The Answers to Five Newbie Recruiter Questions You Might Have Been Too Embarrassed to Ask

January 25, 2016 at 9:30 AM William Clarke

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No one ever wants to be that person out of the loop – the one who couldn’t tell the difference between a Git fork and Git clone, the number of characters in a tweet, or the definition of a lead.

Fear not: It happens to the best of us sometimes. Keeping track of every new website, innovation, or theory is impossible. To help you avoid that awkward moment next time, here are the answers to a few questions you may have not have wanted to ask your coworkers.

Does personal branding actually matter?

Absolutely. Branding is huge in recruiting. When it comes to the one on one relationship building, who you are and what you represent really matters. One of the first things a candidate may do after they receive an (interesting, well-crafted, personalized) email from a recruiter is plug the name into a search engine, and see what pops up. What are they going to find? Ideally, they’ll find a positive digital footprint with stuff like Medium articles and an active Twitter feed.

How you portray yourself online – your intelligence, skills, values, passions and hobbies – will explain your motive for reaching out in the first place, and help convince them to trust you with their careers. That’s all personal branding, and when done well, it works wonders.   

Social media just a fad, right?

Nope! Social media is awesome. It’s an underrated way to find valuable info on candidates and source hard to find talent. Now, hyper-specific networks and platforms allow recruiters to get more granular than ever and move past old-fashioned cold calling and blind emails that don’t fly with millennials and Gen Yers anyway. Social media lets you simultaneously refine your own brand and gain valuable insights into candidates, which makes specific, personalized outreach, genuine relationship building and, ultimately, more effective recruiting possible

Two words: Vertical networks. Online platforms like Github, Behance, and Dribbble are underutilized resources for finding technical and creative talent. But that’s just the start. There’s Kaggle for data scientists, Inbound.org for marketers, and even Academia.edu for academics. With LinkedIn at near total recruiter saturation, these vertical platforms are where you’ll find off-the-beaten path candidates. Even better, knowing your way around less well-known networks gives you competitive advantage. Sourcing candidates from diversified channels increases the quality of your overall talent pool, which makes for a quicker, more efficient and more effective hiring process. In other words: mastering vertical networks will get you results.

Are referrals really that valuable?

Yes. Referrals are your best friend. They lead to highly qualified, motivated candidates without the back breaking, time-consuming work sourcing them and getting them interested. That’s why your company has to have a killer employee referral program with appropriate incentives and generously rewards. Successful referrals beget more successful referrals. And successful referrals make for a happy company. Not quite sold? Check out this webinar with Lyft recruiting extraordinaire Amy Zuckerman for a dive into referral programs.

I’m a recruiter. How are sales and marketing skills going to help me?

For a recruiter, thinking like a salesperson or a marketer is an absolute must. Whether you realize it or not, you’re selling your company to candidates. To get even the most disinterested candidates to give you the time of day, leverage high quality content alongside a compelling sales pitch that markets your firm’s unique value proposition as an employer.

Your company’s backstory and culture are the biggest trump cards you have, and the best way to use them strategically is with content as proof points. If you effectively illustrate what makes working at your company such a rewarding, interesting and valuable experience, your candidates will jump at the opportunity to join the team and that makes your recruiting a helluva lot easier.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a couple more posts that will help you take your recruiting game to the next level. 

What are your favorite latest and greatest trips for sourcing talent? Share with us in the comments.

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