September 23, 2013

Here’s Why you Might Want to Follow this Recruiter’s Example

Follow the leader cartoon-people bowing down to manRecently, a very interesting thing happened on Reddit—something any company can look to as an example. An executive recruiter submitted a post to the site’s “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) section and received an overwhelming response.

Here’s what he posted:

I am an Executive Recruiter with over ten years of experience in the industry. Prior to that I spent a decade in two other industries at the management level so I have a combined total of over 20 years of experience as a hiring manager.

I know recruiters have done AMA’s in the past but I’ve seen a lot of misinformation/misconceptions about recruiters (and the recruiting process) floating around Reddit, so I thought I’d answer some questions.

Before I get started, keep in mind that these are my opinions. I consider myself a subject matter expert regarding the recruiting function but your experiences may be different. I believe I can provide some information regarding best practices that are relevant across multiple industries, but again, some things may be specific to a particular industry, company, or professional. Please also keep in mind there are various types of recruiters. I am an external recruiter not a corporate recruiter. This means I work for a firm that recruits for multiple clients in multiple industries. Note that this is different from a corporate recruiter who works internally for one company and different from someone who recruits hourly or contract workers for companies.

I can provide opinions/advice/information about the following topics:

  • Resumes and communication with potential employers
  • Interview etiquette, tips/advice
  • How recruiters work, and what we do
  • Job hunting techniques

In just three days, the post currently has more than 2,500 comments, and I bet more will be added. That’s a heck of a lot of feedback.

But this can serve as a valuable learning opportunity for employers. Take a look at this person’s approach:

  • Established credibility: He/she first stated his/her profession—one that is very significant in today’s job search. Upfront the person let readers know he/she is an executive recruiter with 20+ years of experience. Already that tells job seekers that 1) this is the type of person they’re desperate to get into contact with and 2) this person knows his/her stuff and will be able to benefit them in their job search.
  • Offered in-demand service: With today’s unemployment rate, who isn’t looking for job advice? And to get that from a current recruiter with more than 20 years of experience is like a slice of heaven. This recruiter offered readers a service—information and advice—that is extremely high in demand. Do you think he/she would’ve gotten the same response had this person wrote, “Ask me anything about ATS’s?”I think not.

So, what’s the takeaway? Employers, you can follow this recruiter’s same approach when it comes to engaging employees. Don’t you think your workers want more information about certain areas? Umm, of course they do. And by providing this you’ll open the door to increased engagement as employees learn more and have a better sense of wellbeing at work. I mean, if my employer came to me offering information on the things I care about most I would certainly get a sense that it’s truly invested in me as its worker.

So, to help you begin following this approach, below are five areas employees might want advice/information on:

1. Personal development—Probably every worker would like to know how to climb the corporate ladder, especially within his or her company. Yet, most people have a “general” idea of how to do this. Why not have professional development sessions or a training where key people in the company explain ways to really accomplish this? Don’t forget to alert workers of career and/or advancement opportunities in your business. And, like the Reddit AMA, it will help to receive it from those higher up than some random person’s advice online who has never even worked in the field.

2. Work-life balance—Most workers desire a good work-life balance but struggle to achieve this. Bringing in health and wellness experts every so often to educate employees goes a long way. Even alerting employees of company programs related to wellness is beneficial because some workers just don’t know this information. (At one of my internships, I had no idea 1) the company had an on-site gym and 2) it was available to interns).

3. Handling conflict in the workplace—Give workers the “how to” on handling office drama. Conflicts arise and oftentimes workers don’t report issues or handle them inappropriately because they don’t know how to handle office conflict the right way. This is also a good time to review company policies so all workers are up to date on how your business wants them to approach office conflict.

4. Compensation and benefits—This may be department specific but information on how to get raises and/or bonus opportunities is much desired. You can also have a review of benefits, educating employees on adding/subtracting any current benefits (if possible). It’s also a good time to introduce any new benefits or perks the company is offering.

5. State of the company—This is just information on the state of the company overall. Things like its revenue, profits, losses, hiring initiatives, layoffs, new programs, and a review of the company’s  mission and goals. You can also update workers on any changes taking place. This is helpful to offer because you’d be surprised at the number of people who cannot efficiently explain what’s going on at the company they work for. It puts workers in the know.

Don’t’ forget to ask employees what information they’d like to know; you may be surprised at the responses you receive!

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Marks’ stories have also been published in a variety of newspaper, magazine and online formats including The Arizona Republic, The Daily Herald, Arizona Foothills Magazine and various classroom magazines of Scholastic Inc. Service is her passion, writing is her platform and uplifting and inspiring the community is her purpose. Marks received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.
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