How to Shine, Even In Slower Times

As recruiters and sourcers, you are always in a constant struggle to balance your workload. When your company is growing rapidly during prosperous times, you are expected to fill those open positions, and 12+ hour days may not be that uncommon. During those busy times, I am sure you were wishing for a break. Now we are all getting that well-deserved break, with slowdowns in hiring across most sectors of the marketplace. The only problem is that this “break” is dragging on longer than most people would like to see. For some, it can be downright scary. One minute you are so busy you can barely keep your head above water, and the next minute the flow of requisitions has stopped almost completely. Slower economic times usually mean less hiring and more headcount reviews. Today’s slower economic times will also separate the strong recruiters/sourcers from the weak. Now more than ever is the time to show that you are a “hunter” rather than a “gatherer” as far as recruiting/sourcing is concerned. Below are some suggestions on how to shine as a recruiter/sourcer during these slower economic times:

  1. Become an expert: How much to do you really know about your company’s product/services? Have you ever taken time to go down to the manufacturing floor to see how the products are made? If your company manufactures products, spend some time down on the production floor to really understand your products. If your company is a service supplier, talk to people in different departments, from development to customer service, to really understand how your service works and benefits your customers. This type of information is an invaluable part of your recruiting knowledge.
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  3. Make the most of your tools: You know that Applicant Tracking System that you implemented six months ago? Do you understand how to use all the functions it offers? I’ll bet most of you answered no. Applicant Tracking Systems can be a great tool – if you take the time to learn how to use the functions that your system has to offer. Don’t just use it to as an electronic file cabinet, get to know the all the features: they will help you streamline your sourcing and selection process.
  4. Review your job postings: When you are busy, you don’t have much time even to post your jobs, let alone spice them up. Take this opportunity to fine tune your postings. Don’t just use the generic description off of a requisition, get creative. Make it interesting. For example, don’t just use the title “Network Engineer,” use something like “Network Guru” or “Network Engineering Expert.” This will help set you apart from the hundreds of other “Network Engineer” postings on the Internet.
  5. Increase your sourcing knowledge: When you are in the middle of a hiring frenzy, there is usually not much time to increase your own skills. Now is the time to investigate the Internet for new products/services and best of all, free information. There are many sites that offer all kinds of free information such as HR.com, AIRS, Recruiters Network, and of course the Electronic Recruiting Exchange. All of these sites offer tons of free content for everyone from the novice, who wants to learn the basics, to the true recruiting/sourcing guru. If your company is unwilling to pay for any training, then these sites are the next best thing. You will be surprised at what you can learn on your own.
  6. Training: If your company is willing to pay for training, now is a great time to take advantage of it. With the Internet constantly changing, it is in your best interest to keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest sourcing techniques. Some training providers you may want to look at are Cyber Recruiting Secrets, AIRS, and Barbara Ling’s training program, Rise. These are just a few of the many companies that offer training, but it should get you started in the right direction.

Don’t become another casualty of slower economic times. Take advantage of any extra time you have to become a recruiter/sourcer who adds value to your organization. By following some of the ideas listed above you will be able to save your company money, while increasing your own knowledge and getting better at your job. These are the kinds of recruiters that companies are looking to keep! <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Scott Hagen (shagen@recruiters-aid.com) is a graduate of San Diego State University, with over 8 years of high tech corporate recruiting experience with industry leaders such as Qualcomm, Cymer, and Pyxis. Scott is also a co-designer of the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System). Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results-or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest free recruiting resource sites (http://www.recruiters-aid.com/kit.html) online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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