Sourcers VS Recruiters is an old argument, we all know the difference at the end of the day. Below, you can see a data-driven approach to understanding the differences between recruiters and sourcers and the challenges they all face!
In the next few weeks, everyone is going to be talking about sourcing in Europe ahead of SourceCon’s first visit. So to kick this little project off, I decided to do some research.
It’s anonymous and the results of the research are just below!
At the end of the Day, Sourcer vs Recruiter, I don’t really care! I am more interested in what are the challenges people face when sourcing! I’m imagining there will be plenty of both Recruiters and Sourcers attending SourceCon this time around. At the end of the day, we all do sourcing from time to time right?
To make sure we were “On Trend” for DBR live we decided to choose, Sourcing vs Recruiters as a Topic.
I want to find what is the difference between Sourcing and Recruiting.
The results are all below, first, let’s see who actually responded.
With more respondents, we will be able to share a more defined segment of the audience. Please share and respond and I will update soon!
I looked at what all the respondents largest challenges are in their day to day roles.
The real question here is “What is the difference between Sourcers and Recruiters?”
If you want to hear Glen Cathy’s answer, check it out here!
The real difference is where they spend their time, right?
I wanted to find out the difference in how Recruiters and Sourcer spend their time. So I asked all the respondents how much time they spend sourcing every week roughly.
The graph below shows pecentage of time people spend roughly per week, broken down by role segment, Recruiter vs Sourcer (as more people respond, we will be able to add more segments, considering the survey is capturing info as to what style of Recruiter is responding).
Maybe we will finally have proof of the above?
In terms of responses, there are some excellent ones to the final question.
What do you think is the real difference between Sourcers and Recruiters?
“Sourcers have a passion for finding people, recruiters have a passion for finding fees.”
“A sourcer is a native hunter… a recruiter could be only a fisher… and sometimes an hunter….”
and of course
“Loaded question! A great recruiter has elements of a great sourcer, and vice versa.”
As far as I’m concerned, teams of experts working together in an agile manner is going to lead to solving some of the worlds hardest hiring problems faster!
85% of your earnings will be based on how you sell yourself not you’re technical ability — Dale Carnegie
Here is a simple trick that will help you sell yourself and ace your next interview.
I interview dozens of people a week, lots of who work in sales, I am always surprised by the number of people that haven’t done the simplest bit of research about me.
This is not a humble brag… If you have done some research about me and make a comment about it, it impresses me.
Not creepy stalking stuff…
But mentioning something you found out about me, a post you liked on my Instagram or my tweet from the plane at 6am this morning will make me like you.
Doing this shows me you are;
Good at building relationships with people
Interested in the people you could be working with
Good at selling yourself
All you need to do is a quick search of the recruiters name a few minutes before you talk to them. Recruiters are normally pretty easy to find on the web and if they are not, they are always on LinkedIn!
Take a look at where they have posted most recently or who they worked with that you know and mention it in the first few minutes of talking to someone!
Find something unique about the person you are about to speak to and mention it in the first few minutes.
You may think the 20-minute call with a recruiter is a formality but I can assure you that how you sell yourself to a recruiter counts. And who doesn’t like getting their ego stroked with a nice comment about what they post on the web?
Selling yourself can feel like a challenge but If you want to Ace the interview and get the job, make friends with everyone you meet during your interview process, the recruiter included.
A simple bit of research will help you do this.
Knowing a bit about who you are interviewing will help you make a great impression.
It’s the easiest way to get your interviewer to like you!
Hope you agree, what other tips do you know for selling yourself?
I felt I was drowning in the noise of nontent that everyone was publishing.
But the goals I set out for myself didn’t work and I ended 2017 more frustrated than ever at my lack of ability to write loads of great content on my blog. I wasn’t sure what is going wrong until I did some research and some soul-searching.
If you read or watch anything about personal branding, marketing or growth hacking, they all talk about having a clearly defined goal, I don’t have one for this blog.
This blog is purely self-promotion through self-discovery.
This is my personal portfolio.
With that in mind, I thought I would continue to write about my personal development and use it to develop my writing and my ideas. Use it to test the things I want to work on.
I set out with the best of intentions, last year I just couldn’t get it right.
So this year, I set out with more of a no fear approach and have been testing a bunch of other ways to get my message out there, to increase my reach. My goal continues to be to help people in my network and outside of it get better at recruiting and job hunting!
Its been a few months and I feel like I am starting to get my groove on.
Time to tell you all a bit about what I have done so far.
What did I do?
I looked at my audience and asked myself what do people want from me and what can I give them?
My audience can be easily broken down into 3 segments;
Recruiters who follow me to find out about the latest tools and trends in hiring
Job seekers and potential candidates
Friends, colleagues and family.
During my personal brand audit, I figured out that my largest audience is on LinkedIn, I tweet about stuff but it is predominantly personal and my facebook is pretty terrible. The content that was most successful last year was honest, authentic and a little bit ranty.
Having taken a look at what happened last year it was time to sit down and write some goals for what I want to achieve with my personal and professional brand.
Do more stuff that people enjoy and share.
Get better at Facebook (it is after all the worlds biggest social platform)
Do more stuff that helps people with their career.
Help more people have a voice.
Do more with Video!
Let me tell you how I have got on with it so far.
1. Do more stuff that people enjoy and share
I read some marketing books and growth hacking books and started watching stuff on virals on youtube and talked to people about it!
The number one rule here that I seem to be getting from everyone is Add Value.
I am still not sure what that means, but I am trying to do more stuff that helps people get better. Over my testing period, I have now learned to ask myself these two questions as I am posting or doing stuff;
Does this help someone do something better?
Is this the real me?
Will probably have to revisit this again in the next few months as I start to have more stuff shared by people.
2. Get better at Facebook
This has taken a bunch of bunch of different avenues as Facebook has become a beast of a platform. My first step was to take a look and see what other people are posting and thus spend a bit more time on facebook consuming content from recruiters and people with interesting personal brands.
I realised I needed to learn more about it so with the help of Jan Tegze I started a Facebook Group around a subject that I am really interested in, Growth Hacking, join if you fancy. Its all about how growth hacking techniques can apply to recruitment and there are some amazing people in it that are sharing loads of awesome stuff!
I wrote this rant on DBR the other day about the people who are always trying to break the recruitment industry. Breaking the recruitment industry is my favorite subject of conversation, I have written about a couple of times before. I start every year blogging about it because I do believe there are still lots of things that need to change in the world of recruitment. Last year I said.
Let not try and break recruitment, let’s get together and build a worldwide community that makes all the recruiters better!
Now DBR has over 1000 members and continues to grow. We are definitely not the only recruitment community out there either. From the Recruiters Online Facebook group to the Recruiters Kitchen in Paris, all of these recruiters getting to know each other and helping each other is making recruitment better for everyone!
So to all of those of you that are still writing “Recruitment is Broken”, I stand by my previous post’s, it is not a wave of bright-eyed and eager tech entrepreneurs armed with Blockchains and Algorithms that will break recruitment.
It’s us recruiters who will fix our industry!
It’s down to every member of the global recruiting community that recruitment is getting better.
I hope this will help you be awesome at hiring in 2018. Please share it on your company slack, email lists or and print it out for the people that still don’t have the internet. It is up to all of us involved in hiring to fix Recruitment.
Recruiters aren’t evil, or whatever else Google cares to say about us.
Tech won’t break recruitment, it will make it better.
It’s up to us the recruiters to fix recruitment.
It’s up to us to tell everyone involved!
Not everyone will be happy with a hiring experience.
Not everyone can get the job but if we all work together we can make hiring awesome together!
Here are my tips in general on how to be awesome at hiring in 2018!
These are practical tips for anyone hiring.
Stop writing bland emails
Think, People first
Hello, we are hiring people here…
Put yourself in the shoes of the job seeker
Get to know who you recruit for
They probably had it written on the door when you walked in. Convincing stories from people in the company are the easiest way to persuade someone to work there.
Get to know who you recruit
You literally just have to walk up to them and ask them things about their job and their industry. My favorite question to ask people is, how would you like to be recruited?
Understand your competitors
Either in locations or industry or role. Finding out about those companies is simple, try stuff like Owler or Blind or Google Maps.
Partner with your hiring manager
Search with them
Literally, sit down, open up your laptop, go on your fave search engine and search for who they want to hire on a database.
Communicate with Clarity
That takes practice, I’m not sure that I am the best to help you on that one, but try it!
Think about what you can automate
Why do 3 emails when you can do 1? Everyone one enjoys things that are efficient!
Write decent job ads.
Everyone has different ideas about job ads, so post a couple of different ones if you have to!
Make applying easy
Seriously. I get so bored after looking at a form for more than a few minutes!
Show off your team
You are probably going to need a hashtag and lots of pom poms.
Ask the people who are on the team to show it off too
They will get you referrals, reward them well, they will get you more referrals!
Ask for feedback
It does open up the door for rants and it can be tough to swallow, but ask for it anyway with a simple form. Did I do OK today?
Constructively and honestly!
Be honest with hiring managers
Use Data, its hard to argue with numbers.
Say No – Often!
Try and do it over the phone, I know its hard but you are not going to hire everyone.
You are a gate keeper, you can’t let everyone past.
Design for Privacy
Yep, we are recruiters, we deal with sensitive data.
Make sure you know how to approach that!
(Oh and GDPR Regulation – this is the newest problem on recruiters list in 2018)
Keep notes, write stuff down. Tag Candidates. I can’t believe I’m still saying this.. seriously.
Oh man… there is so much interesting data in recruitment, start here.
Open up that magic black box of recruitment to the world! (HT Buckland) Telling people it takes 50 interviews to make a hire makes for an interesting conversation.
Help people out that need it
Sometimes it just means looking at their CV with them and showing them how to search for jobs other times and introduction!
In most recruiting workflows, sourcing comes last, I believe that’s wrong and here’s why.
Anyone who works on a sourcing team knows this situation; you are assigned to work on a new role. You pick up the job and realize it has been open for months, the recruiter working the role has had three interviews and got nowhere with it. You sit down with the hiring manager to understand the role and they have a 100% lost faith in you and the recruiting team. Your recruiter is screaming for CV’s and thinks that by finally asking for help you have a magic tap of candidates to turn on. We all know the nightmare, but I have been thinking about why does this happen and what Is it about the recruiting model that leads to these situations?
In most companies these days, sourcing is just part of being a recruiter. As far as I’m concerned, all good recruiters know how to source, all good recruitment managers understand pipeline metrics and can differentiate between a healthy pipeline and one that is not. So why is it that this situation keeps on happening in sourcing teams around the world?
Is it because recruiters and their managers don’t ask for help until it is too late?
Maybe the reason why sourcing is the last resort is the standard recruiting processes most recruiters. Most recruiters get a new job and spend the first week understanding it and writing a job ad, eventually by Friday afternoon get it posted live. The next week they get a huge amount of applications and spend a lot of time treating those and getting screens sorted. By the second week, they have a couple of qualified candidates at interview stage and a steady trickle of new candidates and think that everything is going well. After three or four weeks they have had 6 or 8 interviews and filled the role or they haven’t and that’s when the panic sets in!
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with this process, it works for 80% of hiring and I have used it hundreds of times to fill jobs.
The thing that is wrong is when you can’t fill your job from those 6 or 8 interviews and you turn around and think oh god now I need to source. The thing I then notice is that the recruiter that this happens to is often very busy, finding the time to source is nigh on impossible and they then spend the next 3 or 4 weeks in semi sourcing mode. Praying for a good applicant to come in… and then it’s been 10 weeks and they haven’t filled the job and someone somewhere panics. They didn’t ask for help in the right way or have the right resources assigned and all of a sudden they made everyone look bad.
So maybe the real problem here, is its hard to tell which role is tough to fill?
You might believe that the problem here lies in the identification of the difficulty of filling the role. Is it the recruitment manager or the recruiter to do that or does it lie with the sourcing team? Good recruitment leaders understand the potential hiring problems and work to ensure the problem isn’t delayed. Here at Indeed in EMEA that it is how we work, our awesome leadership team and I sit down and look at headcount plans months in advance and identify roles that are going to be difficult. The prediction models that Randstad showcased at SourceCon were all around identifying the hard to fill jobs and communicating that back to the business to ensure that roles were assigned the right type of resource.
With labour markets becoming more competitive and jobs more complex most of the people that you will hire will already be working and more than 60% percent (depending on which statistic you believe) will be not actively looking and applying for jobs. Sourcing needs to walk hand in hand with recruitment, as a recruiter that means honing your sourcing skills as a source that means positioning yourself at the top of your hiring funnel to ensure that your efforts are being spent in the right place. It shouldn’t be hard to know which role is going to need sourcing because in truth you should source for every role.
I fundamentally believe that sourcing and recruiting walk the hiring road hand in hand. If you think they are different you are wrong. If you think you don’t need to source your are not a recruiter. If you think you don’t need to know how to recruit to be a sourcer you are wrong. If you want to get really good at recruiting then you need to get really good at sourcing and vis versa.
The knowledge gained from sourcing to start with vs sourcing at the end means that your efforts complement your organic pipeline; you are recruiting effectively when you are doing both. Through the knowledge you develop in your initial sourcing efforts your hiring managers will trust you as an expert and you become effective faster in your hiring efforts.
Whether you are one recruiter in your company or hundreds, for sourcing and recruitment to walk hand in hand successfully then;
Leadership should try and use data to predict where sourcing and hiring efforts should be directed and resources should be put.
Recruiters should try and source first – even if it is just a few search string to look at some profiles you will learn stuff before you sit with a hiring manager that will make you look like an expert.
If you have a stand alone sourcing team then you should be assigning them to roles and recruiters as early in the hiring process as possible.
Everyone involved in hiring needs to be honest, hiring managers not getting the right people? Tell someone. Recruiters not getting the right people? Tell someone. Sources finding it tough? Tell some one. Asking for help does not mean you are bad at your job!
Finally in a big team or a small one, working together is the only secret to hiring well.
Here at Indeed in EMEA all this boils into regular syncs between every stakeholder in the process, regular updates and regular communication. To hire more as a team it means weekly sourcing jams with recruiters and sources so we can work as a team on tough roles and peer to peer sourcing session with new hires and existing teams to find out who they know.
Sourcing walks hand in hand with recruitment and if you think I’m wrong, I’m keen to hear why.
In my next why sourcing post I am will share my top tips on how to source for a job before you have got it, on how to use data to do market sizing exercises! If you haven’t allready, check out why sources are not baby recruiters and hit me up with a tweet or on LinkedIn.
Automation, Robots and AI have been prolific in my career as a Recruiter.
I find myself talking about it a lot… competing against them often, but actually making it work is something I still haven’t cracked fully. The biggest players in AI; Google and IBM are moving into the HR tech space, startups are turning to bots to try fix traditional recruiting problems and yet I’m still having to stitch together spreadsheets and manually de-dupe data to make any real predictions or rankings.
With all of these new fangled tools being so on trend right now, I thought it would be fun to write down from my own quick guide to how far you can go with automation and what it really means for you as a Recruiter or Sourcer in today’s world.
When I was at TruParis this year, I lead a track called; Automation, how far should you go!
It wasn’t me that bought up a slightly utopic vision of a world where when HR person is asked to make a new hire, turns to her laptop, drops in the job order and sits back and waits; A few months/weeks/days later she gets an alert saying that the new hire was starting next week. Maybe it is only a French HR person could be so lazy to dream of this… but without a doubt, this is probably the most advanced vision I have ever heard of automation within the sphere of recruitment. I loved it, my inner cyber punk jumped for joy!
…but there is something seriously wrong with this vision. Even if Google Hire plus Google Job Ads plus Google Apps multiplied by the fact they know everything about you and your company means that one day (soon) they could start to put something like this together. The limiting factor is the data we provide to these systems is still human. If we were hiring robots it would be easy, I want a robot to do X, Y and Z… a few months later a robot shows up that can do that.
You Can’t Go That Far with Recruiting Technology?!?
Even if Google Hire plus Google Job Ads plus Google Apps multiplied by the fact they know everything about you means that one day (soon) they could start to put something like this together. The limiting factor is the data we provide to these systems is still human. If we were hiring robots it would be easy, I want a robot to do X, Y and Z… a few months later a robot shows up that can do that.
For now though, If we were to automate the recruitment process from end to end then we would need consistent data. Humans are not consistent while computers are, you can only go as far as the data allows you. Data on a linked in profile or on a CV are controlled by the person who puts them there. How many times have you read a CV that is unbelievable?
In a world where you don’t need humans to do interviews, you don’t meet the new member of your team?
You could probably validate the human discrepancy in the data provided to the system with Blockchain or a similar technology verifying claimed experiences, with references from hiring managers and colleagues. Companies could be on a system that would mean sharing career data, appraisals and salary data but this seems a complete impossibility.
You would also completely eliminate the human elements… Humans need to talk to each other before they work together.
The utopic vision of the magic recruitment button means a universal way of tracking people’s career and acceptance to not talking to people before you work with them, Humans don’t do that.
Most people would hate that!
So as a Recruiter/Sourcer don’t be scared, you are not about to be replaced but your job will be changing really fast in the next few years. As an interesting study from the MIT Sloane Management Review suggests, you should be changing your career now and upgrading yourselves. So here are my simple tips for what to focus on!
Do Recruiting Automation Right, Adopt the Right Mindset
In your non-recruitment life, you probably have a voicemail and a direct debit set up… you facebook your friends.. you have a smartphone… this is all automation.. why not apply a few of the same principles to your daily job? Accept the tech!
When I asked how many people who were actually in the room at TruParis who was actually using automation, only a smattering (i.e 3) people that were actually using in their daily work. You can go further than that!
Automation is about mindset (thanks Ed) if you find yourself doing the same thing twice, and it takes you ages, figure out how to automate it. You are probably going to need to do it again so you may as way remove the pain. Sourcing, Recruitment is not an exciting job, you find people, interview them and hopefully recommend that your company or the person you are recruiting for, hire some of them. If you take away some of that boring stuff that you are doing every day, then you can probably start to find some more fun things to do.
Focus on the few simple, tedious things that you wish you didn’t have to do and see if you can automate them, quickly!
Adopting the right mindset of acceptance of these new technologies, coupled with a hunger to explore them will set you apart and make you more productive. It’s a win win, right? You do less tedious stuff and make more hires, no one is going to complain here.
Recruiters Become a Data Guardian
Data in recruitment is a pain! Accurate data is difficult to find in the open market and our own Data (if we are lucky) is stored in an ATS that often has an analytics function designed by someone who learned UX at the same time as finger painting.
When we get accurate data out of these systems though, the story it tells and we can tell with it are fascinating and beguiling to our hiring managers and clients. We finally open up the block box of how much work goes into recruiting someone into a story made accurate with facts.
Don’t hate the fact that you are going to spend a lot more time handling data, inputting it into a system and being checked on it! The evolution of a recruiter in a data lead world is someone who cares about data, understands why they are collecting it and can tell good stories with it. It starts by the boring admin stuff, we need to make sure we put data into whichever system we use accurately so we can tell cool stories about it afterwards.
Here are some interesting articles to get you started on data in recruiting:
– Cred to Matt Buckland and Matt Bradburn cos working with them got me to understand this
Become More Human (Seriously?)
Sadly, I believe HR people and recruiters remove themselves so far from the human element of the hiring process that they forget about their own humanity in the work place. The truth is this is the bit we need to focus on. Looking at the world today and the influx of technology, our human interactions are going to become less and less frequent and more and more important.
When I was writing this, I was thinking about where can you learn to be Human? Does someone really need to teach me? When are people going to stop saying this to me?
As Recruiters, we flex HR, sales and marketing skills. We need to be on brand but at the same time, human and building relationships. Yikes. Glen Cathy goes as far as saying we need to be focusing on social engineering but having read books on social engineering, mind control, the art of persuasion, I really don’t think that is the way forward.
Most recently I got into a muddle writing a bot version of me – yes my half finished bot will talk to you – and it was only doing this exercise that I realised what it meant being more human. I needed to inject my humanity into a blank canvas that would hopefully build excellent relationships with people. Reverse engineering like this made me realise I need to understand the overall experience I want to give a candidate and understand how I am going to get there.
I believe that as recruiters we should understand the same type of techniques used in sales (Open questions, closed questions, yes ladders etc) coupled with a strong underastanding of what we are looking to get from people in our day to day conversations to create an amazing experience for ourselves and our candidates.
The easiest way to exercise you empathetic muscles is to consistently put yourselves in the shoes of the person you are talking to. Think about what does a good conversation to my candidate look like and why. You won’t find tips in recruitment media on this sort of stuff, go outside the box, watch some Ted talks or find a cool book about it (and send it to me when you have read it 😉 )
The most important thing to remember here is at the end of the day, every experience you have, every candidate you talk to is a person and they will talk about you. Try and create a something real with them, don’t act like a machine!
Paul Wolfe sums it up here far more eloquently than I just did…
The point of the salary survey is to get a better understanding of life as an in-house recruiter today, we ask base salary, the average number of hires per month, company size, teams size and ask questions do you like your job or what bonus do you get?
We will release our findings to the whole world once we start to get a larger data set. In the meantime, if you join us at DBR we can hopefully answer some of the questions we get in DBR’s Slack channel like how much should I pay a recruiter in Ireland? or how many hires per month is normal for my industry?
Suprise Suprise! Inhouse recruiters bonus is not what you think.
When I posted this in a few forums, people were surprised to see that we had put the bonus question. From 150 or so responses so far I was surprised to see how many in-house recruiters are not getting a bonus this year.
Some people will argue that Hires is not a good metric to measure in-house recruiters on and some will say those in-house recruiters should not get bonuses for hires as it may mean they push the wrong people to be hired.
I am not sure if there is a right or wrong, my career started in agency where of course my salary was intrinsically linked to the number of hires I made. As I moved in-house, I realised it is not only about the number of hires but who and how I hired. I have worked in roles that both gave me a bonus and don’t and personally, I prefer to be rewarded when I hit my goal. The Dataset allowed me to ask a couple of questions to start the question.
Do bonuses affect the number of hires inhouse recruiters make?
With such a rich Dataset I was able to do some quick math on the responses so far, the reported average monthly hires are 3.6 hires per month. However, if we only look at an average of people that get no bonus, then they are making 3.2 hires a month and those that are getting 10% bonus are averaging 4.1 hires per month. The numbers speak for themselves.
Do bonuses make inhouse recruiters happier?
In-house recruiters are generally a happy bunch, we asked people on a scale of 1-5 how happy and they responded on average with a score of 4. As I said, a pretty cheerful bunch!
Those people that were getting a bonus were only slightly more, averaging 4.1 whereas those that aren’t getting a bonus are averaging 3.9 as a happiness score. Proof maybe that money doesn’t really make you that happy?
Should recruiters be getting a bonus?
Obviously, there is no hard or fast rule, more than 56% of respondents of the survey so far, are getting one. While it does seem to affect the number of hires, it doesn’t make you that much happier. We don’t have enough responses yet to make this all-encompassing, so I am keen to find out what you think.
Fill out the survey and help us make this a more inclusive data set and tweet me or comment and tell me; Do you think in-house recruiters should be getting a bonus?
How many times do you think; I have to much stuff to do? Too many things on the go? I have no space in my brain to cope with it all?
If you are anything like me or the millions of others then this probably happens more times than you realise. We work in a world full of Advertising, Consumerism, Capitalism, KPI’s, OKR’s, Targets, Goals, Autonomy, Self-help and Self-actualization. In a world where we battle for our jobs, compete for attention and claw up the social ladder in an attempt to make our lives better. We forget that it is OK to be human and OK to feel.
We work in a world where we battle for our jobs, we competing for attention amongst our peers, colleagues and friends. A world where clawing up the social ladder is not just a goal but a necessity to live life, and make it better for yourself.
I believe in all of the above. I believe in the economy of autonomy. Work does not stop at 5pm for me. I didn’t make it out of high school and ignore university to the get to where I am today without having and leveraging these tools to make myself better. I have to work harder than others because I don’t have the fancy degree or the on trend, in-demand skill set. The skill set I have is perspiration and naivety. I can get to my goal by working hard on a problem. I am confident that all of the listed by-products of modern society have helped me get to where I am. They make me better but I find them a challenge to deal with.
Recently, I gave myself a personal goal of writing a blog every week… I gave myself deadlines… I put the pressure on myself to be better. On top of this personal goal, everything else is tumbling in on top;
I still haven’t figured out a permanent place to live following my recent exit of the UK.
I am visiting 4 different countries and 5 different cities in the next 6 weeks.
Pressure is mounting for finishing Q1 projects and kicking off Q2 in style.
My blog post last week got over 1000 views (maybe not that many for some of you big dogs reading this) but it suddenly made me self-conscious.
The SourceCon Grandmaster challenge that I entered at the end of last year, sent us an email on Sunday saying the finals weren’t for another week and the gave us a two-week deadline the day after.
Everything happened at once. My brain was overloaded!
I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write about this week.
Lucky, I have a coping mechanism to help me figure this all out.
I’m not sure from where I got it from, the hundreds of self-help books and blogs I have read or closer to home? My Sister and her mindfulness, my Dad and his patience, my colleagues and their understanding.
Admitting to myself that I am overwhelmed is the first step to solving all the problems on my plate.
My coping mechanism is simple; I give myself time to think.
Although sometimes I feel like it is pointless and useless exercisee. I feel like I’m wasting time. I feel like I should be able to come up with the solution because I know it already. The reality is when I take the time to think; I come up with solutions to the challenges I am facing. If I write the solution down, it becomes concrete. myself time to think not as an excuse, not cos I’m failing but because I need time to think.
Giving myself time to think is not an excuse, it is not because I am failing but because I need time to think. I need to allow my brain to work through everything it has to deal with.
If you find yourself overwhelmed, I have only one piece of advice to give you. Step away for a while, not a minute but a couple of hours and give yourself time to think. Some people escape into sport and exercise, others video games and others into drinking plenty of craft beer and good food. Allowing myself space and the time I need, is not an excuse, it’s how I have conversations with myself and sort things out.
Having a conversation with yourself that gives you permission to breathe, enjoy life and think will help you fix things. Allowing yourself the space and time you need, is not an excuse but the best way to have a sensible conversation with yourself, the best way to subconsciously reflect on everything that is happening.
I promise it will help you sort things out.
Writing this all down, helped me solve the challenges I had today. I hope reading it helps you solve yours.
Make sure you get in touch if it helps or if you think I am a raving looney and it didnt help.
I have been nervous about blogging for a while but if you have noticed I have picked it up again. I thought it would be cool to explain what has changed. It could have been a new years resolution, I think having a little more time to do it and a little more confidence in myself os probably closer to the truth. Either that or I have just stupidly decided that I need to practice and no one cares anyway and I probably might end up deleting all of these posts next week anyway.
Part of me was scared of writing stuff down because I decided somewhere in the last few years, writing things down is a permanent document of my point of view on something. Much to the dismay of my fellow blogging friends, I tried to write posts that encyclopedically document an idea or a process. My blog posts (although medium successful) have been static and a tiny bit boring. When I re-read them all at the beginning of the year, I realised it was time for a change.
The other changes came from looking into the content I have been reading. Most of this content, no surprises here, but most of the stuff that I subject myself to can be classified as nontent and clickbait. I only consistently read things on three topics; Tech, Recruitment and Food. Most of this stuff is written by marketers, not practitioners. The tech writers, write for the PR machines of the advertisers that pay their wages with little interest in the subject. The food writers and bloggers have no taste and I don’t think I would trust them to warm me up some soup. As for the so called recruiters that pump out content, most are so far detached from the reality of what is happening that they feed the cottage industry of recruitment noise with little regard to the power (or lack of it) that they have.
So during the conversation I had with myself on the way home this evening, I realised that I started writing stuff on the internet some 18 years ago but none of it has really survived. My myspace doesn’t have a glittering starry background and lonely heart posts from a 13-year-old, my music blog doesn’t exist and I have managed tried to erase most of the shaven head and beardless pictures of me off the internet.
The truth is, that writing a blog is not a permanent reflection but an in the moment snapshot of how you feel. This is my personal blog so I am using it to just take tiny snapshots of myself. I am blogging for me not for you, however if you stumble across this post, then here is a little takeaway.
If you are going to blog, be genuine, be brave and be foolish. Don’t write what you think you should; write with the innocence of a child and with your heart. Don’t write for clicks or impressions, write for a cause, a belief and a reason. The most interesting stories are those that are true and genuine, those are the virals, not boring 5 reasons why robots won’t take your jobs!
With so much noise in the world, I hope that the genuine bloggers will rise again over the content marketers. Some of us will become more discerning readers and we will yearn the original homegrown feel of the true blogger. Enjoy my grammar mistakes, point out my spelling mistakes, comment about the stupid things I say.
I don’t care anymore. I’m writing for myself, not for you!
TL;DR This is a rant about looking for a job with some tips for recruiters and job seekers!
Everyone knows the pain of looking for paid work. Buzzfeed curated 25 reasons why job hunting sucks along with cat gifs (to keep you calm) and (now) having been thinking of this for a while, I can think of hundreds myself! Compare it to the pain of dating, the stress of house hunting or choosing where to eat dinner. The reality is the process of looking for a job is as painful as hiring people.
Many people have told me in the last few months “You’re a recruiter, finding a job will be easy for you!”. The reality is that it’s a nerve-wracking, painful and slow process for me, just as it is for everyone else. Having learned some lessons along the way, I thought I would share some tips for recruiters and job seekers.
It’s not as easy as they told you!
As a recruiter, you may think that I should be good at finding a new job. I have a big network, a pretty good online presence and lots of friends in the industry. Indeed, people ask me often: “Can you help me find a job Tris?” and I’m often able to offer some advice and pointers… I am a recruiter after all and I am supposed to be good at this! It has been a few weeks now and I don’t have a new job yet (although I am closer than you may think) and even though I think I have followed my own advice there are definitely things that I have got wrong during this search.
If you’re looking for a job, the truth of the matter is:
It’s not quick or an easy process to find a great job
Looking takes as much work as work does
You have to fill out application forms and go to interviews
You will get ignored, forgotten and lied to
There are other people looking for jobs that are better than you
The jobs you want are harder to get
Expect to wait for stuff to happen
I get the impression that 90% of my fellow recruiters and HR professionals have completely forgotten the pain of looking for a new role and the reality of work. As experts in employer branding in a quest to attract top talent, we have become experts developing employee value props, content marketing, sourcing and pitching candidates. We kinda forgot what it really feels like to look for a job and that when you are a job seeker… life really sucks! Job seeking is just as competitive as hiring if you are looking to advance your career or get a good job. We have made the lives of candidates harder and moved away from what got us into helping people look for jobs and hire people.
If you’re recruiting, Focus on the reality and honesty of the experience. Every job seeker, every person you interview and every part of the process puts emotional stress on all those involved. Please try and treat every person like a VIP. Try and offer great career advice. Try and remember that last time that you were looking for a job. *This is probably going to become my mantra*
If you are looking for a job, be ready to be competitive. Looking for a job you enjoy is a tough and often life long journey. Work hard at it because the cool jobs are hard to get! The way you look for a job will affect the job you get. Find the advice that suits you and stick to it. There are no silver bullets here and finally be prepared for people to say NO!
When Monster came along in 1994 and revolutionised the job advertising space by putting job ads online, everyone thought that it would make the experience of looking for a job and hiring people easier. 22 years later and there are now hundreds of online job boards for every niche and vertical, jobs are posted on company websites, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, reddit threads and twitter hashtags. Every platform has its audience, all have a role to play but this is a very confusing candidate experience. I haven’t logged into to monster recently or made a list of job boards for you yet!
If I type “in-house recruiter” job London into google you get just under 50k results. That’s loads of jobs to apply for you may think. But in reality, it’s not. I’m not moaning but having spent a while looking at these job ads, the reality is that the job boards all have the same job ads on them and thousands of these jobs are out of date, filled or not even the thing I searched for anywhere. It’s sooo frustrating!
Have we become lazy as recruiters? Do we not care or think about where we are posting our jobs anymore? Does doubling up on content detract from our brand? Does it really lead to success?
I feel I might be guilty of this, my ATS sprays out job ads across all the free job advertising platform.My approach has always been get more views – get more applicants! But now I’ve had some time to reflect on this I can’t be sure that I am really capturing the audience I am looking for! Someone searching for a the job I’m looking to fill is the easy way out, instead of spraying and praying. Why am I not ensuring that every single person who types the specific search phrase that tells me they are a potential candidate?
If you’re recruiting, be careful with your job ads. Make sure you get them seen by the right people. In my opinion, SEM campaigns have to be the way forward on this one. In fact, specific job search traffic is so low that it must be a cheap exercise, right? Recently, I have been followed across twitter by their own job ads and I was super impressed with the targeting of the campaign. OK, the job ad was for someone with 5 years more experience with me. They had obviously gauged my intent (not sure how) and then dynamically served job ads at me until I broke and got in touch.
If you are looking for a job, try not to get bogged down by all these job ads! The advice I have given to many job seekers has been to automate as much of the job hunting process as possible. Indeed (which aggregates all the other job boards) allows you to write some simple queries and set up a job alert as does every other job board. It is far easier to see the new jobs come into your inbox every morning than to search through the hundreds of job boards.
Applying for jobs is painful
Looking at the application process of most companies, you’d think no recruiter ever has actually bothered to actually apply to one of their own job ads. Seriously it’s 2016 and I think about 80% of application forms for job ads that I have come across are archaic and have actively put me off working for that company… the other 20% were just a pain to fill out.
Yes, I went to apply to your company but the form put me off… for life! I understand that you are burdened with an archaic ATS and HR processes dating from the dark ages but did you not realise that you are actively putting people off? Why did you do that? Why have you not bothered to look at what that experience is like?
I understand the argument that if you’re a recruiter you only want the people that are really interested in working with you to apply, but really how hard is it to look at 10 CV’s every morning and dismiss the ones that don’t look right? One click applies are easy to set up and a pleasant experience for me as a candidate as are two clicks for a dismissal email.
If you’re recruiting, Wouldn’t you prefer to have 10 CV’s to look every day (even if only one of which is good) than pay extortionate agency fees, RPO fees or deal with people skipping around your recruitment process?
Every online job/career platform has an API that means you can make the apply button super simple and the process. If all you need is a CV and a cover letter to begin with…. Why are you making this process so complicated? Apply for your own jobs and think, would I enjoy this application process?
If you are looking for a job, be prepared with all the details you need! I keep a google doc with links etc and copied in the details of my answers every time a new question comes up. Keep it short. I found that the most effective cover notes and answers to forms are short. You just need to grab the recruiter’s attention. At the end of the day, you are going to have to fill out some form to get them to call you an interview you. There is no need to write a life story if you are convinced you can grab their attention.
Keeping track of it all is difficult
So after a few weeks of looking for a job you find yourself with an inbox of leads and things start to get confusing. Making mistakes at this stage make you look very foolish and can be hugely detrimental to all that effort you put in!
With all of these different job boards, platforms and solutions not offering anything that actually helps you manage your job hunt how can you keep on top of everything?
I don’t think I am the first person to admit I’m not as organised as I should be. To keep on everything that has been going on I have built a spreadsheet to do this! I wanted to do everything from keeping track of the best sources of jobs for me to being reminded of the cool jobs that haven’t gotten back to me.
If you are looking for a job, get yourself organised. A trello board, this spreadsheet or just a piece of paper will help you look and find something suitable. Treat your job search as work and make life as easy as possible. You can make a copy of my spreadsheet here.
This blog post got quite epic and I haven’t even touched on how Interviewing is scary or that waiting for offer documentation is long! Obviously, I will have plenty of time to re-visit this topic until I get hired. My rant is over for now but I wanted to leave you with a few points.
As recruiters, we need to remember that a reassuring hiring process makes you look like a great employer and helps you hire amazing people.
Don’t lose sight that your job is here to help others get hired and hire.
Think about the process you are putting people through.
Act as a conduit of information to hiring managers, your leadership team and your candidates.
Be a guide through the scary thing of looking for a job.
As job seekers understand that every company wants to hire the best and the right people for their company.
Getting a great job is a challenge.
Be prepared and organised!
Understand that everyone you meet is a potential employer.
Be honest with yourself and your potential employer.
Enjoy the process. You will learn about yourself and your industry. Enjoying the challenge will help you get a better job without a doubt.