Do You Treat Your Candidates Like Customers?

How well do you really know your candidates? If you have a recruiting process in place that’s seemed to work just fine for years, your answer to that question is probably at least a bit inaccurate.

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Recruiting is, or should be, a great deal about science. There’s data available for everything that your company does, from selling a product or service to marketing. But while the rest of the company forges ahead, HR is too often stuck in the past. The information you need is there for the taking, but you have to ask for it first.

Out with the Old, ASAP

Recruiters can get stuck in a rut as easily as anyone else. If your process seems to work just fine, there probably appears to be no reason to shake things up now. But how do you know it’s fine if you don’t explore anything else?

Nearly every other department in any business strives for new and better methods and greater results. So it’s surprising that many recruiters accept the status quo as if nothing better under the sun is even possible. At one time, the Model T was the best way to get around town. And who in the 1980s could have imagined that you’d one day have a web browser on your phone?

Think About Recruiting as Sales

If one area of business knows how to dive deeper and deeper to get valuable information, it’s sales. According to ERE Media, what is recruiting if not another type of sales? You want to reach a certain audience because you hope they’ll buy what you’re offering: A job.

Entrepreneur magazine stresses the need for finding and then analyzing Big Data, but explains that too few business even know that it exists. There are so many ways to gather important data, from surveys and interviews to the statistical data found in job boards. But while sales teams constantly strive to find it, HR largely allows all of that info to wither and die on the vine.

Understand What Motivates Your Candidates

Sales, including selling a candidate on a job offer, depends on knowing as much as possible about the target audience and offering that as easily as you can. How and when do candidates search and apply for a job, and what do they want in the first place? ERE suggests that missing out on that data can render your recruiting efforts as much as 25 percent less effective.

One thing is sure, no candidate wants to be ignored. Sales wouldn’t dream of not following up with a potential client. But can HR say the same? Does any recruiter send a personalized email after receiving an application? Or is it more common to assume that the power is in the hands of the recruiter, and that new candidates will always somehow arrive? That might be true to a certain degree, but it probably reduces the number of qualified candidates.

Big Data is Here

Sales already uses it with great rewards, and HR could benefit from it, too. But it takes a bit of acceptance that the old, tried-and-true ways might be finding their end. It might have worked great a decade ago, and it might still seem to. But without experiencing what else is possible, there’s no real comparison to be made.

By emulating what sales does, you could transform the whole hiring process and make it better for everyone involved. That includes your company, your department, you personally, and every potential job candidate. Don’t miss out on what could be a time of real advancement in recruiting. There’s a lot to be learned, but if you ask sales they’ll tell you it’s worth it.

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