Most recruiters are workaholics that beat themselves up if they don’t answer their Blackberry at 10pm. They talk to candidates instead of their kids and take down job requirements in their dreams.
Do you ever get tired of it? How are some recruiters able to dial it back a few notches and still make more placements than you?
You might need to try getting a little lazier. The trick is, how do we act like a lazy recruiter once in a while and still do a great job for our candidates and hiring managers?
Once in a while, throw out process and just use your common sense and courtesy. Take a shortcut and relax a little.
Forget meeting candidates: Meeting candidates, especially ones that you don’t have a current job for, sometimes seems like a big headache. Sure, it develops a new relationship. Builds your professional network and talent pipeline. But if you’re feeling lazy, there is a right way to not meet a candidate.
When you want to send in a candidate “sight unseen” to a hiring manager, you want to make sure that it’s not a big waste of time. Smart lazy recruiters know when it’s ok to not meet candidates. You have to do one thing: establish the accuracy of their current or past position in which they established real tenure (they stayed a long time.) 99% of the time if you find a candidate currently working and then verify it through a reference that can pinpoint that candidate’s real function, they will be at least somewhat suitable for a similar role.
Just be honest: Recruiters are professional diplomats and translators. We have to not hurt anybody’s feelings and communicate between hiring managers and candidates that are making hugely personal and important decisions. Without knowing, it’s easy to stress out about communication. What do we tell the candidate when the hiring manager just didn’t like their bad personality? What do we tell the hiring manager when our candidate flakes out and sleeps in on the day of the interview? What is the perfect white lie and nuanced spin that will keep everyone happy?
How about this – just be honest and don’t worry about it. Tell the candidate that the reason they didn’t get the job was because of incompatible personalities. Or their terrible tie. Don’t understand the hiring manager’s decision? Don’t worry about it and communicate that directly to the candidate. Don’t worry so much about being a great diplomatic intermediary – just be a messenger once in a while.
Turn down that hiring manager: You know that hiring manager that always calls you on a Friday with a somewhat impossible job requirement? Or the one that puts you through a fire-drill for five positions, that turns into one, that then turns into one backfill position that he hires his friend for? One in a while, give yourself a break.
Forget the false immediacy that people like that impart to recruiting. Some hiring managers need to digest open positions a little while before they determine what they want. The key here is to understand who you need to pay immediate attention to and who you need to ignore for a bit before you start in recruiting for them.
Have fun. With real friends. Like great real estate agents, great recruiters recruit their friends and get business from their friends. To be blunt, you can’t recruit your friends if you don’t have any.
Try laying off the “business networking” at conferences, trade shows, and industry seminars. Instead, try getting to know people that are one step outside of your circle. This means the friends of your friends. Spend quality time with the people you know, their family, and their friends. These are people that you can confidently refer without a second thought to any hiring manager. You don’t need to know everybody in the state – you just need to a have a quality, trusted network of close relationships that you can trust and rely on for great referrals.
Call the same ol’ usual suspects: It’s easy to dismiss the same old candidates and clients that you are actually friendly with as being “personal” or a waste of your business time. It’s easy to think “I can count on these people, so why give them a call?” This is a big mistake.
Your competitors are talking to your friends while you treat yourself to calling the people that don’t matter to you. You’re working on new business development when you could be having a drink with, essentially, a buddy. Make sure that you make time with the people that you get along with. Great recruiters have fun with their candidates and clients and then get referrals and new business from them. Treating yourself to a long call with an old friend isn’t treating yourself – it can be your most important call of the day.
Sometimes the best recruiters are lazy recruiters. Cut yourself some slack and once in a while, be sure to take some smart shortcuts.