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Recruiting in the 21st century revolves completely around social networks and the internet. LinkedIn has around 611,000 results for recruiting-related positions alone. With the market so oversaturated, it’s important to take some time to refer back to the basics and mix in some old-school networking techniques to recruit the best talent possible.
1. Attend local networking events
This is obvious, right? Not to mention time-consuming and inconvenient, especially when they’re held on the weekend. While that may be the case at first, the more regularly you’re seen at local events and within industry communities, the more business you’re likely to gain. Simply showing up for an hour or two a month to swap business cards with job seekers can help you build a network of diverse people.
Reaching out to candidates via their personal information, even months after you first met, is more effective than sending out cold InMails to strangers. Local chambers of commerce, universities, and professional industry groups hold regular events that are great networking opportunities.
2. Consider yourself an extension of the company brand
Once social media became mainstream, the idea of creating a personal brand quickly followed. This concept of marketing yourself and your career to gain more business has been proven to be effective in some circumstances. In recruiting, however, it’s much more important to be seen as an extension of the company than as a sole brand.
As a representative, you set the tone for your organization and act as a brand ambassador. Your actions with candidates and hiring managers should consistently be positive and engaging. If they see your passion for the company as well as potential future roles, they’re likely to reflect your attitude and beliefs.
3. Follow the standards that you set for candidates Candidates need a variety of soft skills paired with their hard skills if they’re going to succeed in today’s job market. Well, the same goes for recruiters. Take the time to review your own skills, especially the ones that could use improvement. Oftentimes, a struggle with networking stems from the larger issue of not communicating effectively. Also consider what you expect when dealing with other people in general. If you were to meet someone for the first time, would you rather have it be via an InMail or a personalized email? Would you even prefer a voicemail over either of those? What information would be the most valuable to know about them? All of the interactions you have with candidates, especially when networking, should be thought-out in order to establish rapport and build the strongest relationship possible.
4. Keep in contact after placements While networking is typically considered the act of going out and meeting new people, it’s just as important to nurture these connections. When you place a candidate in an entry or mid-level job, it’s doubtful that their aspirations end there. As they develop their careers, check in occasionally just to say hello and ask how they’re doing. Down the line, passive candidates that have had good past experiences with you are significantly more likely to be open to the new positions you are searching to fill.
While these may be no-brainers to some, the reason these tips are still relevant is that they work. Networking as a recruiter is different than in other fields and it needs to be treated that way. Take this opportunity to bring out your old Rolodex and read through the business cards that are gathering dust. They could be the key to placing the gold star candidate that you’ve been overlooking all along.