Most recruiters know how to make placements and make both candidates and clients happy. But most also know how difficult the industry can be and how you can sometimes hit a rough patch and not produce valuable placements for consecutive months. Next to a strong and consistent business development machine, you also need to be in control of the actual recruitment process, from sourcing the candidate to closing the deal.
This blog will zoom in on how to control the process and share the key factors needed to be a consistent billing recruiter.
1. Be in Control of the Process by Taking Control
This sounds very straightforward, but it’s actually all about control. If you make sure you are in control of the process, then there are not a lot of surprises at the end of the process or near the offer phase. I will dive deeper into things you can do to be in actual control.
2. Know Your Market (and Niche)
You have to know the market you are operating in and specifically the niche you are working in. This means that you know what you are talking about. For example, if you are recruiting within software development, you know the following:
- Different roles & job titles
- Responsibilities per role
- Program languages
- Seniority levels
If you are an experienced recruiter, you probably know this all, and you can even use this knowledge to determine the actual quality of a candidate you are interviewing.
A good tip for identifying the quality of the candidate you are interviewing is to ask the hiring manager what type of technical questions they will ask in an interview and the preferred answer. You can use these questions when interviewing the candidate, and if the candidate can answer these questions correctly, you almost always have a winner.
3. Create a Sourcing Strategy
This is very important in our industry, and this is, to be honest, not one of my strong suits. A great way to find good candidates is through your network, LinkedIn, or job boards. But there are various tools and platforms you can use to find candidates. Think about platforms like GitHub, Stack Overflow, or HackerNews. And what about the biggest search engine on the platen: Google? It’s all out there, you just have to know how and where to look.
4. Qualification of a Candidate
A good qualification is key in figuring out if you are talking to the right candidate based on skills but also based on cultural fit, personality, trustworthiness, and the actual need of the candidate.
Figuring this out is what we call the Fact Finding Need Analysis. Next to figuring out if the candidate possesses the right skillset for the role, you are also finding out the next essential pieces of information:
- Desired salary
- Reason for leaving their current company
- Other active applications
- Rules of Engagement
5. Getting Commitment from Candidates
One of the key factors within commitment is: you receive commitment when you give commitment. Next to creating the perfect match for the need of the candidate, you can test the candidate’s commitment throughout the process:
- Does the candidate answer?
- If they don’t answer, do they call or text you back?
- Do they send their resumes at the discussed time?
- Are they open to having a meeting with you?
- Did they prepare for the interview?
- Do they respond to your confirmation email?
- Do they ask questions about the process?
Try to only engage with candidates who are truly committed to you and the process. This will help you to rule out unexpected changes at the last second. It’s still a candidate-driven market out there, and quality people are in high demand, so changes are big that more recruiters or companies are pulling on your candidate. If you connect the right candidate with the perfect opportunity, chances of success are higher. If you feel that a candidate is not going for it, there is a big chance you will lose them along the way. So you can better spend your time finding a committed candidate.
6. Work Exclusively
This is probably the most effective way of getting commitment from a candidate: working exclusively.
When you work exclusively with a candidate, you commit to the candidate by agreeing to work together. The candidate agrees not to enter other job applications while you are in the process of a specific job together. You both go the extra mile for each other, and it’s the ultimate way of getting commitment.
This also means that when it doesn’t work out with that one specific role, you, as a recruiter, are going to make sure you create another opportunity for this candidate and engage with them in multiple processes until you find the right one.
7. Pre-Close and Close a Candidate at Every Step of the Process
Closing and pre-closing a candidate is another key factor in fully controlling the process. Closing means making a firm agreement with each other. For example, “You will send me your updated resume before tomorrow 12:00.” You can take it one step further by pre-closing candidates.
Pre-closing is always done to create the right conditions before the situation is actually happening. You can call it situational closing. For example: “If I could make the client offer you a salary of €60.000,- per year, can I then congratulate you on your new job?”
Next, pre-closing creates commitment from candidates; it’s also a great indicator of possible red flags. If you cannot close candidates, something is going on with them.
8. Objection Handling
As a recruiter, you receive objections daily. You just have to know how to handle them. Objections are why somebody doesn’t want to talk to you or is not interested in what you have to say. But if you look at it closely, an objection provides an opportunity for you to identify the pain points of a candidate, offer a solution, and reframe their perspective.
The objections from a candidate’s perspective may be the following:
- Reasons why somebody doesn’t want to work with you.
- You can encounter objections in all parts of the process.
How to handle them:
- The candidate’s objections allow you to identify their pain points, offer a solution, and reframe their perspective.
- You will present a solution to the objection/problem the candidate is having that is within your means.
- This is where selling comes into practice! Sell the solution.
Let’s see how it works.
Candidate: “I am not in the market right now.”
Recruiter: “I understand you are not in the market right now, but if we already have this conversation now, we know for what roles to contact you in the future when something amazing comes along.”
Candidate: “I am in another job applications”
Recruiter: “That is great to hear, because I have a great opportunity for you here. You can have multiple applications and see which one you like the best, right?
There are almost always ways to address your candidate’s concerns if you approach the objection correctly. You will present a solution to the objection/problem the candidate is having that is within your means. But a reminder, you can’t always get what you want, as Mick Jagger used to say.
9. Reference Checks
A very important part of the recruitment process is doing a reference check with two former hiring managers. A reference check is an ideal instrument to verify the candidate’s quality and ensure there are no potential red flags. Next to assuring the quality of candidates and streamlining the recruitment process, a reference check is also a great business development tool.
10. Manage the Resignation of a Candidate
Every recruiter has experienced this at least once. The infamous counteroffer of the current employer of a candidate. It is probably one of the main reasons a candidate is not hired at the end of the recruitment process.
A counteroffer is something that almost always happens because the current employer is facing a problem and wants to keep the seat occupied, and this is the cheapest solution. And from the candidate’s perspective, resigning from their job could be an anxious situation. They have worked for their employer for a long time and don’t want to let them down. They might be easily persuaded into a counteroffer. The good thing is you can make a candidate aware of this situation and remind the candidate of the following:
- What is the reason we are in this process in the first place?
- Accepting a counteroffer rarely changes the factors underlying your decision to look for a new job in the first place.
- Statistics show that 80% of people who accept a counteroffer will still leave that job within six months because nothing has changed.
Making a candidate aware of this before they receive a counteroffer puts things in a different perspective for them and helps them make the choice they really want to make.
These were 10 steps that can be very helpful to implement in your recruitment process if you have not already done so. But there are many other factors you have to take into consideration to be a consistent billing recruiter. If you would like to know more, please reach out to me. I am always happy to help. Pantala is also always looking for experienced tech recruiters to join our company. So if this post sparked your interest and you want to learn more, my digital door is always open.