5 Tips for Recruiters Under Pressure

Posted by Kathleen Smith

No jobs. Too many resumes. No budget.

This is the general feeling throughout our community right now. From the blog posts, LinkedIn comments and the general media, recruiters and job seekers are having a very rough time in the defense and intelligence community. A lot of finger pointing. Lots of frustration.

Add to this the snow that has not let up even though it is the first day of spring.

Many in our community have only been here since 9/11 due to the ramp up, while others have been in the community for much longer. This business like any business – auto, finance, insurance, real estate –  is cyclical. Bottom line is we as a community have a mission. From the front-line solider to the back-end program manager and yes, even the recruiter, we are all supporting a mission.

What to do?

Step away: This is not stepping away for good. Just stepping away to gain perspective. Staring at the computer or smartphone will not make something happen. It’s actually the reverse. A watched pot never boils? Watching an email inbox doesn’t make an email appear. Staring at a LinkedIn or Facebook feed won’t make the right opportunity or candidate pop into your feed.

Set limits: We could all work 24 hours a day and still not get all of our work done. Work smarter rather than longer and limit the amount of time you are spinning your wheels on endless tasks.

Set a plan: One of the hardest parts about frustration is feeling like you’re never accomplishing something. Find small projects or goals to accomplish each week or even each day to rebuild your confidence.

Network: We all know networking supports career development and search, but it’s amazing to find out you are not alone. Even with all the social networking we can plug in to, we can still feel alone.

Talk to each other: One very serious challenge happening right now is that we stand to lose a very valuable security cleared talent pool. Many security cleared job seekers entering the job search now are looking for a job for the first time in 10-15 years. Job search has changed drastically with the advent of online reporting, online profiles, social media and mobile recruiting. There is a large disconnect between the very talented security cleared job seeker and a recruiter with less than 10 years experience – one of mutually accepted communication channels.

Most of the highly-cleared, highly-skilled talent in our community only know job fairs and faxing or mailing in their resumes as job search tools. There currently is a very steep job search learning curve for many job seekers in our community

As recruiters we can coach these job seekers as they deal with the multiple levels of frustration – online reporting, ATS, social media and a whole new way of doing things. At the same time, we can benefit from these job seekers by remember that recruiting is about connecting people with teams that support an organization’s mission. We can move recruiting back to its core from being all about numbers, to being all about people.



This entry was posted on Thursday, March 20, 2014 8:36 am

One thought on “5 Tips for Recruiters Under Pressure”

  1. Smart tips! With networking, one more might be to have a specific goal for each meeting/phone call. Not to ask for a job, few will have that. But to ask for a resume review, a LI profile review, info on a target employer, questions about longer term trends and their impact on your work, and so on. Don’t let it be the only topic, you want to deepen your connection and that means a mutual discussion.

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