The recruitment world has undergone a dramatic shift over the past decade; the rise of Facebook and Twitter has given our clients their own opportunities to engage with candidates directly, meaning at times we’ve been left out in the cold.
Adding value with the ability to attract in demand candidates is key for us now – these candidates may see your client’s website, but if you get to them first and sell the role these guys will dodge the direct application in favour of your assistance and coaching throughout the process.
This is where your contacts and the data you can build up from them play such an important role; you have the opportunity to know your candidates’ careers better than they do.
Use social media
Recruiters face a skills shortage across disciplines from IT to Clinical, so spotting in demand candidates before they’ve become active on the market can make your job a whole lot easier.
Use social media to keep yourself in the loop – LinkedIn gives you access to a full career timeline; find a candidate who’s been in the same role for a long time and you can be the one to tell them they should consider a promotion.
The fact you’ve engaged with them and taken a real interest in their career to date gives you an advantage over those competitors using old-school recruitment methods like cold calling.
Establish long-term relationships
We may wish recruitment was a super quick process, but in real terms the majority of placements are not the result of a single email or phone call.
Building long-term relationships and actively engaging with your candidates takes time – look at the positives though; not only do you have the excuse of a Starbucks on expenses, but it gives you your very own candidate pipeline too!
A happy birthday message on LinkedIn, a few pounds donated for a sponsored event, or a quick text to see how their week’s going – you can quickly build relationships using initial connections on social media as a platform. These relationships ensure we’re the first call a candidate makes when they’re beginning to think of a new role.
Build your brand
In-demand candidates are absolutely inundated with calls and emails from recruiters, some have even chosen not to create a LinkedIn profile in an effort to avoid this.
These candidates that aren’t so active on social media may be more difficult to reach directly, so building a solid brand – complete with sparkling reputation! – is vital. Your brand works in two ways:
- A well-known brand acts as an introduction, saving you working to convince your candidate to stay on the phone and giving you a platform to build on.
- For those candidates who actively avoid speaking to recruiters your brand is the only thing separating you from your competitors, when they do decide they’re looking for a move they are then in a position to reach out to you – nurture these relationships and you are likely to reap the rewards through referrals too!
Work smarter to effectively engage your candidates, use your data wisely and you’ll avoid the days of chasing in demand candidates – making the process less stressful for you, and more successful for your clients.
Heidi is PhD student at the University of Aberdeen. Her research focuses on the issues surrounding the recruitment of patients into clinical trials.