When it comes to recruitment there are a lot of clichés and made-up ideas. In this article I will try to bust some of the recruitment myths with specific examples and also professional advice. I will bust the myths that I identified as being important and powerful. Please note that the article is based on my professionalexperience and personal opinions :).
1) Recruitment is an easy and constant job
When I first entered the recruitment world I was amazed about the dynamism that I found here. People often see recruitment as a nice job where you are relaxed most of the time, drink coffee with your partners and have a chat with the candidates. I met a lot of people who wanted to work in recruitment and they used to motivate their choice by saying that it is a nice and pleasant job. It is indeed a job that you can enjoy but it is demanding most of the time, things will change faster than you can imagine and it will also be hard times to handle. It is a job that requires positive thinking, self-confidence, a great attitude towards failure or rejection and last but not least the ability to start everything from the scratch – without getting too frustrated – just when you thought you would finish that project. So, recruitment can be everything but it will never be an easy job.
2) Communication is the most important skill for a recruiter
Needless to say that you do need strong communication skills in order to work in recruitment. But, what is even more important than this is to have and develop your listening skills. This is the only way through which you’ll understand what your interlocutor wants to tell you. It is necessary to know when you should stop talking, when you have to close your mouth and open your ears. Always remember that you have a dialogue with the candidate and not an endless monologue or a boring interrogation. It is not easy to stop talking, especially when you enjoy the subject or the conversation. You have to know when it is time for you to talk and you should just listen and give the other person the time and space to say what they have to say. I believe that the key point is to find a balance between giving enough details and listening to the person in front of you.
3) Recruitment is a pure sales job
No one can deny that we do sell in recruitment. It may involve more selling activity than you could imagine or want – we sell our recruitment services to our clients, we sell our jobs to the candidates, we sell the candidates to the client. Nevertheless, I do believe that recruitment is more than just sales as it involves people who have emotions and different needs. On the one hand, candidates are not numbers – they are people who have families, friends and professional objectives. As a recruiter, try to see the candidate beyond the job description in front of you in order to better understand them and what they want from the professional point of view. On the other hand, clients are not fees; instead, they are people who are looking for a new member in their company or team. If you still believe that we can sell in recruitment as some people sell toothpaste I want to remind you that slavery time ended years ago and candidates are not merchandise. It is true that recruitment involves selling but the process should be closer to consultancy than to selling.
4) The best way to identify good candidates is to send automatic bulk messages
In this fast-paced environment the recruitment world began to get closer to the technical influences and automation. There are specific ways of reaching candidates automatically by targeting your focus group. Although in some cases this method might bring results, I am of the opinion that it is not a good method in the long run as a personal approach will always be preferred. Building relationship – not only with the client but also with the candidate – is a way of success in the long run. People are unique and special and this is why I prefer to treat and approach them differently according to their needs and professional experience. When reaching a client or a candidate I think that the best way to do this is to refer to that persons’ experience by mentioning something about them (in order to make them understand that you are interested in them as a person). It may take more time but it will pay in the long run. As recruitment is related to people and to building relationships there is no technical way to do this better than the human touch. Thus, feel free to approach candidates with a gentle, personal and human touch. Being human will not belittle your chances to success.
5) The recruiter should say everything what their candidate/client wants to hear
When in touch with candidates or clients you come to understand what they need and what they are looking for. In order to build a long-term and successful relationship with them you should not tell them what they want to hear. Be honest, use your market knowledge and help them befriend with reality. On the one hand, you should tell candidates everything you know about a role or company without hiding details or important pieces of information. Your aim is not just to fill your position but to build a relationship based on trust and professionalism. In the long run, you’ll understand how many things you can achieve by acting like this but it takes maturity and patience. On the other hand, you should tell your clients what you know and what you have done without trying to overestimate your recruitment status reports or to promise more than you can deliver. Here I should stress that you have to always think twice before you promise something to your client in order to be able to keep your promises. You do not want to make your client happy listening to you; you want to make them happy on seeing the results of your work. Being totally honest will make you mature and trustworthy in front of a client. Also, when you promise something to a client or candidate try to ignore your optimism and focus only on your experience and market knowledge.
6) Recruitment is a boring job
Recruitment may be seen as a boring job as some claim that you are doing the same thing every day. Oh, dears, in recruitment there are not two days that look alike. Being a dynamic environment, what was yesterday a good method might be old-fashioned today. Thus, you should always be prepared for a change when you work in recruitment and you should always be prepared to bringing new ideas or solutions. As the recruitment market is competitive, you should be creative in order to create an appealing job ad or an attractive message.
7) As a recruiter, you are as powerful as God
When working in recruitment you should be aware of the impact that you have on someone’s life – yeah, you can contribute to someone’s change in their professional life but when you are face to face with the candidate in the interview do not try to be Jack the Ripper. Having an open conversation with the candidate means an honest discussion in which you can both find out whether the job you manage is a fit for the candidate or not. Your candidate and you have the same goal and you should ask them questions in order to have a better understanding of their professional experiences and career path and not just to put them in a difficult situation.
8) Recruiters make a decision based on the candidates’ body language
Body language is important and it helps us a lot when it comes to understanding others. But, when you are a recruiter in an interview it is more important to focus on what you want to find out (professional experience, career objective, attitude and skills) than on the candidates moves during the interview. Remember that the candidate is already observed – they know it – and they are already in a stressful situation. Also, you do not know them and hence you do not know how they feel comfortable when sitting or when talking to someone new. So, an interview is a professional way of meeting someone in order to match their skills with a job – as a recruiter, you are not a character in well-known series.
9) There are specific answers that recruiters want to hear
During an interview, recruiters ask questions in order to understand what you did so far and what you would like to do from now on from the professional point of view. Recruiters also want to see and understand how you react to a new challenge, what is your attitude towards failure and what it is your dream job. When we ask these questions we do not have something specific in mind that we want you to say, we just want to know you. An interview is not a multiple choice test but a way to know you as you are – we do not want to hear the same answer over and over again; all the candidates are different and we are willing to hearing your own and authentic story.
10) You do not need numerical skills in order to work in recruitment
If you decided to work in recruitment because you have never had a way with math I have bad news for you – as a recruiter you will have to do with numbers, reports, graphics and statistics. You will need numerical skills in order to present a recruitment status and to understand a business. As a recruiter you don’t just see candidates and have interviews but you need strategical thinking and analytical skills in order to analyze data and to understand the market trends.
All in all, working in recruitment is a rewarding and awesome job if you put in it not only all your effort but also your brains and heart. Being successful when working with people begins with being human and open to others. Also, being successful in business begins with befriending with numbers without ignoring the human touch and the people behind your numbers.
Articol scris de Anamaria Buzatu – Senior Recruitment Consultant, APT Resources & Services