JobMobile Boston panelist talks about how 'paying it forward' can really pay off in the recruiting business.
By Steve Kasmouski
For recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers, finding top talent requires more than just posting ads, making phone calls and sending emails. In today's world of information overload and technology abundance, in-demand professionals are doing everything they can to avoid constant solicitation from recruiters. And who can blame them? Regardless of your profession, it is likely that you have had a bad experience with a narrow-minded recruiter who claims to have the ticket to your dream job without knowing the first thing about you. These conversations lack what is most important: the candidate-recruiter relationship.
At the center of every thriving business is the lifeblood of success: relationships. Meaningful relationships are the most important asset we have in the recruitment industry. Building these associations has become increasingly difficult as advancing technologies (especially social media) make the need for face-to-face relationship building seemingly obsolete. In my experience, however, nothing will ever replace the magic that can happen when two humans connect.
Think about your favorite business partner – your attorney, financial planner or accountant. There is more to the relationship than just business, and you probably didn’t meet online. Just five to eight years ago, the number of networking events and idea-sharing forums like TheLadders JobMobile events were not popular. Today there are a variety of Meetups, networking events, coding challenges, user groups, and related events where professionals can meet to discuss relevant trends in their respective markets and share ideas. These groups have increased because social media allowed us to make more people aware of their existence, and allowed us to share our thoughts regarding the value they bring. Technology enabled us to increase our relationships, connect and stay in touch, but it doesn't replace the real thing. The satisfaction we get when we are with other people who share common interests, ideas and values is irreplaceable.
Think about how many people you meet while spending two to three hours at an event, compared to spending the same amount of time making phone calls and writing well-crafted emails. Don't get me wrong, both are vital, but they are not the only ways to build a network and create real, meaningful relationships.
I am surprised sometimes by how much 20 years in the business has taught me. I now believe the key for the recruitment industry is to become a functioning part of the candidate-recruiter ecosystem. We have nothing to hide, and when we are given the opportunity to serve, our clients and candidates are pleasantly surprised that the experience is about how we can help them advance their careers or build world-class organizations. The truth is that recruiters can add enormous value when given the opportunity, and our knowledge, skills and experience can change people’s lives.
Like most relationships in life, we get out of them what we put into them. It's a simple, but very real truth: Instead of being focused on what we can get from our business relationships, we ought to focus on what we can give. It has been my experience that I always get back more than I give. So volunteer to be a panelist, give some free advice, spend a few extra minutes helping someone, share articles, and contribute to blog posts and online discussions. It's behaviors like these that will help your constituencies see you as a professional with something to offer and not a self-serving salesman just looking to make a buck.
HR professionals and recruiters: Click on the following link to learn more about TheLadders JobMobile series and register for upcoming events.