RECRUITMENT FOCUS: Embrace technology but not at expense of all else

Recruitment agencies have shifted their focus away from traditional recruitment methods in the hope of keeping ahead of the curve. Candidates are working tirelessly to add to their ever expanding repertoire of online profiles. If everyone is doing it it must be better, right? In my humble opinion – no!

Over the last number of years the recruitment industry has seen some big changes with technology moving at a breakneck speed which has left many recruiters struggling to keep up.

No surprise then that not a day goes by that I don’t read about a new app or website or toolbar add on that is going to help me reach more candidates. All touting themselves as the “next big thing” this wave of new products and technologies is seemingly endless.

Tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are now considered well developed recruitment tools in both their abilities to reach potential candidates and also spread the good word of your company.

So entrenched are these tools, that you will struggle to find a recruiter that is not on LinkedIn or busy tweeting about the fantastic opportunities available in their respective companies.

These tools are widely seen by most industry commentators as the future of recruitment. The world’s top companies have spent millions adopting, implementing and training their staff on these innovative and cutting edge technologies.

Sitting on my couch the other evening I remembered a fantastic TEDx talk I had watched online given by Simon Sinek. In his talk, Sinek speaks about various theories on why customers buy, and are loyal to different people, companies and brands.

He suggests that the most successful companies use a powerful marketing message of why they do what they do and not how they do what they do. This got me to thinking. Do the same rules apply to the recruitment industry?

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that we are straying down the wrong path. Why are we focussing on how we do something instead of why we do it?

Let me explain. In our never ending hunt to find the best candidates and clients recruiters are using an increasing number of digital tools to locate and contact these people. The truth is that you don’t need these tools.

These candidates and clients have been there all along and are as easy to contact through traditional recruitment methods as they have always been.

The problem is that they don’t want to work with you! This means you need the ability to contact more people to fill your requirement.

But why don’t they want to work with you? Simple - because you are focussing on how and not why. Candidates and clients don’t care how you do your job. They don’t care how many online tools you use or how many people you have in your LinkedIn network.

They have heard it all before from every other recruiter and it’s starting to wear thin. What has been lost, and what they haven’t heard in a long time, is about why you do your job.

Tell your candidates and clients that the reason you work in recruitment is because you are passionate. Tell them that you want to be better than the others that you were born to recruit and that you won’t rest they are 100% happy with your service. Most importantly, mean it.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. People follow passion not planning. If your candidates and clients believe in your ideals, your drive and your willingness to do more, they will not only follow you, they will stick with you.

Your vision and reputation will spread like wildfire and no longer will you need online tools and technologies to broaden your reach.

People will be sold because you care enough to understand why you are doing what you are doing and not how! The best example of what I’m talking about is an example Sinek used himself.

He referenced Martin Luther King’s famous speech back in March 1963. Dr King managed to assemble 250,000 people from all around the country, at the same time, on the same day in the 60’s. How did he do it? Website? Facebook? Twitter? How could he possibly organise an event of this size with no means by which to establish mass contact?

The answer is that people spread the word. They spread the word because people followed him, they followed his ideals and they followed his passion. Dr King did not explain how to plan and achieve these ideals and goals; he just understood why he was doing what he was doing and the people followed.

He had a “Dream” not a plan.

* James Loftus is the Managing Director of First Place Recruitment, a multi-lingual recruitment agency in Ireland with a specific focus on candidates who are bilingual. The company work primarily with candidates who speak German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish, Italian and Spanish to a native or fluent level.


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