Sunday, February 20, 2011

Project Social: Finding the Right Person

My project social partner Dave Ryan and I were chatting Monday about recruiting and how hard it is to find the right person. As a busy HR person, he must frequently rely on external recruiters even though recruiting is traditionally an HR activity and he’ll be posting on the outsourcing aspect of recruiting over at HR Official.

Whereas I’m more interested in how recruiting has evolved over the years. For example, a friend of mine is an IT recruiter and years ago over lunch she described how she found people.

As an example, if she was looking for a Java developer, she would:
  • Call up a company with lots of Java developers and ask to be connected with the manager of application development or 'someone in the organization who could answer her question about...' some made up technical problem.
  • Pretend to be a potential customer and chat up the lead gen folks until she got a developer name.
  • Get hold of a company directory - best not to ask how - and cold call everyone in the department.

Basically, she'd call around and talk to people until she got a lead and then she would pursue to the ends of the earth if necessary. Not interested? A mere technicality.

Stalking is such a dirty word. Let’s just say she was really good at her job.

And she didn’t consider the job done until the ink was dry. Even once the fish was on the hook, so to speak, she made herself available day and night. Many times her phone would ring while she was making dinner for her kids and family life would halt while she talked some skittish candidate down off the ledge.

Although this wasn’t THAT long ago, the tools of recruiting have evolved quite a bit with social media. Not only is it easier to find and connect with people, it’s also easier to dig up information about them. And people are generally better connected as well so if one lead doesn’t pan out odds are they can tip you onto another.

So the entire process takes much less time, which unfortunately leads many recruiters to believe they can skimp on the small touches.

For example, I've gotten a surprising number of emails that go something like this: 'I have a great job that you're perfect for. If you're interested call me.'

Oh, yeah, I jump right on those.

Of course, some things haven’t changed: The best recruiters will always be the ones who can find people and form connections.

I was recently contacted about an opportunity via LinkedIn, which I declined. The recruiter - who had taken the time to provide job details, spell check his email and act interested in me - thanked me for responding. Then he politely asked if I knew anyone so I emailed a friend and asked if I could pass along his details. He agreed and a few weeks later messaged me on Facebook to thank me for hooking him up.

(If I were going to embellish this story I'd throw in a Skype chat or two but we actually managed without Skype or Twitter.)

Now THAT’s social recruiting in action.

1 comment:

  1. I have often wondered how many hours a day a recruiter spends dialing away?


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