They Still Don’t Get It

Posted by Kathleen Smith

Question PeopleThroughout my tenure at ClearedJobs.Net, one thing has stayed the same: Job seekers don’t understand recruiting. There is so much confusion on the part of a job seeker as to who – recruiter, sourcer, staffing, hiring manager or headhunter – does what, and why. What is heartbreaking at times is that job seekers take a job search very personally while recruiters are overwhelmed with requirements to fill as part of just doing their job.

Recently, I have been part of several cybersecurity conferences providing mentoring, coaching and overall community support.  At each conference, invariably I spend a lot of time listening to the frustrations of talented technical professionals, many of them women, who can’t get a response from any company for jobs that they have applied for. Or they were looking for a job, but were so rudely treated by a recruiter that they are giving up on trying to find a job.

For several years, there has been a growing focus on candidate experience and employer branding. The one thing that these two topics have in common is the focus on building relationships between candidates and recruiters. For all the silver bullet products and strategies available, one thing stays the same: Relationship building is the foundation for recruiting and job search.

Close your eyes and step back to look at job search from the perspective of a job seeker. Where would you go or what would you do? Remember you don’t have knowledge of the landscape, the tools and the inside track of what happens behind the careers page.  Many recruiters have even found themselves in the position of looking for a new job and even with all their knowledge they still have difficulty navigating a job search.

Yes, there are lots of tools and strategies out there to hire great talent, but until you understand the job search from a job seekers’ perspective, you are still missing out on a very large pool of candidates who still don’t know how to get your attention or how you operate.

One step you can take is to manage the job seekers’ expectations. Share with them your company’s hiring process, the best way to communicate or follow up with you, what they should expect to hear from your company if they have applied for a position. Job seekers are encouraged to develop a short and to the point elevator speech. Do you have your own comprehensive short and to the point job seeker expectations speech so candidates know what to expect from an application process with your company? We all have a better experience when we know what to expect from a relationship, so set expectations up front.

Another thing you can do when talking with candidates is to ask how their job search is going and offer tips to assist them in their job search. When you see a resume that is too long, or a fumbled elevator speech, or an emphasis on responsibilities vs accomplishments, share your thoughts with the job seeker. No you won’t always have time to do this. But when you do, help your candidates become better job seekers and pay it forward for the next recruiter.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 3:48 pm

2 thoughts on “They Still Don’t Get It”

  1. Great article. My focus when contacting candidates and job seekers is to make the experience pleasant and simple. I do find, however, that some people’s perception of questions asked or expectations can impede communication during the call. As such, I am constantly working to make a smooth discussion possible with each call.

  2. hmm…yes, I still don’t “get” recruiters. I have had many contact me..for jobs..and sometimes multiple recruiters from the same Company. And, from my viewpoint – huge timewaster. The same recruiter would contact me every month…but never remembered that they spoke to you “before”. Do recruiters from the same company ever talk with each other? I had one recruiter contacting me asking if I was interested in employment – my response was yes. And they would respond with that we have a job requirement (or whatever the lingo is) in the pipeline perfect for your skillset/expertise…and then pffft! Presto-magic…puff of smoke..nothing ever comes to fruition. Least of all – applying to jobs via the company website and then being sent an email that “you’re not qualified” – even though I did that job while working..for the govt. It would be beneficial to the job seeker if there was a reference manual of what a recruiter is and what it means when they do call, whether a recruiter calling means something and whether the job postings on a company’s website are real and exist. And that job seekers will receive some sort of feedback..instead of nothing. I have been job hunting since Fall 2013. I’m fortunate that I have some income…

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