Hiring season can be a grind for recruiters. Endless, long, late nights working hard to get the “perfect candidate”. But instead of going through the whole turmoil, we say, be prepared for it even before the hiring season starts. Being prepared is much better than making the wrong hiring decisions in the heat of the moment. As the hiring season draws pressure starts mounting if unprepared which is not good either for the organization or for its employees. In preparation for the fast-approaching recruiting season, dedicate some of your summertime to recharge for a successful hiring season for rest of the year. Constantly nurturing existing relationships and strategically developing new contacts can put you on the inside track to plump leads, whether you are an active recruiter or just want to keep up with the market.
Remember that candidates might come and go, but your network is like a lifetime investment for your organization. Contacts provide referrals, recommendations, and invitations. Therefore you need to make time every day to “network purposefully,” as we say.
Define your networking methodology
Having a well-defined plan is the foundation of any successful project and just like a building needs a blueprint and a software product needs a base plan, a perfect recruitment drive needs a strategy. Having clear goals of your working methodology will take you places in the later stages of your recruitment drive. Use those contacts which are lying in your database from months together. It’s time to get those back into action.
Concentrate on people and exercises related straightforwardly to accomplishing individual and expert objectives. Compile a list of existing contacts which can turn into potential candidates and research targeted new contacts among thought leaders, authors, friends of friends, industry consultants and speakers.
Widen your horizon
The next step would be to organize the contacts into action groups: meet in person one-on-one, via telephone call, individual e-mails, print notes or by sharing a link or article; send a gift; connect two contacts; invite to a live event; recommend a virtual event or a group discussion; or submit a proposal for a presentation. In the end, keep them engaged. There are a number of ways open to create conversations online through groups on different social media platforms.
LinkedIn is yet another powerful tool to build and maintain contacts. It is more of a professional site than just plain social media which means the prospects of finding potential candidates is higher. Use Skype to the best of your advantage to have meetings with people who cannot be met in person. This creates an in-person effect with the flexibility of connecting with people who are not physically reachable. Put your creativity to work on how you can keep those connections alive.
Track Your Contacts
When a potential candidate gives you leads or referrals, ensure that you ask for permission to use that contact’s name. To make things easier keep detailed records of your networking activity: with whom you spoke, regarding what and what was the topic of discussion. For each contact you gain or collect, identify the next steps and along with that develop a reliable follow-up system of your contacts. Keep a collection of index cards along with you which will work; or a notebook or a computer application. The key to success is to be persistent in whatever you do and actually follow up.
As mentioned in the previous step, LinkedIn is a place to track contacts where you have the options to know people professionally way before you get their resumes in hand. You can also get in touch with people you might think can be an asset and build a relationship. The current hiring trend is all about candidate relationship management.
Conduct required diligence
Find inside knowledge of target candidates, include consultants as well. Also be sure to read print and online publications, visit professional association websites and check conference exhibitors and presenters. Refine your offer for representatives in light of their needs. Depict by examples of overcoming the adversity of your representatives’ cases of how they include become the association, helped in decreasing expenses or enhancing the procedure. You need to separate yourself from a first decision, go-to dependable master. Also, join extra gatherings to make more focused on contacts.
Host events and attend events which are in your circle of contacts. Talk to your contacts in person to have a more lasting relationship. This will add a more human touch to your relationships and adds a level of trust which cannot be got by only connecting via online platforms.
Maximize social networking to increase quality contacts
Social networks provide enormous opportunity to connect with insiders identified from their profile content. Ask a mutual contact to facilitate an introduction. Join the same group as a target contact; on LinkedIn, for instance, you can send a message to a fellow group member without being linked.
Spot trends and increase your knowledge online. Go beyond Linked In. Get background information from corporate websites, LinkedIn profiles, and Facebook fan pages. Search online (ZoomInfo, Google profiles, Spoke) for more names. Follow individuals and corporate accounts on Twitter, monitor conversations and send direct messages or engage in a public dialogue.
Social Recruiting is one more buzzword doing the rounds in the recruitment industry in recent times. Make use of your social presence to build a strong brand identity for your organization which is impossible for people to not notice. Making a niche in the social world is more than important to find contacts.
Increase your visibility
Now that you are getting the hang of how to network purposefully, complete your LinkedIn profile. Add keywords, document recent accomplishments of your employees, and upload presentations, white papers, articles, favourite links or travel plans.
All of this is important because adding content increases your digital footprint, which makes you more searchable. Check your Twitter stream a few times daily. Monitor your favourite blogs and websites via RSS to your e-mail or Google Reader. Write a comment, post a question, answer an inquiry—all of these are searchable and increase your digital footprint adding to your credibility, building your reputation and providing a continuous record of who you are, what you do, how you think and show your potential value.
Also, be sure to document your accomplishments online: Your work is your resume. Offline activities published online also add to your digital footprint. Send out press releases announcing promotions or job changes. Present at a trade show. Lead or help organize an activity in your local community or professional group. You will also make new contacts plus get more PR for yourself.
Put yourself out there for people to see and reach out. Share your work with the world. Set a brand identity for yourself by increasing your visibility. Make use of every possible feature of social networking sites like stories, images and videos to give the world a glimpse of your work culture.
Maintain social networking accounts and credibility
Be consistent across all platforms. While staying in touch and keeping your activities current is time-consuming, repeatedly starting to network from scratch every time you need or want a different position requires much more time and effort and is far less effective.
Having solid relationships is the key to sourcing new challenges in the unadvertised or hidden job market. Keep up your side of relationships. Networking is critically important in today’s world where every job is temporary and you need to create your own career insurance. It is easier to maintain a relationship than to develop a new one: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.”
Having a regular social media schedule will work wonders for you. So, while you are preparing for the big day, make sure you spend some time on social media campaigns every day. This might seem like an insignificant step, but it is a stepping stone to success as the world is going digital and the amount of time people spend on social media every day is mind-boggling.
To sum it all up, you can pretty much have a win-win situation in all your recruitment drives by following the simple but effective methods explained above!