Making and maintaining our connections.
It was over three years ago when I connected with a software engineer, we’ll call him Jim. Jim was a great candidate, he talked me through his career, skill set, projects, etc. but at that time he wasn’t really looking for a job.
During my conversation with Jim, he mentioned that I should give him a call if I ever found an opportunity in Southern California. Being a recruiter primarily focused in the Chicagoland area, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to have the right fit. However, I took the time to make a note, filed it in the appropriate candidate list, and moved on.
Less than a month later, the stars seemed to align.
My team had a Senior Software Engineer opening in Los Angeles and I immediately decided to reach out to Jim. I thought I could share the job and get his thoughts. If it worked out, everyone would be happy, otherwise, we could at least reconnect in the event that something had changed.
Long story short, I followed up and Jim was interested! As Jim’s recruiter, I was not only able to present him with this opportunity, but I was also able to get know him throughout the process. Then, Jim got the offer, took the job, and moved to Southern California!
Recently, Jim crossed my mind. I had a trip planned to LA so I emailed him to say, “hello” and he responded inquiring about meeting for coffee. I happily obliged as agency recruiters don’t often get to meet candidates they’ve placed in other states.
It felt great to have a candidate that I placed invite me to coffee!
Relationships built through recruiting.
As Recruiters, we work with candidates for months, getting to know the individual, and are privileged to be a part of a significant life change for them. It’s a big deal when one has the ability to see the impact they make. It really reinforces why most of us go into the industry, to help others.
I share this story because, now more than ever, it’s important to provide candidates with a positive, personal experience. Recruiting for technical roles is a candidate-driven market. The more people you connect with on a personal level the larger your network grows, and your network is one of your most valuable resources.
Below are a few simple and attainable ways to better the candidate experience and ensure that three years after you place a candidate they ask to get coffee with you.
- Have an honest conversation. Ask the tough question and get a candidate’s candid answers. Get to know what they value in a job, understand why they are looking, learn what’s important to them.
- Be a career advocate. You’ve taken the time to have a conversation, you know what they want. Don’t waste your time or theirs by showing them jobs that don’t match up with what they want.
- Provide as much feedback as possible. While this isn’t always the easiest thing to do, this will allow the candidate to tweak and improve on areas in which they might not be as strong technically or behaviorally. The more transparent you are, the more trust you can earn.
- Communicate effectively. Ask the right questions and be an active listener, it is important to create a dialogue. You want open and direct communication. If you successfully place them, remember to keep in touch.
- Remember this is another person’s life. You don’t want candidates to get into a new job and not have all the tools to be successful. Not only does this reflect poorly on you, but it also hurts your clients and your reputation with them.
Update: Jim is still at the same job I placed him at. He’s given me a number of referrals and we continue to keep in touch. Recruiting isn’t just about the placement for me, it’s about building relationships and connecting people with jobs that make them happy!
Check out my other post about finding happiness through recruiting and giving back: Get Involved, Volunteer.
Christy Ghiselli, Technical Recruiter and Account Manager at Objective Paradigm, focuses much of her recruiting efforts in the capital market and cryptocurrency space. Having been on the OP team since 2014, Christy has been a key team member in keeping the OP Vision and Mission part of her work. Connect with Christy on LinkedIn.