Wednesday, October 07, 2009

10 Signs of an Old-School Recruiter

Here is a simple list that can be used by hiring managers to determine if the recruiters assigned to them are decidedly old school.


1. They don't use text messaging. While only 20% of the adult population utilizes text messaging, over 50% of the younger generation uses it. In fact, they prefer instant or text messaging over email by a significant percentage. If you don't utilize text messaging to communicate with your candidates, you're likely missing a significant portion of this new mobile phone-reliant population that doesn't require a laptop to communicate. If you're not aware of the new IM applications and jargon, IMHO, you are so last year! In fact, the mobile phone is becoming the next must-use recruiting platform for those smart enough to successfully utilize permission-marketing techniques.

2. They don't blog. Having your own blog is no longer unusual, but it's still a great way to communicate your message to potential recruits. Blogs by corporate recruiters give potential applicants a chance to get a real, unfiltered message about the recruiting process and what it's like to work at the firm. They also provide an opportunity to make comments and ask questions before a formal application to the firm is made.

3. They don't have a MySpace or Facebook page. If you are a corporate recruiter and you don't have a profile of yourself as a recruiter (and as an individual person) on a social networking site like MySpace or Facebook, you are a relative dinosaur. Most old schoolers are afraid of MySpace because they've heard about the lurking molesters who can be on it (molesters can also use telephones, but that's no reason why recruiters shouldn't use them). Some think that these sites are for only young people, but the average age range of a user on MySpace is in the 30s. Facebook is the fastest growing of the two, but there are many other social networking sites that allow individuals to learn more about you as a recruiter and as a source of potential recruits. It used to be that you had to have your own personal website in order to be new school, but it's becoming okay to use social networking sites to display your individuality.

4. They are not using LinkedIn. Business-oriented social networking sites like LinkedIn might themselves be well on their way toward becoming old school, but for now, they're still an effective way for recruiters to become known and get referrals.

5. They don't use news alerts. As the amount of information that's available to potential prospects and corporate recruiters expands, you need electronic help in order to keep up with the latest news and what bloggers are saying. If you're not using Google alerts (or a similar service offered by Yahoo!), you'll never be able to keep track of the activities (and then comment on them to build the relationship) of your targeted top prospects. Old schoolers don't visit Google trends or digg.com to keep on top of what's hot.

6. They only use English. As the U.S. becomes more diverse, and recruiting from around the world becomes more common, only old-school recruiters recruit 100% of the time using the English language. Yes, even though the job itself requires English, it's often still a good idea to begin the conversation in the recruit's native language. [VS]: This may not be applicable to our work style.

7. Videos are too difficult.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, think how powerful a "moving picture" would be. A significant portion of the world's population is hooked on visual means of passing information and telling stories (TV, streaming videos, and/or films). New-school recruiters, at the very least, periodically visit their websites like YouTube in order to keep up with the latest trends. The very best new-school recruiters either post their own online videos that visually demonstrate how great their company is or they actively encourage others at their corporations to post their compelling videos. Although new schoolers love all forms of video technology, old schoolers would never consider using online video interviews or reviewing portfolio or video resumes.

8. They don't use podcasts or jobcasts. The majority of new-school recruiting prospects probably don't even know what a Walkman is. Instead, they love MP3s or iPods (if you don't know the difference is you're probably old school). If you think they're just for music, put yourself in the old-school category. Even Walgreens is utilizing podcasts as a recruiting tool. If you haven't made a recruiting-oriented audio or video message available for download on these devices, you are missing a great opportunity to communicate.

9. They've never tried contests. What better way is there to create a buzz than to offer online contests. The top firms have found that these contests not only allow you to identify and hire previously unknown talent from around the world, but they are also a great source to gather ideas and innovations.

10. They don't use nonrecruiting places or websites. While old school recruiters frequently attend job fairs, new-school recruiters, much like their targets, like to hang out for hours at places that have never been recruiting venues, like Starbucks. They see recruiting at these places (especially ones located close to major employers) as an opportunity, whether it means recruiting in person or by placing messages on the protective coffee sleeves that fit outside the coffee cups (Accenture, Sun, FlipDog, and LAPD have all used coffee sleeves in this way). Other prime recruiting venues for new schoolers might include concerts and industry conferences, as well as alumni, sports, charity, and community events. Places where well-paid people (and thus, likely top performers) frequently dominate the crowd. Old schoolers also see no value in spending time in electronic forums or placing recruiting links and banners in frequently visited nonrecruiting websites.


Like it or not, it has become a fact that recruiting all candidates, especially the 5% that are innovators, is closely tied to changes in the way people communicate and learn. As long as those methods keep expanding, recruiters will either adapt quickly or lose their jobs. It's really just that simple.

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