Outside-In® Chronicles: Originally published with the title Look out for the Recruitment Bulldozer! four years ago this month. Are you a recruiter that bulldozes candidates? Is your company running over candidates to fill jobs? Here’s a suggestion for a more Outside-In® way to recruit. But first, let’s explain what we mean by bulldozing!
Over the years, I have coached many talent acquisition professionals. One of the soundbites that I’m typically heard saying is, “don’t bulldoze!” What do I mean? Recruiters are tasked with presenting our company, knowing what the hiring manager is looking for and understanding technical terms to have knowledgeable discussions with prospects. Once we are prepped for an interview, we get so excited to share what we know, that we tend to pitch the job. This usually sounds something like, “Hi John, I am Chris Burkhard from CBI Group and I am recruiting today for underwater basket weavers.”
The challenge with the job pitch approach is that it doesn’t leave a good next step. If the person is not interested or does not have the right skills, we need to quickly transition to asking for referrals or help with networking. The problem is that with this approach, the majority of recruiters never talk to that person again. We keep plowing ahead for the talent we need for the requisition in front of us. We just keep running callers over to find what we want.After I say, “Don’t bulldoze” and I have the recruiter’s attention, I suggest a more Outside-In® way to recruit. I certainly did not invent this approach but I have refined it over the years to be more customer centered.
How? Flip the conversation around and focus your conversation on the caller. Find out what matters to the job seeker. What are they trying to accomplish in their career? Focusing on them typically sounds a little different. “John, I help talented underwater basket weavers achieve their next career objective. Could we spend a little time finding out about you and what you might be interested in?” This approach requires a lot of time, energy and curiosity. But isn’t finding out what the person wants helpful to determine if your current opening is a fit right? If not for this req, then perhaps you can be honest and talk in bigger terms — about where your company is going and how the future might involve them.
The focus shifts to building a relationship with the talent. To building potential pipeline. This makes tomorrows’ recruitment easier and this is where good recruiting takes shape. It means you truly know your talent in the marketplace and particular people come to mind when open requisitions fit their career goals and objectives.
It may seem so much easier to take the Bulldozer path. I hear it over and over again, “I do not have the time and I have jobs to fill.” But I think the typical recruiter has it all wrong. None of us should have the time to do it wrong the first time. Recruiting talent and getting to know prospective candidates is what recruiters should and must do to differentiate. No more bulldozing please!