As recruiters, we all have the same goal: to make placements. If you can accomplish this with a passable level of efficiency, you’ll experience a passable level of success. However, if you want to elevate your career from simply being paid to provide a service to being a highly sought-after talent acquisition specialist, you’ll need to do more than simply make placements. Building stronger relationships, taking more detailed steps in your recruiting process, and establishing yourself as a trusted advisor and talent expert within your industry can set you apart from your peers and catapult you into recruiter rockstar stratosphere.
How do you build and maintain strong relationships? In 5 Best Practices for Collaborative Recruiting, we discussed critical aspects of building and maintaining strong relationships with hiring managers, such as clearly understanding each other’s roles and responsibilities, mutual respect and open communication. In addition, your responsiveness and attention to detail speaks volumes about how much you value your client and can help solidify that trust and respect that sets you apart from other recruiters. It sounds simple, but when you’re juggling a few dozen clients or requisitions, getting the details right and responding quickly takes discipline and organization that many recruiters don’t have. Responding as quickly as possible with the right information makes your clients feel like they matter and are worth your time, building trust in your relationship.
Following up with your hiring managers after placements have been made can also help strengthen your relationship and help set you apart from other recruiters. Check in and see how the placements you’ve made are working and if they are satisfied with the candidate hired. Ask them for any feedback on the candidate as well as the process soon after the placement is made and then follow up again about six months later. This keeps you in front of your client and shows that you care about a long-term relationship.
Strong relationships with your client and hiring managers gives you a better understanding of what they look for in candidates, enabling you to make better selections. How do you go beyond that “gut feel” to ensure that candidates are a cultural fit for your clients and have the skills to perform well in their roles? Lisa Quast at Forbes.com advises testing them. These can be written tests, role-plays, or real-world mock ups, such as a PR candidate writing a press release for a product launch. The tests don’t need to be elaborate to reveal how well a candidate will perform in a role and/or fit in with a company.
Last but not least, you want to establish yourself as an expert and trusted advisor in your industry. Your online presence and original content contributions can help you build your reputation as a thought leader. Create content devoted to trends and conditions in the talent market for your industry, and participate in community forums or online Q&A sessions. Consider creating your own blog and trying to build up your readership by discussing hot topics within your industry and having other established thought leaders or clients contribute content. The more relatable and relevant your content is, the more people will begin to see you as a trusted advisor instead of a recruiter looking for a paycheck placement.
These are a few simple ways to stand out among your peers in the competitive world of recruiting. These techniques don’t require money, training or experience, they just require hard work and a willingness to go above and beyond the basic task of making placements. Practice these disciplines and go from being a regular recruiter to a talent acquisition rockstar.