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Recruiters Back Yourself!

Over the last year, at our Reconverse events, we have met some fantastic recruitment professionals who are passionately supporting their businesses to recruit talent. We have heard great stories of achieving against the odds, building great programs from nothing and often with no budget to speak of. Many don’t even work with the basic tools that make recruitment easier, that could allow them to concentrate on those value-adds that we all love. Who can work these days without even a basic ATS? 

As part of understanding where our recruiters are at, we survey them before every event on what technology they are using, what their challenges are and what they want to achieve.  The results were surprising:

•    Over half the recruiters coming to our events are still using spreadsheets despite there being some sweet and cost-effective applicant tracking systems on the market. 

•    80% still want to develop a better brand proposition but lack budget and time. 

•    Hiring manager buy-in is one of their biggest headaches. (not so surprising!)

•    99.9% think that LinkedIn and job ads on the most popular job ad platforms are where the candidates live and don’t venture into the world of Facebook and social media.  (And that is a whole other blog or rant – I haven’t decided yet!) 

There is always the challenge around a lack of budget and time. We have met recruiters with a huge workload of open requisitions where they are unable to find the time to source directly or attend to that all-important aspect of recruitment, the candidate experience. 

What surprises me the most is how many are not keeping up to date with where talent acquisition is heading. With so many great Facebook groups, like Talent Product Plays or Secret Sourcing, it’s never been easier to access information.  And then there is Reconverse and our other events! (yes, a plug for us). 

Rebecca Freer from ApplyDirect spoke of the impact of 'Google for Jobs' and how it’s set to disrupt our industry. They have a collaboration with Google’s Cloud Job Discovery programme, which will be used on employer’s career pages to supercharge their candidate attraction. With a show of hands, over half of the room had not heard of it which knocked my socks off. 

So, what’s going on with us? 

At our event, ‘Building a Resourcing Function’, Kushal Wijesundera, Group Talent Manager at Credit Corp talked of it as ‘influencing without authority’.  He says it’s partly about the way recruitment has evolved and the importance it has in the broader HR function. We don’t have the authority that Finance or IT has. Interesting thought given that people are the most significant assets of any business. 

Christine Shaw who spoke of her success at Barwon Health thinks that we are not good at ‘backing ourselves’. We need to stand up and say, "we know what we are doing" and then do it. That was a high five moment for us!

Ben Cartland from Catch Group, told us how he backed himself and made a recommendation to move their tech group to Tech Hub in inner-city Richmond because that’s where the talent was, not out in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. He built the case, sold it and was proved right.

What has been the most surprising observations across all events has been the lack of knowledge and experience in building a business case for tech or an agency to assist with brand and messaging or other essential services. 

There are many ways we can work to change this as a Talent Acquisition Function:

•    Recruitment teams need to understand how to build a business case and who they need to work with. Find out who in your organisation knows this stuff. Make friends with Finance and IT and while you are at it, take Marketing out for coffee. 

•    Recruiters need a clear idea of what the business strategy is, and then build it into their business case. Where is the business looking to grow in the short and long-term? What are critical skills are needed? Talent pipelining is here to stay, and we need to know how to attract that talent or actively source it. 

•    Get well-resourced both with a budget and the right number of recruiters to allow for direct sourcing, great candidate care and developing projects to attract and pipeline the right talent. 

•    Go where the people are, and that’s not always Linked-in. Talk to your business about where they hang out. We have huge debates about whether we should be recruiting on Facebook and there is massive resistance to it in Australia. We are being left behind, while everyone else is doing it. Katrina Collier gave some great insight at our last event as to how recruiters can use Facebook successfully. (stay tuned for that blog) 

•    Get the right tools. An applicant tracking system at the very least. A well-developed brand and proposition to take to market and a recruitment marketing system or CRM at the top end. Maybe a cheeky little assessment tool and finishing with outsourcing your reference checking. So, we are back to building that business case. And a visit to Reconverse to meet those suppliers to check them out.  

Being a recruiter is one of the best jobs in the world if you have what you need to do it well. Recruiters are passionate about what they do and have fantastic knowledge. The key takeaway is that everyone needs to talk more with their business and understand how to get what they need. 

Most of all, recruiters need to back themselves!