In the Immortal Words of Captain Picard, “Engage!”

In the world of recruiting it can be really difficult to determine right/wrong, good/bad, black/white for all of the situations you encounter on a daily basis. There are all these little shades of grey (and I apologize for invoking the name of that ridiculously horribly written book that is inexplicably all the rage lately). Which end of the spectrum things fall on often depends on the parties involved. However, there are some hard and fast rules and some best practices that will make things go much more smoothly whether you are the recruiter, candidate or client. Being that I am such a giver and all philanthropic and stuff, I would like to share some of that with you.

As a recruiter I often get asked by candidates and clients, “Jayna, how did you get to be so incredibly awesome and amazing and really, really cool?” Ok…not really, but I do get asked how to engage with recruiters and have it not suck. Unfortunately, the answers aren’t simple and effectively partnering with a recruiter is going to take some effort. Even as awesome as I am, I am not the best recruiting resource for everyone. No recruiter is the best resource for everyone. I specialize in IT, not finance or legal or botany or any number of other specialties. That means that if you need an awesome, world traveled, French-speaking Botanist, you are going to have to do some homework to find someone who is an expert in the industry.

Over the next few weeks I am going to post a series of articles about engagement. Don’t Panic good people of the internet! Not like “going to the chapel and gonna get married” engagement, but professional engagement as it relates to recruitment. I’ll talk about all aspects of the issue – from the perspective of the client, candidate and recruiter. We are at a point in the evolution of “How We Do Business” when we have to turn the traditional recruitment model on its head. Again. Face it recruiters/candidates/hiring managers – we are making mistakes and we have a lot of work to do if we want to fix things. Don’t just take my word for it. The experts at the Electronic Recruiting Exchange have weighed in on this topic, too.

This isn’t the time, dear clients, to put a bland, boring, stodgy old job description on a bland, boring, stodgy old job board and pray someone will see it and apply. This isn’t the time, dear candidates, to post a resume on a bland, boring old job board and pray someone will see it and call you for an interview. And, listen up recruiters, you have GOT to stop spamming people on job boards and LinkedIn with job descriptions that might share a common word with their resume and pray they will respond to your email or voicemail. More on all that later, but you and I both know this is why you are unhappy and unsuccessful and your candidates hate you. And…let’s just be really honest here…that is why recruiters as a whole are given such a bad rap.

Is there a place for each one of those actions mentioned above (except for that spamming shit. Seriously. Stop it.)? Of course! In the recruiting world we call it “low hanging fruit.” You never want to discount the idea that the person/job/candidate you are looking for just happens to be actively looking for you at exactly the same time. It does happen and all of those passive measures increase the odds that your name is going to cross the path of exactly who you are looking for. But – you can no longer rely on fate or kismet or pure dumb luck! Our world is getting more and more connected through social media. Top talent is getting more and more savvy in the use of that media. Therefore, it is critical that you are out in the middle of it. And that applies whether you are a recruiter, a hiring manager or a candidate. It applies whether you are agency or corporate. It applies whether you are actively seeking new positions or just kind of hoping for something insanely cool to cross your path.

So, keep your eyes open because the next post is all about clients. Whether you currently utilize agency recruiters, want to use agency recruiters or have internal recruiters I am going to offer up tips, tricks, best practices and a fair amount of snarky goodness for you. I promise it’ll be useful stuff. You can even steal all my jokes.

I don’t mind.