Good Recruiters are, Empathic, the ability to sense or feel others emotions, and motivations. A good recruiter has gained this ability. It goes hand in hand with Looklisology (http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/lisology-1 and http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/lookology-1 ). The ability to sense what someone is feeling, or what is motivating them, is not some sort of ESP. It simply the logical, thought process were by we take the visual and audible clues that everyone will give when responding to questions. Like a tell in poker, these clues will tell us allot about the person. And it is more than just what they say and do and how they say and do it, but what they do not say and do, and how they do not say and do it. As you get better and better at it you will appear to be empathic, and in most ways you are. But instead of some unexplainable ESP, it is you simply using your eyes and ears in ways others simply do not. This extra skill/ability will allow you to find out things about candidates that other recruiters will miss. These things will allow you to hire the best candidates, learn how to work with the hardest teammates and managers and simple make your life easier. After all it is always easier dealing with people when you understand them, and these skills will give you insights that others will not have.
Organization and Planning are the glue!!- You must know how to organize and plan your time effectively. As an example one of the biggest problem recruiters have is finding time to source. This is most true of corporate recruiters who get sucked into all sorts of things. Well simply put sourcing time on your calendar for everyday. This guarantees you time to source. However, do not just stop there. Go in with a plan. Know your openings and have them prioritized. Set a number of candidates you want to find for a given opening on a weekly basis. Do your sourcing at the time you set forth, but follow your plan. If you have 50 openings, and you have decided 5 for each a week is good, then use your sourcing time to find your 5 great candidates for the first opening and then move on to the next. This ensures you will find candidates for all your openings, and usually will leave you some time left. Most recruiters I know, when they do source get so caught up in one opening, by the time their sourcing time is done, they have only sourced for one opening and have numerous more they have done nothing with. Remember organization and planning is the glue that helps a recruiter be successful.
Recruiters can suffer from the same negative effects of success that anyone else does. The main issue is complacency. Sometimes a recruiter or anyone who has great success can become complacent. Sit back on their laurels so to speak. Sometimes with recruiters it can also happen because they think they know the business they support to well, or they have allot of candidates in the pipe. However the reality is there is no such thing as to many, because inevitably, some will fall off for varying reasons such as; change their minds, fail tech screen, cannot relo, HM changes their mind, etc... Then you are stuck with not enough, because you became complacent.
In some cases the complacency comes from thinking they have so much experience they know it all. Trust me you do not. I have over 15 years in staffing and I still attend at least 2 webinars on staffing, recruiting, boolean searches, social media, etc.. every month. Trust me you never know it all, there is always something new, sometimes it is directly related to staffing, sometimes it is Program management, sometimes time management. There is always something you can learn, some new knowledge, skill or tool you can add to your skills set to make yourself better.
The point is now matter how good you think you are, there is always someone better. No matter how successful you are there is always someone more successful or a way for you to me more successful. Do not become complacent. Continue to strive to be better or I can guarantee you someone, and maybe even the whole industry will pass you by.
When is staffing like Poker? The answer is when you are interviewing. In poker, and especially Texas holdem, you are always looking, and listening for insights into other players hands. These are called tells. Sometimes they come as non-verbal communications, a twitch, or a blink of the eyes. Other times it comes as nervous talk, sometimes you are talking to them asking them questions, throwing out guesses of what they have, all the while hoping they will provide you with a tell. This is very much like what you do when you interview. When you interview someone, you are asking a bunch of questions, trying to discover information. You are listening to what they say, what they do not say, how they say it, their non-verbal communication, their mannerism etc. All this to try to find some more information about them and their background. Think of the candidate as the other players and their background as the player’s hand, and you can easily see the correlation.
Recently I was asked by a fellow professional what is the difference between a leader and a manager. I thought long and hard about it, and came to several realizations. Now keep in mind my point of reference for this is based on my 12+ years in the military, which includes during war time, and my 20+ years amongst the professional ranks.
For one you can be a manager but not manage anyone. There are allot of positions out there that are titled manager or management that do not have direct people managing requirements. While the only way to be a leader or be in a leadership role is to lead people. Leaders are born, managers are created.
In addition anyone can be a manager, only a select few can be leaders. A manager(if they are managing people) can have influence over people because of their title without ever having earned that influence, respect or trust. A leader, will not only have that influence because of their title, but they will have earned it through deeds, they will be respected because they earned it, and they will be trusted by the people who work for them because they have proven they are trustworthy. They will have a way about them, that demands respect. This is something that cannot be made, or learned you either have it or you do not. Sometimes it take awhile before it shines through, but if you have this elusive ability sooner or later it will be clear, you are a leader.
A true leader knows how to utilize all 3 leadership styles, authoritarian, participative and delegative. They will know when and how to use them. The will make those around them better. The will also live by the simple rule of "taking care of others, takes care of yourself". Which means for the purpose of leaders very simply, if you truly take care of your workers, they will want to reciprocate and take care of you. The only true way for a worker to take care of their leader, is to do their jobs in an outstanding manner. Which in turns makes the leader look good. A true leader will understand everyone makes mistakes, and the key is not repeating the same mistake over and over again. A great leader does not need to be an expert at anything other than leading to get a job done, of course it does help if you have the technical skills, or knowledge.
A manager will usually be an expert in a process or procedure or skill. Maybe even a great programmer or recruiter. However being a great programmer or recruiter does not make you a great manager or leader.
Earlier I made the statement " leaders are born, managers are created." This is very true. However there are those rare occasions, when you get the best of both worlds. When you get a managers, who is a leader. What you have then is the best of the best, the ultimate managing leader.
When you do get a person who is not only a technical expert, but knows how to lead, you should enjoy it, because they are rare, and with leaders like that you can work wonders, achieve great success, and perhaps, if you are lucky, and already have a the ability to lead in you, you can learn to be the best of the best, the Managing Leader.
One way I have found to be very successful as a staffing professional is to Treat every opening like a project and use the basic PM steps to ensure you do the job right. Step one is to do needs analysis. This is the same thing as your first meeting with your client to determine what they need, write the JD etc.. Then you go on to the next step and so on till the position is filled.
There are six main steps in managing a project.
1. Define the problem-Your client has an opening and you meet with him to determine the opening and write JD.
2. Develop Solution Options-you decide on whether this can be filled internally or externally and the process that will be used.
3. Plan the Project-You create a sourcing plan.
4. Execute-you execute on the sourcing plan, this includes interviewing, screening, etc.
5. Monitor & Control Progress-you do reporting and have weekly or bi-weekly meeting with hiring manager and team to discuss progress.
6. Close project-Hire made, and if time allows you and the Hiring Manager and team have a meeting to discuss what went well, and what could be done better.
Of course some steps take less time than others, and can be done at the same time. The key is communication and documentation. But when you treat each position like an individual project, and use PM techniques, it becomes much much easier.
What are these "Secret weapon" you wonder! A Dictionary and Thesaurus. That is right probably two of the oldest books around are the secret weapon. Now first let's not think of Dictionaries and Thesaurus's as only the old books on our book shelves. I am talking about any dictionary; the standard, online, technical, etc.. Any book or website that defines things, is by definition a dictionary. The same goes for a Thesaurus.
Please remember to go back and reread the four part series I did on metrics some added context into some of the things I say here.
So when is the metrics not a metrics? They answer is when it is the antidotal not numbers based information you need to gather to understand a metrics. Not to say this data is not a metrics, just that it is not the traditional type of metrics.
When we think metrics we think numbers. But as the definition below alludes to, numbers are not the only kind of metrics.
So first the definition of a metrics as we are using it is;
Metrics - a measure of an organization's activities and performance, usually this is a numerical value.
The key is usually, there is some non-numerical data that should be gathered and used and in some ways are a metrics.
For example if you have a staffing professional (SP), who has 12 hiring managers (HM) they support, and they get a good client sat rating, but when you look at it you notice only 2 HMs gave input. So you contact each HM and ask them not only are they happy but why. The why is non-numerical (or at least partially) metrics data.
In fact most client sat numbers are gathered via a questionnaire of sorts. They almost always have a place for comments. These comments are not traditional metric as they are not numerical, but they are metrics in that they impact and measure performance. If you find out by the numerical values your SP has a bad client sat rating, but when reading the comments you find out it is not the SP the HMs are not happy with but say, relocation, then the SP is not the issue.
I have said that metrics are a part of the puzzle, that you need to find out the why’s, and how’s, those how’s and why’s are Non-numerical metrics data.
Helping people connect with their Destiny”