Information is the lifeblood of a recruiter. Much of the information is obtained in a random manner as we wander through the marketplace talking to people and reading about our business. The more systematic the recruiter is in gathering and storing this information, the more effectively it can be used to impact business.Resources are the items, which contain the information we need. Some examples include:
- The recruiter’s database
- Trade magazines
- Web pages (corporate and personal)
- Annual reports
- Company information on benefits, etc.
This is not meant to be a complete list but a point of departure. It is how each document is used which defines its value. When recruiting, the recruiter needs to know about benefits, company financial data or company cultural norms these are critical to a prospective employee. The resources provide the foundation of information to build your business and its activities.The finishing touches to this information are provided by sources. They are the people we rely on to have the last critical piece of information. Sources fall into several categories:
- Experts in technical areas
- Suppliers of candidates (in a geography, skill or industry)
- Other recruiters
- Salespeople (they see trends first)
- Real estate and relocation experts
- Resume writers
- Human resources (so we understand the other side, explain salary issues, etc)
- Career planners/Outplacement
- Company/Industry experts
Sources include people who are in a position of knowledge and willing to share information with you. We all have the informal communication channels open through our extensive network. Focusing on those communications can lead to a true goldmine.These sources of valuable information do not just appear on our desk but must be developed over time by building mutual trust and sharing help and information both ways. Some ways to develop these sources include:
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- Help a spouse or friend
- Stay in contact with a candidate you have placed because there is an existing bond.
- Help someone prepare for an interview when you are not involved in the deal.
- Help a client build a job description or set a salary level on a position you will not get a chance to fill.
- Share market information with clients and candidates alike.
- This is the hardest: ASK FOR HELP!!!!!
The network we build will bear fruit over the years but it has to be built by both sides and nourished with regular contact and injections of information.Information gathering has to become a priority. Once that is the case, the recruiter must develop a routine method for storing it. For years we have been told to get something out of every phone call. That something is information. General information should be an everyday goal. Specific information becomes the priority when the business dictates that we find a detail or a specific person or an explanation of the latest new technology breakthrough.The storage of the information is more difficult. We all rely on our memory for the big stuff and the juicy bit of gossip, but it is the minutiae that can be the challenge. If you are using a database, then that is the logical place to deposit it. But remember retrieving it in a logical manner is what makes it valuable. The other thing to remember is that not all information is valuable and you never know when it will become valuable.