Published: 01 November 2020
Author: Julie Robinson
Have you seen the film? If not, it's the story of a social studies teacher who gives an assignment to his junior high school class to think of an idea to change the world for the better, then put it into action. When one young student creates a plan for "paying forward" favors, he not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, unbeknownst to him, has blossomed into a profound national phenomenon.
Here are some ways how we as recruitment professionals can practice human kindness alongside running a business:
There are hundreds of ways we can impact lives around us when we communicate with so many on a daily basis.
If you haven't seen the film give it a go!
Having a personal brand is not solely for entrepreneurs or CEOs on keynote panels anymore - it’s for anyone working in recruitment that works in a vertical sector or indeed any professional industry thanks to a little thing we like to call the internet. Whether you meet someone at a client visit, networking event or even just through friends, likely the first thing they will do is look you up online to see what you’re about.
By curating your online brand with intent, it can distinguish you from the masses while ensuring that you are marketing yourself to the highest standard, which, will inevitably create MORE opportunities for yourself. This will in turn mean more opportunities for your candidates, more value to add to your clients and more opportunity to be recommended.
Consider Yourself As a Brand
If I were to say Apple or Coca Cola, it is very easy to conjure up adjectives on what these brands stand for. Apple has built its brand around counterculture, youthfulness and creativity and Coca Cola has become a household name with any number of positive attributes. What do you want your brand to say about you? If someone in your business network were to recommend you to another person, whether it was a potential candidate or client, how would you want them to describe you? Standing out as an expert on a particular topic can be beneficial to your personal brand so be sure to put yourself out there as a thought leader. Just be sure that whatever knowledge you are offering is coming from a place of authenticity and with the intent of helping other people. That alone will magnetize curiosity and industry respect.
Share With Purpose
With LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the many other social networks we keep up with there can be a pressure to get involved in conversations and share something for the sake of visibility online. It’s important to remember that quality reigns over quantity. When it comes to your online brand, you want to be aware that with every Like, Share and Retweet you are marketing your personal brand and endorsing others. Focus your content choices around a purpose instead of mindlessly sharing articles. Endorse others in your network if they share something great and build on their ideas to create a forum of discussion that is beyond the idle chatter on the internet. Aim for impact to both your network and your business.
Google your name. Do you like what you see? If you are buried within other results with people who share the same name, you need to get to work quickly. You can engage an SEO service or even add a middle name so that you are unique. Signing up for a Google+ account alone will increase your ranking, especially if it is filled out fully including links to other profiles and professionally relevant search words. You will also want to search for any feedback that has been posted online about you so that you are well aware of your online reputation and remedy / promote it accordingly. By showing that you rank highly in a Google search shows that you are savvy and competent which means good things for your personal brand online and offline.
By taking your personal brand into your own hands online you will feel more confident about your business, your reputation and it is our sincere hope that it attracts many new opportunities as well!
If you are thinking of a change of job and how to make that change, as recruiting professionals your instinct may be to conduct your own job hunt. However there are some great reasons to work with a recruitment to recruitment firm - after all we are specialised in the market and have a deep knowledge base that is invaluable to the recruitment industry. So your preconceptions might deserve a second look - and here are some thoughts to ponder on…..
Preconception: I know the places I should be applying
We all know the usual suspect firms that are perpetually hiring and it can be tempting to make this your first stop when hunting for a new workplace. They have a rolling list of vacancies and will reply expediently when they are interested in your profile. These are also the firms that will poach you directly; which means you don’t have to do much heavy lifting to get your foot in the door.
Reality: Equally desirable/if not more desirable boutique agencies often fly low on the radar
Big corporate firms aren’t always the answer. While the pay and large corporate benefits can be magnetizing there can be advantages to some of the smaller boutiques that you might not have considered. As specialist recruiters to recruiters, we will have a better understanding of the niches and nuances of the smaller firm. Hey, it’s not your fault that you haven’t heard of them! They often spend less on marketing so they can offer their employees optimal working conditions.
Preconception: I have heaps of connections that I can tap into on my own
We are in the business of networking with recruitment firms so our prized possession is our LinkedIn network or cloud-based rolodex kept handy for placing candidates. We often hear about opportunities that are not advertised and/or exclusive to us. In order to really have visibility of what the opportunities are, talk to us, to hear what could be on offer!
Reality: Matching ourselves to a client doesn’t always go as we planned
Having an in depth understanding of each clients business strategy gives a recruitment to recruitment firm the opportunity to plan with them for future hires. A strong client relationship will mean that a deep understanding is fostered and a partnership approach to achieve their hiring and growth goals. Some of the roles and strategies that we work together on include offering equity to candidates!
Engaging a recruiter means that they can qualify the potential fit using insightful systems that aren’t invasive or overly revealing. If you would still prefer to rely on your connection to a firm, you can often negotiate with your agent about any pre-existing relationships in advance.
Preconception: Recruiters aren’t trustworthy
Correction BAD recruiters aren’t trustworthy and only care about their fee. We’ve all come across a recruiter who gives the rest of us a bad rap. Maybe we should have pre-empted this blog with the distinction that who you select to represent your professional goals should be well regarded by peers and clients. Not all recruiters are created equally but don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch.
Reality: Data has become a highly sensitive topic; one that most firms are taking very seriously to ensure your search is safe
The right recruiter can offer a professional service that is both valuable and well intentioned. With recent discussion and concern around candidate privacy and the ethics of sharing data, this could make this era one of the safest times to engage a third party firm.
Preconception: It’s a waste of time
We are busy people and we get that time is money, honey! Setting up a scheduled appointment with a person who can’t technically guarantee you anything, goes against recruiter instincts. We tend to prefer return on our investment and if we’re going to schmooze over brunch or a coffee, it can seem best with a candidate or client.
Reality: It can be a time saver when you’re trying to run your day-to-day desk
That same busyness can be the cause for slip-ups when you’re running a job search and a busy desk. By placing your search in the good and able hands of a professional recruitment recruiter that you trust, you ease this risk and gain more time to focus on filling roles at your current firm.
These points are simply a starting point meant to give you something to consider the next time you are presented with the opportunity to work with a recruiter. Even as a passive candidate, we hope that you will challenge any preconceived notions about the value of recruiters for recruiters.
In the business of recruitment to recruitment, we want the very best recruiters bar none. When procuring your next hire it can seem only logical to begin your search by eliminating candidates that don't have recruitment experience or those candidates that don’t have exposure to your sector. The idea being that a square peg would really fit best in a square hole, it’s practically science! Or is it…
Here are 5 reasons to reconsider that impulse to ditch the ‘alternative’ candidates in your pile:
Bringing on a new hire from an a different industry that has solid transferable skills OR a recruitment pro from an alternative sector means that the job or the different sector is all new to them. As an employer you might think that sounds like a bad thing, especially when it comes time to train them.
The truth is that being excited about a new role or sector and applying skills that you have already to a different type of job in recruitment means that in most cases candidates possess an open-minded nature that will create engagement on a totally different level. Having that open mind, adaptability and a zeal from “fresh” candidates is priceless.
Hiring a candidate that appears to be a blank slate may seem like an onerous undertaking when it comes to ramping them up. If you are able to get past this preconceived notion you can see this hire as a blank canvas - one which you can customise and design to your liking. Think of all of the companies that hire new grads for this reason! It is your opportunity to start from scratch. Candidates that come with the sector background OR have worked in the recruitment industry for years and years, often also can come with baggage.
We promised we wouldn’t say it unless absolutely necessary. Those words that makes us all cringe: ‘restrictive covenants.’ Hiring from within recruitment/your sector means you are likely and immediately blocking off access to this candidates network - possibly for up to a year.
So you might have a well-seasoned candidate but they still need a fresh list of prospects - kind of seems like more work in some ways, doesn’t it? Hiring a candidate from an entirely different background can mean unusual inroads at some of the most coveted clients without having to worry about legalities. It also means that they won’t come with the bad habits of another firm or bias of candidates within your sector and that alone, is worth its weight in gold.
A person doesn’t normally ditch years of specialised experience unless they are serious about making a change in career long-term. If you are lucky enough to hire a fully trainable, capable recruiter who wants to make the switch and be mentored, you will have loyalty and the long-term attitude to match. Their network will be built from ground zero and you as their new employer, will be their hero for giving them that chance.
New Direction, Fresh Perspective
Tips and tricks are quite transferable in recruitment - by hiring someone that doesn’t necessarily tick all the boxes when it comes to exposure may open the door to new ways of approaching recruitment riddles from a high level. Fresh eyes, fresh perspectives can mean fresh new and shiny business.
What’s the risk, really?
When considering all of these benefits to hiring outside of our industry or your sector the positives seem to outweigh the negatives. There is always the risk of a bad hire, even when you think you’ve uncovered that hidden gem that ticks all the boxes and presents like a dream.
By taking a leap of faith, you might just uncover your next rockstar leader, one that you can train from within and mould to your liking. If you hire for attitude and cross reference for reputation, it is our belief that the rest of the nuanced skills and success will follow.
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