When you think of recruiting, do you think of sales or marketing? In my career, I’ve worked in and with marketing, sales, recruiting, and communications. As an employer brand consultant, I’ve spoken with even more departments, across industries. And what I know is that most people don’t think about recruiting — at all. Unless, of course, you’re in the profession or you’re looking for a job.
If asked to name key parts of a business strategy, you’re likely to say sales, marketing, finance, or technology. Yet, the recruiting profession often acts like these functions. Recruiting is sales, marketing, customer service, and of course, human resources and talent acquisition. (<— Click to tweet this!)
Recruiting is not celebrated for meeting goals like sales. It’s not praised for its creativity like marketing. It’s not recognized for delivering outstanding experiences like customer service.
Why is that?
High-performing recruiters are instrumental to a successful business strategy. Your recruiters create awareness of your organization, drive interest, and set expectations of candidates’ alignment to your employment experience. When done right, recruiting’s efforts lead to the committed and contributing workforce your company needs to grow.
According to Glassdoor, 40% of job seekers/workers will opt out of a recruitment process due to a poor first interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager. If your recruiters don’t feel valued and a sense of belonging, how can you expect them to do their jobs effectively?
And that’s assuming your recruiters can get a candidate to respond. United States unemployment is at 3.7% and the competition for talent gets more fierce with each Department of Labor report. Your recruiters are on the front-line. Are you showing how much you value their contributions to your business?
Invest in training
Most job onboarding includes some element of training. Whether on-the-job or a rigorous two-week boot camp, job training is essential. It immerses new employees into the culture and helps them contribute to the organization faster.
Are you investing in training your recruiting team with the same vigor that you train sales and customer service?
Go beyond the basic job responsibilities and train your recruiters on how to consultant on the business. Provide courses on business strategy. Share department or product deep-dives. Train recruiters on your employer brand. Give them resources to attend industry conferences. These type of education gives recruiters the confidence and pride they need to effectively communicate about your business. It equips them with the business acumen that inspires hiring managers to trust their recommendations.
Update tools and technology
It seems like every organization is now calling themselves a “tech” company. But are you actually one in the eyes of your employees and candidates? Technology has evolved in so many areas of work and life. If your customers are the only ones experiencing innovative tech, it's hard to sell that line to candidates.
Take a look at your recruiting technology. How are candidate experiences affected as a result of that technology?
Give your recruiting team a candidate relationship management system as robust as a sales CRM. Build your careers website with a budget representative of its importance in driving your business strategy. Focus on updating your tools and technology to make recruiting as innovative as your tech department. It will not only make recruiters' jobs easier, but it can also make a positive impact on the candidate experience.
Offer rewards and recognition
From the funnels of attraction to the cost of acquisition, recruiting has many similarities to sales. Except when it comes to recognizing performance.
Sales performance is synonymous with bonuses, incentives, luxurious retreats for the top performers. Recruiting, not so much. But the difference between good recruiters and great ones is significant. Good recruiters earn their candidates’ interest and response. Great recruiters earn their candidates’ trust, respect, and referrals. (<— Click to tweet this!)
What if the sales incentive trip was a company-wide reward for all top performers? Would behaviors change if you could display leaderboards of recruiters with the highest candidate experience rating? Could you drive retention goals by rewarding recruiters whose candidates have remained with the organization? Showcase the value recruiters bring to your company, and you will create an impact beyond the hiring experience.
Focus on work environment and culture
In our exaqueo workforce research, we ask employees what makes them accept offers, stay at a company, or potentially leave an employer. Often we hear “work environment” and “culture” as primary drivers behind employment decisions.
How would you describe your work environment and culture? If you’re unsure, ask your recruiting team. They likely get asked this daily by candidates and (hopefully) have a consistent, positive way to answer.
If they don’t, how can you help recruiters communicate it? First, start by seeking to understand what your unique culture truly is. Culture audits, focus groups, and unbiased workforce research are all ways to gather the data you need. Then make sure recruiters are experiencing it. Try culture roadshows where recruiters immerse themselves with the teams they support. Create a recruiting floor with the same energy as a sales floor, including bell ringing for offers accepted.
Recruiters are your organization’s promoters. The more engaged they are, the more authentically and enthusiastically they can influence others to prefer your organization over your competitors.
According to a SHRM study, the cost of turnover ranges from $3,003 to $8,004 per front-line associate. And that doesn't factor in extra costs for paid overtime, lost productivity, and weaker customer service. A company’s bottom line is dependent on recruiting's ability to hire people who will stay and contribute to the organization. (<— Click to tweet this!)
If growing your workforce is part of your business strategy, recruiting needs a seat at the table and a slice of the budget pie. These are only a few ideas to start the dialogue. To give your recruiting team the respect it deserves takes an understanding of how they think, feel, and act. Then, you can determine what will work best for your organization.
Does your recruiting team feel valued and respected? We’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, and feedback on this topic. Leave a comment below or tweet us at @exaqueo!