New Year’s RECsolutions – traditional recruitment


Online recruitment methods are fast, efficient and here to stay – all of which is welcome.

No-one can deny that the Internet has made every recruiter’s job easier. Nowadays, you can check out candidates on social media sites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, or source them via LinkedIn. If you’re really geeky, you can even assess job-seekers via emailed psychometric tests, or run keyword programmes to ensure a good match.

But let’s not get too stuck behind our computers. Remember, this is a people industry that’s largely fuelled through you building relationships and staying abreast of industry developments.

So, as we turn the corner into 2014, we thought we’d remind ourselves why traditional recruitment practices are still the backbone of our profession…


Making face-to-face time

Don’t get us wrong, pinging an email to update longstanding clients or candidates on developments is an efficient way of maintaining communication. But, while it has its place, nothing beats scheduling a face-to-face chat with your contacts. This is where you can have a more in-depth discussion, share anecdotes and build trust.

Ideally, set yourself a goal to meet three or four existing or new contacts a week. It’s important that you don’t think of these meetings simply in terms of what recruitment business they can bring you, but also on the valuable industry insights and recruitment expertise that you can offer them. It’s a game of give and take, and your contacts will respond well to that.

The same goes for telephone interviews. These can be an excellent way of assessing a candidate who may live at a distance. However, by inviting a candidate into the office you can get a much clearer picture of them beyond whether they have the right qualifications. For instance, you can gauge their body language and attitude, enabling you to make a more successful placement.


Careers fairs

In today’s world they may seem low-tech, but careers fairs are a rich mine of young talent – and as you know it’s never too soon to start nurturing the managers of tomorrow.

Indeed, by gaining a presence at jobs fairs you are not only guaranteed direct contact with jobseekers, but also with schools and colleges, which are an invaluable ongoing recruitment source.

The informality of these fairs gives you a chance to ask a few questions, allowing you to have a much better understanding of the jobseeker than you would ever have by trawling through a CV. Then all you need to do is make a note of promising potential candidates and keep in touch…


Good old-fashioned networking

To get to the top of the recruitment game you need to build long-standing, grounded relationships with the movers and shakers in your target industry. You also need to understand their businesses and enhance your own reputation. Surfing the Net won’t cut it – you need to get personal.

In fact, you need to party – or at least go to events in the industry you recruit for. This will help you to stay up-to-date with the latest commercial trends and will raise your profile in that sector. You’ll also benefit from picking up word-of-mouth referrals. Don’t underestimate them; they are still a solid way to find that perfect recruit.

On a day-to-day basis, it is also useful to spend time with your clients and their teams to understand the company dynamics and role requirements.

So, time to re-connect…

Before we all became techno-whizzkids, the recruitment process followed a gentler pace where people developed relationships and grew to respect each other. So, start the New Year by using traditional methods to complement the Internet… and draw on the best of both worlds.

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