When We Stopped Being Human

I have a sad, serious question to ask. When did we stop being human beings in the world of recruiting? When did we change the narrative to robotic behavior? We are recruiting and sourcing HUMAN BEINGS! Yet I constantly hear the cries of those who are mistreated within our industry, and I sit and wonder why. Has our profession become some jaded, narcissistic, overly metric-sized robotic world? It sure seems so with all of the talk of candidate experience that is tossed around from all the employers out there, yet the complaints keep coming online from all over the place. 

When We Stopped Being Human

I rarely go to speak at conferences anymore, and before this whole Corona Virus going around, I only planned on going to one or two conferences this year. Why? There is nothing left to say that has not been said in my opinion. It seems conferences are more of a way to have a good time on a company’s dime than to learn anything. Anyway, I digress. When I do speak, I like to speak about something dear to my heart. It is not metrics, time to fill, or how to source for candidates, etc. Nope, I like to speak about the actual true candidate experience and how you can accomplish it. 

First off have you ever looked for a job before? Was it a good time? Did you get calls right away for the role you applied for? Maybe, but I doubt it. Looking for a job is one of the most stressful things a person can do. There is uncertainty, sometimes depression as the savings start to dwindle, and weeks can turn into months for some people. This may have happened to you in your past. So final question, after you get that new role why is it that you forget what you just went through? Listen, I am not trying to beat up anybody here but think about it for a moment. 

Are you recruiting machines or robots? NO, of course not! So why are you so robotic with your approach? When I train new recruiters, one of the first things I ask them to think about while they are waiting for the computer to warm up, getting a coffee, thinking about how to use their credit card reward points, or generally just sitting there is to take a few moments to remember YOUR journey to this new job or the jobs you have had in the past. Carry that through with you when you are talking to candidates and sometimes remind managers of the same thing that they more than likely went through as well. When you look at it through this lens you gain a better perspective.

Secondly, get out from behind the emails and pick up the phone. It is now easier than ever to find contact information for prospective candidates, and the ones that applied gave you that information! I am not saying to not send an email, but call first and if you cannot reach them then send a follow-up email. If you do reach them one of the first things you should do after introducing yourself is ask them, “How is your day going?” The actual human approach is more than refreshing for so many people getting inundated with recruiters and sourcers wanting something from them without really asking or caring about what the candidate wants. That is a shame.

I could go on and on about this subject with other tips and tricks but I don’t want this to be an incredibly long post. If you would like to know more let me know by adding comments below, and if I get enough I will happy to do a follow-up article! #happyhunting

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Derek Zeller

Derek Zeller draws from over 20 years in the recruiting industry and has been involved with federal government recruiting specializing within the cleared IT space under OFCCP compliancy. He has experience sourcing for many skill sets including IT, Accounting, Nursing, and Sales. Currently, he is the Senior Recruiting Lead for comScore’s west coast operations covering all things IT. He has experience with both third party agency and in-house recruiting for multiple disciplines. Using out-of-the-box tactics and strategies to identify and engage talent, he has had significant experience in building referral and social media programs, the implementation of Applicant Tracking Systems, technology evaluation, and the development of sourcing, employment branding, and military and college recruiting strategies. Derek currently lives in Portland, OR.

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