AI will never replace a great recruiting partner!

Handshake with a happy, confident and excited business woman When some recruiters are asked to articulate their value in the recruiting process, they often shortchange their real value, not totally understanding the role they play in who and how an employee is actually recruited and hired.  In house or corporate recruiters who’ve created the recruiting function on a shoestring, often compare the resources they have to work with what they know is available in the recruiting marketplace and see all the ways they come up short.  This is particularly true as new AI based technologies are creeping into the recruiting landscape at breakneck speed.

I could be so much more effective if I only I had access to more AI and a better ATS.  If I could list our openings on some of the more high powered (and expensive) job boards that use AI I would be able to find better candidates?   If there was just more time to figure out how to use AI to develop a more robust social media strategy? 

Yes, there are many things in the recruiting process that no recruiter can’t totally control, but when it comes to assessing recruiter effectiveness, with or without AI tools,  they are lots of things to pay attention to that don’t really have much to do with AI.  This is where the real important stuff that drives recruiting success comes into play.

Here are five things that come to mind that any recruiter – corporate, independent, or  third party – can put into practice TODAY that we know makes a big difference in recruiting outcomes.  

1.  Know Your Customer’s Recruiting Story – Tell It Often and Well

A good recruiter knows that at some point in the recruiting process, the mechanics of a particular ATS system or their skills to find the hard-to-find no longer matter. Their ability to tell the story of “why this job, this company, should be the job or company for you” is what makes the difference.

“Why should I consider working here?” is the fundamental question candidates are asking as they start an application process or consider a job offer. Effective recruiters have a library of stories they can use to answer that question. And for different candidates, a different job, the story needs to be told differently, depending on the candidate’s individual needs and preferences.

  • How will taking this job impact the life or career aspirations of the “right” candidate?
  • What causes are important to your employer that will mean something to the candidate you are trying to hire?
  • What will working for this company, this boss really be like? Can you tell that story in an honest compelling way?

It goes without saying that at some point stories can’t be told via recruiting brochures or e-mail exchanges. Good recruiters need to be able to tell their stories in up close and personal ways.

2.  Be Honest. Be Real. Make It Easy!

Fancy job postings filled with standardized text describing a lot of company information many times are irrelevant to a particular job seeker.  They can even be a turn off to job seekers who prefer to be talked to in a more personal, authentic way. While your job postings need to be well organized with key information easily available, the words you use to describe the job and your company need to be believable—as if you are talking in person to the right candidate.  Avoid company jargon, keep the writing simple and short, organize information so that the job postings can be skim read quickly.

And a special touch would be to invite candidates to engage with you in ways other than filling out a lengthy application—a real differentiator in today’s marketplace where candidates are tired of dealing with the black holes of “in the cloud” interactions. Most will welcome a chance to “interact” either before, during or after the formal application. Top candidates always have choices as to where to work, and often need to be romanced before the dating can effectively begin.

3.  Prioritize First Impressions – Be Urgent. Responsive.    

Moving quickly and responsively to the candidates who elect to approach your client or company for a job is a HUGE opportunity for differentiation in today’s job market. If part of your job includes a responsibility to respond to candidate inquiries, make sure you respond with URGENCY, and preferably NOT with an automated response. You would be amazed at how many companies lose talent battles simply because their initial contact to a candidate was too slow (someone got there first) or impersonal, treating the candidate as if they were one of thousands.

Candidates form first impressions about your company and you as a recruiter just like you do. The kind of impression you have on job candidates in general can make a difference to how your candidates think about you and your company as a place to work.

4.  Become a “Recruiting Partner”       

Using John Kennedy’s famous challenge to America in his inaugural address “Ask not what the candidate can do for you, but what you can do for them,” we believe the impact of the same paradigm shift for some recruiters can be dramatic. You’ve heard of becoming a “servant leader,” well by becoming a recruiting partner you can significantly grow your recruiting effectiveness.

Here’s how it works. Instead of being that “gate keeping authority” messaging to candidates that they either “meet certain job requirements or go away,” become a career partner—someone candidates can share their true selves with, someone who candidates know cares about them as individuals, someone candidates can invite into their professional lives as a valued adviser and partner.

Talk about a way to build pipelines of active and passive candidates for future staffing needs? It goes without saying that a candidate who experiences you as a “recruiting partner” will become a candidate who is not only ready to go through the application process today, but someone who will sing your praises to others in the talent community tomorrow.

5.  Optimize Technology But Know What it CAN’T DO!  

The range of recruiting technologies available in the current marketplace is mind boggling and there is no question that the impact of these new technologies has been game changing for both recruiters and their employers. The truth is that these technologies are tools – simplifying and automating those parts of the recruiting process that are amenable to that automation, but leaving a lot of room for recruiters to make a difference in all those places in the recruiting process that only humans can impact.

A recruiter 1) who tells the “why this job is the right job for you” story often and well, 2) who has changed their paradigm from “gate keeper” to recruiting partner ” 3) who is prioritizing urgency in how they create first impressions, and/or 4) who knows how to communicate simply and authentically in ways that invites candidate trust is a recruiter who will always be more effective than their more technology-reliant counterparts.  

We can all wonder if AI is out to get our jobs, but we continue to believe it’s those “human touches” that only recruiters can deliver that are the real differentiators in any hiring process.     

A Bit About PACE…

The PACE Staffing Network has been using cutting edge recruiting technology since we first automated our staffing operation in 1984 – one of the first in the nation to do that, and long before automation was considered a necessity as it is today.  We learned firsthand about the things even the most powerful recruiting technology can do and the things it can’t. Our strategy has always been to take full advantage of the best technology has to offer, while preserving our up-close-and-personalized approaches to candidate and client relationships.

How Can PACE Help?

The majority of PACE clients do not have a robust network of internal recruiting resources they can turn to when its time to hire.  PACE is always there to help, becoming that right arm to a hiring manager, a senior manager, or company owner on all things related to the people side of their organization.  From direct hire recruiting projects to temporary staffing, our NETWORK is made up of independent recruiters and staffing suppliers who in aggregate can small to mid sized companies compete for talent at very high levels, without having to invest in the high costs of an internal recruiting function.  Our unique network approach is why, regardless of our client’s needs, we always have either the candidate they need somewhere in our network or the recruiting solution that will uncover them quickly.

For a personalized introduction to the power of a third party recruiting network and how it delivers real  value to your company, contact our Partner Services and Solutions team at 425-637-3312.


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