Sunday, August 19, 2007

"C" words form the backbone of great recruiting

I'm a former Army guy - I have to keep stuff really simple. Quick check-lists help me remember steps and key parts of a process. Here's a little list I developed to ensure that I have the proper focus on my role as a recruiter - oddly enough, this list could also be applied to many management roles!

Client Focus: View every interaction as though you were dealing with a client. No matter if you are speaking to a hiring manager (clearly your client), or a candidate (who could be a client) always focus on their needs as part of whatever outcome you are trying to achieve.

Communication: Communication with every audience - internal, external, up the chain or down must be concise and accurate as well as specifically tailored to the needs of the audience. You simply cannot over-communicate!

Coach: The hiring manager knows the needs of the business better than you do, but you know the strategies that yield results. The best coaches ASK more than they ANSWER. Ask questions to get the manager to draw their own conclusion and they will normally land on the right answer.

Consideration: You are asking managers to consider the needs of the role and of the candidate. You are asking the candidate to consider the opportunity. All this consideration needs to play out along with some real personal consideration for all involved. Don't forget that at the heart of the process they are all still people with needs.

Consistency: Aside from all the compliance risks in not being consistent, lack of consistency means you will never be able to replicate the magic when you finally get the recruitment process nailed down. Consistency with candidates, managers and even your team is foundational to being able to grow and consistently deliver great results.

Compelling: You HAVE to be able to tell a compelling story about your business, the opportunity, and even the candidate. Your offers must be compelling to the candidate to effectively convey the desire to have them join and the importance your company places on the role - note that "compelling" does not have to mean heaps of money - if you have followed the points above, you will know what is important to the candidate and THAT's the compelling part!

Candor: Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy - sure you can soften up the feedback, but if the hiring manager is a dolt who does not understand the basics of the business or managing people, SOMEONE has to tell them. Just continuing down the recruiting path with someone like this just means you will have to do it over, and over and over and .....etc! The same holds true with candidates. If Johnny shows up to interview for a VP of Sales job, but has the personality of a librarian.... you REALLY have to tell him. Just using the standard Recruiter's dodge of "it's not the right fit" serves no one. You get off cheap and he doesn't learn why he's not qualified... big missed opportunity there. In practice, I find that candidates really like being told the truth - wouldn't you??

And Finally...CLOSE!! Time is money, so get to the point and close the deal. Force managers and candidates alike to act with a sense of urgency. You have invested time and money going through endless assessments and interviews, now it is time to remind everyone that this process is about business results! If you are not going to hire them, tell them AS SOON AS YOU KNOW. If you are, make the offer NOW! Too many searches go belly-up because we lose candidates to competing offers that came in while we pondered.

Ok, enough for today... I could go on for hours, but then I'd have nothing for future posts.


Hold this little diatribe up as a measure of your practices on recruiting (or managing in general). See any opportunities??? If so, act on them. If not - write a book and I will buy it!!!

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