I wrote recently about warding against thinking that automation and robot entities in our workflows, will kill recruiters. More, that it will create a new formidability. However, it is evident not all are in alignment. Today’s blog article has been written for us by Steve Ward. Steve is a practical Social Recruiting & Talent Attraction Strategist as well as speaker and advisor on integrating Social Media into Recruitment & Branding. He has spoken at our TRN Huddles previously and shared his knowledge with our members.
I wrote recently about warding against thinking that automation and robot entities in our workflows, will kill recruiters. More, that it will create a new formidability. However, it is evident not all are in alignment.
It’s a concept that still creates uncertainty. We like doing things the way we always have, and in a thriving recruitment market, what needs to change; really? Why should automation break into our established workflow?
However, what is encouraging, is that more and more conversations I have with recruitment leaders; especially when discussing Candidate.ID; incorporate the sentence, “…we know we need to automate more. We want to be ahead of the curve.”
But here’s the thing, the formidability of a great recruitment function, built off enhanced automation of the wider funnel volume tasks; needs formidable recruiters also. What good is applying machine learning and automated workflows, if the recruiters cannot maximise the value at the sharp end of the funnel?
In an age of robot intervention; the recruiter needs to stand out to be more human than ever. So, what are the key attributes we should be looking for, in the New Model Recruiter?
1. An Opportunist, not a Hunter.
Recruitment has always been a hunting exercise, however in the new digital age, we don’t need to spend hours hunting anymore. We have access to data, and with tracking software like Candidate.ID, we are given the warm prospects on a plate. The modern recruiter takes those leads, and then gobbles them up.
2. A Lead-Capturer, not a Marketer.
We live in an age where people tell us ‘recruiters are marketers’. Social Media made us think this, and I was on this page for a long time; however now I disagree. Let’s not turn recruiters into something they are not built to be, but instead support them with strong marketing and demand generation professionals who feed the wide funnel of attraction and nurture relationships with timely content. The recruiters should be there at the middle-lower funnel, starting conversations with the candidates and clients when they make digital impact with our business, through our website, content or social media engagements. Let marketers market, and recruiters recruit – but allow recruiters to engage with the warm and ready about careers/jobs, rather than the cold and dis-interested who are not hire ready.
3. Influential & Engaging.
This isn’t selling. We don’t need to sell to people who have already demonstrated interest. We should be rolling out the red carpet to the front door, welcoming them with a cup of coffee and talking to them on their level. The new time created by replacing volume tasks like CV search, advert engagement and sourcing; should lead to recruiters being more knowledgeable about their industry and be talking to candidates and clients on a ‘fellow professional’ level; rather than a servant status. The power of knowledge and authority leads to an expert status that makes their opinion compelling and influential in networking, communicating roles, discussing client growth, negotiating parameters, and understanding crucial career decisions.
4. A Subject Matter Expert, not a Fee-Chaser.
If we are to focus our expensive human time on dealing with more focused numbers of more highly engaged professionals, then given we have built that good will and respect through our marketing, we need to fulfil it with recruiters with credibility. I believe in a new age of ‘learned recruiters’. These are recruiters that possess the maturity and gravitas to emit natural expertise; both in talent trends and recruiting, as well as the marketplace into which they recruit. The personal brand of these recruiters needs to be more prominent, more ‘in demand’, and focused on high quality interactions with high conversion percentages. That will create fees.
5. Much the Same as always, but Less Distracted.
Yes, right at the heart of this change and evolution; comes continuity. The reason your ace recruiters are ace, will remain the same; yet will be enhanced by never having to do the things that made fee attainment a longer process. If recruiters can eliminate sourcing, CV searches, advertising, etc, and focus in on the things recruiters have always been awesome at; then that creates even more time to be awesome, as well as adopting the above 4 attributes, if they hadn’t already.
And so yes, we come full circle. In the data and digital driven age, where automation is in demand and ‘robots’ are tinkering with our jobs apparently, the super human recruiter is still in charge. As I alluded in the previous blog, robots won’t start making your hires and placements, and they won’t be winning business. But they are designed to make the human effort even more effective, and even more efficient. It may mean replacing some recruiter seats, with marketing, demand generation and data specialists for the wider funnel, but it will enhance the existing ace recruiters no end, create greater placement success, and therefore drive profitability. And what is more, you’ll know where the ROI came from, because you are tracking marketing journeys to the depth of individual identification of who reads your content, and then follows the trail of breadcrumbs, by name.
So, don’t kill your recruiters, and don’t change them too much either. Reduce the burden on them, ask them to more human, and ask them to be even more successful. And thank the robots for doing all the grunt work.
Steve Ward is generally regarded as the first practising ‘Social Recruiter’ with his agency CloudNine in 2007-2008, and is now a Talent Attraction Strategist, the REC’s Social Recruiting & Branding Trainer, as well as being the Head of Staffing Agency Solutions for Candidate.ID, the world’s first dedicated talent pipeline and tracking software. Recruiting for almost 25 years and obsessed with the alignment of evolving recruitment in line with evolving candidate and customer behaviours digitally.