My Recruiting Toolbox

Every recruiter has one… their go-to box of the latest-and-greatest gadgets that help reach and engage with candidates to fill their pipeline.

Over the last decade, recruiting has changed. A lot. When I initially got into recruiting, I was filling my pipeline primarily through inbound applications, a lot of cold calling (hello whitepages.com), and employee referrals. Today, my arsenal includes, but is not limited to: text messages, Twitter mentions, hashtags, and timed-email blasts.

Keeping on top of trends is important to keeping any career robust. Though I must say, there are many who are extremely successful sticking to their “old school ways”. Major kudos for keeping up in an ever-changing industry!

I’ve played around with a lot of different tools over the past few years, and have landed on the ones I use religiously. Below, I list my Top 5 tools in my toolkit.

  1. LinkedIn — Every new-age recruiter says “I don’t rely on LinkedIn”. They lie. While some candidates in some geographies don’t live and breathe on LinkedIn, there are 450 million profiles on there that we can search. That’s a LOT of people, guys! While I don’t necessarily agree that LinkedIn Recruiter is an absolute “must”, being active on LinkedIn is.
  2. Email Hunter — A cool little Chrome extension that sits on top of LinkedIn. When you go to someone’s profile, a red “Email Hunter” button appears. Click on it, and it searches for an email that is likely to get you connected. 99% of the time, it is a work email. But, hey. I guarantee you they open their work email every day!
  3. Mixmax — I’ve always said that recruiters are professional stalkers. Mixmax allows me to take this to a new level. I can track when my emails get opened and when links get clicked on. I can actively see when you open my email, and I will ping you RIGHT when you do because I know you’re looking at my message. Sneaky, I know. On top of this, Mixmax offers a slew of other things I love. You can insert calendar availability to schedule candidate screenings (we use Googlemail and it integrates seamlessly, but I’m unsure of other servers), schedule emails to go out at a certain time/date (useful for overseas recruiting efforts), snooze emails to reappear in your inbox at a later time or date (great for those emails that aren’t super urgent).
  4. Prophet — A free Chrome extension that allows you to see information about people – email addresses, phone numbers, and any social sites they are active on – as a pretty little pop-up on the right hand side of your screen. The only downside is that this extension will not work on top of LinkedIn (as most don’t, ugh). I’ve found this to be a great tool for really understanding who a candidate is. What are they passionate about? Are they bad mouthing their employer on Twitter? Ooooh… puppy!
  5. Rapportive — This is a Chrome and/or Firefox extension that allows you to see a person’s LinkedIn profile right in your Gmail inbox. Once you open an email, you can see their picture (if they have one posted on LinkedIn), their location, what they do, the company they work for, and any shared connections. I’ve found this particularly useful in building instant rapport when getting responses back from candidates. Pretty nifty.

Do any of you use these tools? Do you use any others that aren’t on this list? If so, let me know! I’d love to explore them!

Recruiter

Going About Your Job Search

I had drinks with a former colleague of mine last night who, unfortunately, is on the job hunt.  Over the course of two hours, we sat talking about the types of companies that are popping up, the ingenuity (and sometimes, pure chance) of the people creating these companies, the opportunities he’s interested in, the companies he’s interested in, and what he’d love to be doing.

In listening to him talk about how he is going about finding opportunities for himself, it made me realize how many different approaches people take to navigate the job market.  Maybe you are using one of these strategies.  Maybe you aren’t using any of them at all.  Perhaps you could use a fresh set of techniques to assist you in your search.

I’ll outline some of the most common…

Job Boards.  Oh, the tried and true job boards.  There’s something to be said about them.  They’ve existed this long because the strategy works.  There’s a demand and a certain means to find that supply.  Easily searched, easily found.  It is a win-win for both employer and job seeker.

Target Companies.  Who wouldn’t want to work for a sexy “brand name” like Facebook, Google, or Pinterest?  We all know those companies and many want to work for them to have the company name on their resume.  In the same regard, however, there are smaller niche companies that tend to attract certain candidates.  In the same way, those job seekers specifically target opportunities at those companies.

Corporate Recruiters.  As a Corporate Recruiter, I say with certainty, that people search LinkedIn for “Corporate Recruiter” and connect with all of them with a note saying something in the likes of “I’m interested in working for your company. Please contact me so we can chat.”

Agency Recruiters.  An agency recruiter is one that is contracted out to many companies to fill roles.  They usually have a book full of listings they are trying to fill.  While they are acting as these company’s recruiters, they are also building relationships with people like you.  Learning about your likes, dislikes, career history, career progression, and dreams.  I see them as match makers.  If you are in a niche market, find a recruiter that specializes in your trade.

Networking.  How often have you heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”?  There’s a lot of truth that rings behind this statement.  Someone you meet today, could very well be tomorrow’s founder of the next-big-thing.  Your dad’s old high school teammate and now fellow Board Member, is now the CEO of *insert big company name here*.  And your ex-girlfriend?  Well, she’s the lead recruiter for that position you so eagerly have your eye on.

LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is a great way for job seekers to follow companies, find job postings, figure out the people who posted the job posting, and network with people who currently (or formerly) worked there.  Using LinkedIn to network (see above) is also a great use of time for job seekers.  One day, it’ll certainly come in handy.

Social Media.  With the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter, finding an opportunity via this medium is becoming a new trend.  There are millions of people and companies that have accounts on these networks and “social recruiting” is a growing trend in the recruiting world.  Find, follow, and interact with those companies/individuals that interest you.

Now, you are probably sitting there thinking “Which technique works the best?”  My honest answer: All of the above.

Happy hunting!

A Day In the Life

A colleague of mine called me this morning to ask for some insight as a Corporate Recruiter.  On what?  On LinkedIn and how we (corporate recruiters) see a candidate’s profile.  She wanted my insight since she comes from the Agency Recruiting side — a WHOLE different ballgame over there.

She asked.  I answered.

Q:  What do you look for in a candidate’s profile?
A:  I am looking for completeness.  I want to see a full name, where you are located, what industry you’re in.  I want to see accurate dates of employment, where you are/were employed, and what you did/do at your place of work.  I want to see a picture; I want to see a human face behind these words that are on their profile.  Above all, I want to see a story.  I want to know how they got to where they are today.

Q:  Anything else you look for?
A:  Oh yeah.  I want to see recommendations from colleagues, managers, people who have interacted with them.  If their LinkedIn network is small, I tend to second guess my reaching out to them – at least via that medium.  Their college degree(s).

Q:  What pet peeves do you have about some LinkedIn profiles?
A:  Where do I start?  Why do people think that by hiding their names, they’re doing themselves any good?  I guess, unless they don’t want to be found.  But professionally speaking, why wouldn’t you want to be headhunted?  Also, I understand why one might refuse to disclose their current company’s name, but why must all the companies in your profile be anonymous?  What is the point of that?  All job titles and no job duties.  This doesn’t help me!  Help me, help you.

Q:  What do you think about LinkedIn Groups for networking?
A:  They’re a GREAT networking tool.  I don’t know why more people don’t participate in them.  Not just to be members, but to be contributing members.  Engage with the folks in the group.  Ask questions.  “Networking” isn’t just handshakes anymore!

Q:  How many resumes do you review daily that come in from your ATS (Applicant Tracking System)?
A:  30-ish per position, daily.

Q:  How many positions do you normally hire for at any given time?
A:  On average, anywhere between 8-15.

Q:  That’s a lot of resumes.  How many profiles do you review on a daily basis via channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc?
A:  I’ll look at about 500 daily, in addition to whatever resumes came in that day.

Q:  How do you have time to read all those resumes??
A:  Read?  I skim.  I’m scanning for the most important pieces of information that I need to make this person qualified for the role.  If it’s not on their profile/resume, I’m moving on.  Definitely under 30 seconds per profile/resume.  So, if they want to be “seen”, they have to make sure they have the information we’re (recruiters) are looking for.

Q:  Isn’t that unfair?
A:  No, I don’t think so.  Nature of the beast, I guess.  Dog eat dog world.  If you want it, make it happen.

I find that a lot of “job seekers” lackadaisically go about their job search.  They tirelessly send resumes and are upset when they don’t hear back.  They want to be headhunted, but their online presence is minimal.  A little fine tuning will do wonders!  I have faith in you.

Good luck!  And as always… I’m all ears!

Why Corporate Recruiting?

How / Why did you get into recruiting?

That’s a question I got when I was interviewing.  It’s also a question I frequently get when talking to friends.

My journey to the Corporate Recruiting world started in 2004.  I was finishing school, interning for a private money management company in their sales department.  They brought me on full time once I finished school, and I went into a sales role.  Cold calling.  Appointment setting.  Tracking the money I was bringing into the firm.  I was better at sales than I ever thought I could be, especially in an industry I honestly knew nothing about.  I made a lot of money.  But I wasn’t happy.

What was missing?

In sales, it’s very much about “how can you help ME?”  When, in turn, I really wanted to help THEM.  I wanted to provide them with their best options – whether or not it was truly with our firm.  I started thinking about a way to combine something I was good at (sales) with something that would make me feel good about what I was doing for a living.

In 2008, I was approached for an internal position as a Corporate Recruiter, and I jumped at the opportunity.  What better way to fill that void I felt!  I landed in a position where I would “sell” the managers on candidates that I was presenting to them, where I would “sell” the candidate on what makes our company great to work at, where I fulfilled my own desire to be helpful.  I was helping a company fill its organization with great talent, while helping someone looking for a great “home” to display their expertise.

Selfishly, I made the move for myself.

And in the end, that decision to move out of sales, away from the big money income, the glorious “President’s Club” trips, and the pretentiousness of being the best has left me feeling extremely fulfilled in my career.

I have considered moving to the agency side of recruiting, but I want to feel like I am helping to grow ONE organization.  I want to live, breathe, and BE the culture I am promoting and supporting.

I love what I do.  I love the feedback I get from managers when I find their perfect candidate.  I love the emails I get from candidates saying they had the best candidate experience and “THANK YOU for helping me.”

I am a matchmaker.  I am the one who walks away with a sly smile knowing that all is right in the world for *this* exact moment.

Now… let me ask you… why do you do what you do?