June 30, 2011

Best Practices in Recruiting

Recruiter Searching for CandidatesBest practices refer to the leading thinking in any industry. It’s a bit of a corporate buzzword – consultants typically charge lots of money to “bring a company up to speed” with the “best practices” of their industry. Recruiting is no different – best practices refer to the often simple wisdom derived by practice. However, if you are leading a recruitment department or company, it is a good idea to seek out knowledge wherever you can. (Just try not to pay too much for that wisdom.)

The recruiting industry is all about matching up the best candidates with the best jobs. As recruiters, we can get stuck in a rut and continue to do the same things to make this happen, but it’s a good idea to stop and reevaluate our practices and strive to improve and grow. No matter what industry you are in, it’s a good idea to keep up with the best practices, but this can be especially important in the recruiting industry, where things change as fast as the job market changes. We are linked to the world of business, responding to the evolving nature of lots of business processes from human resources to sales. To stay on the cutting edge, here are some of the best practices in recruitment today.

Look Forward

It’s not enough to respond to the job market today. You need to look forward to the needs of your clients, not just for the next six months but for the next few years. Recruiters aren’t psychics of course, but we can use analytical tools like metrics and models to predict where the job market is going and look to the future for these jobs. Predictive metrics can be a recruiter’s most powerful tool, allowing us to anticipate our client’s needs and see the next big thing coming in the job market.

Use Marketing Strategies

Recruiting has a lot in common with sales. As recruiters, we market both the candidates and the clients. Instead of getting caught up in the industry details, try to think of your job in marketing terms. For clients, think of them as a brand, and ask yourself if you are doing all you can to promote that client’s employment brand. When it comes to candidates, they are each their own brand as well because each one has unique skills and appeal to certain audiences. Don’t be afraid to do some research into marketing topics, resources and best practices. You might find a nugget of wisdom that can help you be a better recruiter.

Utilize New Software

Traditionally, businesses have used software for processes like billing, payroll and sales, but business software has gotten more complex and more useful in recent years. Now there is sophisticated software available for managing customer relationships, tracking sales and commission data, as well as tracking employee performance. These kinds of software solutions can also be a goldmine for the recruiting industry, allowing recruiters to keep track of candidates, clients and marketing.

Go Web 2.0

We’ve all gotten used to using the web for things like managing our networks and marketing our candidates. Maybe we’ve even taken that one step further and started using cloud computing by accessing software over the web, but the Internet can do even more for the recruiting industry. By utilizing cutting edge tools, we can more efficiently find candidates on the web, coordinate our marketing efforts and reach into new talent pools. By using dynamic Web 2.0 design, recruiters can personalize the web experience for both clients and candidates.

Keep up with your clients and candidates

Don’t simply keep in touch with your own industry – go where your clients and candidates go and read what they do. If you are looking to speak intelligently to HR professionals, be sure to read some of the same HR publications that they do. For candidates, if you recruit technology professionals, be sure to read Information Week or other technology publications. The key here is to become a trusted resource and wealth of information instead of a broker of transactions. Invest time, energy, and thought into your particular industry of interest.

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