There has been a lot of drama in my life lately, including having to spend a lot of time focusing on the care for a very good friend in the critical care unit of a major Los Angeles hospital. She was diagnosed with inoperable, incurable, stage 3 lung cancer. Pretty serious stuff.
Neither of us had any experience with lung cancer so we were clueless as to what was supposed to happen or what our options were. She was “assigned” an all-purpose oncologist by her HMO medical insurance. Our heads were spinning with all this new information. Obviously, we were upset for many, many reasons. One of the disturbing factors was that her life expectancy and quality of life were riding on the treatment plan recommended by an oncologist that we knew nothing about. Who was this guy and was he any good?
That’s when my recruiting skills kicked in and I sourced, and researched and called until I found the best qualified medical oncologist with a specialty in lung cancer on the west coast. This guy was good. Because he was so accomplished it was very difficult to get to see him. Someone who is that qualified is in high demand. I used my “getting past the gatekeeper” and my “getting to the decision maker” skills. We got in. With a referral to the best lung cancer surgeon in the country, she is now in recovery and this story will have a happy ending.
When a candidate loses his or her job, it is a horrific event. Maybe it is not as traumatic as a cancer diagnosis but it certainly is a very serious life-changing event. They are scared, angry and confused. They are clueless as to what to do next. Most candidates are inexperienced in the art of job searching and have no idea how to interview effectively. They are scared for their careers and for their future. They worry about money and the quality of their lives. They have so many questions and nowhere to turn. Where do they go? Who do they choose? Are you the recruiter they need? How do they find you?
Most candidates do not have the skills to design an effective job search strategy. They don’t know how to research the recruiting industry to find the recruiter best suited to fit their needs. Many will choose to work with the wrong recruiter. Many recruiters take on candidates that they shouldn’t, wasting everyone’s time by offering a generalist diagnosis. Many staffing and recruitment firms still do up-calls, which are assigning candidates to the next recruiter in queue. When the recruiter cannot offer the candidate an interviewing advantage, the candidate is left bitter toward our industry. We all lose.
You need to turn away the candidates that you can’t place. You are helping them and yourself by doing so. You free up your time to fill orders with the right candidates and you free up the candidate to find a recruiter who can help them. Better yet, refer those candidates that are not a fit for you to a recruiter who is better suited for them. Surely, you have met many recruiters in all different specialties from the various conferences and association events that you have attended.
How do the best candidates find you, and when they do, how do they know if you are a good recruiter?
You do want to be found by all the qualified candidates in your niche. You want to be the recruiter they come to first. You want to have the decision to take them on as a candidate or to refer them to another.
Just as I did in looking for a medical specialist, most candidates use the internet. When these candidates begin their job search, they need to find you and have easy access to a list of criteria, demonstrating
why you are the best in your industry in their niche. When they compare you to other recruiters, you have to stand out as the leader. The image you portray has to be that you are the best choice.
* Is there a webpage just for you?
* When they search for a recruiter in their specialty, does you name come up?
* Are all of your credentials and accomplishments listed where they will easily find them?
* Can you show your expertise in their area of expertise?
* Do you offer any free information online to add to your credibility?
* Will you guide them through the interview process or refer them for valuable interview training?
* What are your requirements and procedures to see you?
The treatment plan offered by the all-purpose oncologist may have been effective in extending my friend’s life just as the job search plan of an all-purpose recruiter may be effective for many candidates in finding a job.
It is far better to be the recruiter in high demand with the best candidates seeking you. By presenting a specialist approach and the individual attention to a specifically chosen group of candidates, you can give them the confidence they need to trust your judgment and follow your recommendations. With that, you will achieve greater career expectancy and a higher quality of life for yourself and for them.