPT IT.     Do not stall or wait to see if you get the other jobs.   There are 100’s of people applying for those other jobs too.   If you do turn down the job offer and do not get the dream job then you are exactly where you started – Still looking.

 

Bruce

 

Job Seekers and Recruiters: Are you on about.me?

A friend showed me About.me this week.   What a great site and a way for everyone to have their own splash page.   This is a great new site that allows the person to display their background, specialities and contact information. (My page is here)

 

Job Seekers – Recruiting is evolving and we search the internet for candidates before we even put ads on the job boards.   Why not have your background, specialities and contact information all in one place, easier for us to contact you?   In a paragraph or 2 explain your background and tell your story.   Everyone has a story and you need to tell yours.   As a Job Seeker you should make it as easy as possible for recruiters and hiring managers to find you and contact you.  

 

Recruiters – We are a dime a dozen, there are recruiters everywhere.   I try to differentiate myself to my client companies and the people who I represent.   This helps me do just that.   This gives them a background of me and how to contact me.   I plan on using this as a personal brand tool.   Not all recruiters are the same and work the same.   I want everyone to know what to expect from me and what I expect from them, if I am their recruiter.

 

Question – What do you do to separate yourself from the pack?

 

 

Bruce Rowles

 

 

 

Perspectives of a New Recruiter Part 2 of 2

     I have encountered all types of people thus far in my short recruiting career.  I’ve heard people tell me that they aren’t really looking for a job because their unemployment is paying too well right now and they don’t want to give that up, no matter how good the position I am presenting to them.  I’m sure every recruiter has unlimited outrageous stories of things they’ve heard from candidates, clients, and interviews gone awry.  I have some of these same stories however they all seem to involve the people that do not get the job.  I prefer to focus on successes and how wonderful it makes me feel to not only please our clients, but to also help someone achieve a goal which is central to their quality of life.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hearing/sharing my stories of weirdness when it comes to this profession however, I think that is another blog post altogether. 

In my opinion I work with some of the best recruiters in the business.  Bruce has been an integral part of my success.  He has served as an amazing mentor and confidant.  He has always taken the time to answer all of my questions, which must seem endless at times.  He has been in this industry a long time and loves what he does.  He helps to keep me motivated and to keep things in perspective.  He always provides words of encouragement and constructive criticism which make me a better recruiter.  Todd is another recruiter who has helped me in numerous ways as well.  He has a great report with everyone he speaks with and has also helped to mentor me.  His advice and help have been invaluable and an integral ingredient in my success.  I work with a great team and my success is a direct reflection of their skills, abilities, experience, and unending support.

To this point I think the most important lesson I have learned is this; recruiting is not easy.  It’s stressful, aggravating, tiring, at times infuriating, and taxing.  Recruiting is also fulfilling, gratifying, and a source of great pride for me personally.  You cannot be successful in this business if you are not self-motivated.  There are so many ups and downs in this profession that I feel that I’m on a rollercoaster most weeks however, it keeps me on my toes.  With everyday comes a new challenge and reward.  I love the diversity in my work and not knowing what kind of situation will arise with each ring of the telephone or e-mail in my inbox.  For me, this is where I want to be and what I want to be doing.  I am an Associate Recruiter for Experis and I’m very proud of that.

In Recruiting the little things DO matter…

I was taught and learned early on the little things do matter.   Everything in this business is a process and has a sequence.   Follow that process and sequence and you will have a greater success.   I have found that when I “short-cut” or rush through, my candidates have less of a chance of getting hired. 

Your sequence may be different than mine – do what works for you and your desk.     Write out your sequence and post it on your desk.   Keep it in-front of you to see daily.   As you are talking to a candidate, setting up interviews and speaking with clients – did you do everything listed?    Was everything covered and discussed?    Most times when a person is not hired it is because something was missed.

 

 

Bruce Rowles

Perspectives of a New Recruiter Part 1 of 2

“Hey Chris, have you ever thought about working in recruiting?”.  That’s how it all started.  This was a question posed to me by my now Managing Director at a local networking event I attended.  I had recently graduated with my Masters degree in Human Services and was actively looking for an entry-level position in Human Resources.    I had considered going into recruiting but most of the positions I had seen  were in-house recruiting positions and they all “preferred” experience within the field.  I discussed the field of recruiting with my now Managing Director and did some homework on my own.  After a few interviews I had my first job in the recruiting industry, I was a contract sourcer. 

I worked as a contract sourcer for several months before being hired on permanently as an Associate Recruiter with Experis.  I currently have the opportunity to go through a one year certification/training program which will eventually lead to being one of the first Certified Recruiters for my company.  While I have only been working in the recruiting industry for 10 months, I have gained great insight into the recruiting world.  I have learned what a unique culture it is and how many challenges go along with this industry.  Every day I continue to have my eyes opened, in both good and bad ways, to the adventure and challenges of putting people to work.

  I learned very quickly that recruiting is sales.  As someone who swore they would never work in sales I found this truth to be ironic.  But what I realized is that I had a very negative stereotype of what I thought “sales” was.  I have learned that while we are sales people, we are ultimately helping people improve their lives.  While I understand this may sound a bit dramatic, I truly believe this and it is reaffirmed every time a candidate thanks me for helping them land a job, improve their resume, or refer them to a resource that is useful to them.  I take great pride in this role and it is one of the main aspects which keep me highly motivated to do what I am doing.

I understand that as recruiters we “work” for our clients.  They give us the opportunity to work for them and ultimately trust us to help them achieve their business goals.  In fact, my Managing Director has a saying that rings true to this fact.  When asked what we do, he says “We help our clients win in the world of work in the most economical way”.  I’ve learned our clients are the reason we are here however; I also believe that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do for our clients without our candidates.

Providing a positive experience for our candidates has been of stressed importance since my first day on the job.  I have always witnessed and been trained to give the candidates we speak with a great experience and great service.  This will ultimately set us apart from our competitors but also will show our candidates that we want to get to know more about them than what is on their resume.  We want to know what they WANT to do, where they want to go, what their situation is, and what is going to be the best fit for them.  This helps us not only to connect with our candidates, but also helps our candidates connect with us.  Ultimately, this also helps us provide the best fit possible for our clients by having a deeper understanding of our candidates.  We want to help our candidates feel like a person and not a number or just another resume in a database.  

To Be Continued……..

Ready to get motivated for the new year? Here’s how!

I want to start this off by saying, I did not write this. At least, not the 14 items listed. I do, however believe in the content whole heartedly. There are countless reasons to stay motivated and everyone has their own reasons to be motivated. The 14 items below can help you stay on track!

1. Condition your mind. Train yourself to think positive thoughts while avoiding negative thoughts.

2. Condition your body. It takes physical energy to take action.  Get your food and exercise budget in place and follow it like a business plan.

3. Avoid negative people. They drain your energy and waste your time, so hanging with them is like shooting yourself in the foot.

4. Seek out the similarly motivated. Their positive energy will rub off on you and you can imitate their success strategies.

5. Have goals–but remain flexible. No plan should be cast in concrete, lest it become more important than achieving the goal.

6. Act with a higher purpose.  Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is wasted effort–and should be avoided.

7. Take responsibility for your own results. If you blame (or credit) luck, fate or divine intervention, you’ll always have an excuse.

8. Stretch past your limits on a daily basis. Walking the old, familiar paths is how you grow old. Stretching makes you grow and evolve.

9. Don’t wait for perfection; do it now! Perfectionists are the losers in the game of life.  Strive for excellence rather than the unachievable.

10. Celebrate your failures. Your most important lessons in life will come from what you don’t achieve. Take time to understand where you fell short.

11. Don’t take success too seriously. Success can breed tomorrow’s failure if you use it as an excuse to become complacent.

12. Avoid weak goals.  Goals are the soul of achievement, so never begin them with “I’ll try …” Always start with “I will” or “I must.”

13. Treat inaction as the only real failure.  If you don’t take action, you fail by default and can’t even learn from the experience.

14. Think before you speak.  Keep silent rather than express something that doesn’t serve your purpose.

 

    This is taken from Geoffrey James |  @Sales_Source 

2012 is right around the corner. What are you doing to prepare for the best year of your life?!?

What Would Grandma Say?

How does an individual looking for a job, or a professional interacting with other professionals determine what is, and is not, appropriate to post on social networks?

I’m on Facebook, I’m on Twitter and I’m on LinkedIn. I have been a social media participant for several years now. For business I use Twitter and LinkedIn. For personal use I’m on Facebook in order to stay in touch with family and friends. The line between business and personal is sometimes grayed as many clients and co-workers have moved from business associates on LinkedIn to personal friends on Facebook.

If you look at what I post I try to keep almost everything informative however I usually incorporate some aspect of my personality. Typically this means blending my sense of humor into what is usually a link to a business article. I operate in a professional world where work does not stay at the office. Cleveland is a small town and I run into clients and candidates every time I go out with friends or my wife. Long story short I have to portray professionalism in real life and via social media in virtually everything I do.

In all honestly, I have sometimes struggled with taking my sense of humor too far, saying something that you might not find funny or posting something that could prove offensive. We’ve all heard the horror stories about individuals who have lost jobs or not been hired because of something they posted in the past. Remember, what you put online never goes away.

That’s why I follow my own rule of “What Would Grandma Say?”. What would my grandmother say if she saw this post. Would she be embarrassed for her grandson, or proud. If my grandmamma would object to how I say something, or something I plan to post to Twitter, I probably shouldn’t post it at all. I’m a big believer in being yourself, and that we should all communicate and share in ways that show off our positive qualities. That said, the things I say and do in front of grandma are typically much more filtered than what I say and do in front of friends. As such, the things I say and do on social media should also be much more filtered than what I say and do in front of friends. What Would Grandma Say about this post?

My purpose…

I am a recruiter who loves what I do.     I like to learn new innovative ways to do my job and to better my craft.   I love sharing what I learn with others out there, in the recruiting industry and in the world in general.  

 

I have been recruiting since 1999 – A lot has changed since then.   This is an ever-changing job and profession, which is one of the main reasons why I enjoy it so much.   I was told once that Recruiting is “A FEW SIMPLE DISCIPLINES PRACTICED EVERYDAY” and this is so true.   Even though you must do these disciplines daily, the way you do them has evolved.  I will mostly write about these changes/updates and how I use them to recruit.    Some might say these are the secrets recruiters use to help their clients and candidates get the job they are looking for.

 

I am hoping this is useful to other recruiters and job seekers.  Feel free to comment and ask any questions you may have to me and the others who have volunteered to contribute to the site.  These are our opinions and thoughts – and with over 100 years of combined experience we are still learning too.  Welcome to…THE RECRUITER FILES.