Recruiters, Pick Up Your Phone!
Ryan Phillips, erenet 155 Times 136 People

People who enjoy meeting others thrive in recruiting because networking is natural to them. Nonetheless, connecting with candidates can be overwhelming if you fear rejection. There are ways, however, to capture the essence of natural networking by gaining more confidence.

So how can you network better with candidates? For starters…

Pick Up Your Phone

Email is not a great medium for making a long-term connection. It often seems like there’s no time for calls, but it is not a hardship to spend 15 minutes on the phone with someone to help them (and perhaps help you in the process).

So, when and why did recruiters stop wanting candidates to call them? It’s unfortunate that so many in our field have become so averse to having live conversations. And then we wonder why others label the profession as being so transactional.

Also, just because you’re connecting with people for professional reasons doesn’t mean you need to talk about only professional matters. You are more likely to form a more meaningful relationship by focusing on personal matters.

Review and Recommend

Recruiters review anywhere from 20 to 100 resumes a day depending, so we know which resumes are appealing and which fall flat. We also make connections with people who could inevitably become a great source of referrals later by giving them honest feedback on their resumes.

As recruiters, we should be honest when reviewing resumes and give candidates feedback before they apply — because then they will tell others about their positive experience with us. This not only leaves a good first impression but ensures that the hiring manager sees the best possible resume.

The takeaway here is that there’s often no better way to network with candidates than to serve as a useful resource to them. Give them feedback, help them identify their goals, and then share them with co-workers.

Go Beyond LinkedIn

Meanwhile, as recruiters, our go-to tool is LinkedIn. An alternative to LinkedIn for folks who do not want to create an online digital footprint is WhatsApp.

If you are not already using WhatsApp, it is a mobile communication app available for iOS and Android. It’s a far more anonymous social networking tool, as all you need is the app and a mobile phone number to use it.

And sure enough, recently two of three cyber-test engineers on the same team informed a recruiter that they do not have a social-media profile but they do use WhatsApp. No surprise, then, that a lot of defense-industry professionals use WhatsApp for networking instead of LinkedIn.

The best strategy for sourcing candidates via WhatsApp is to join groups and share job openings with your contact information. Post details of the job type, clearance level, and location, along with contact information. It’s good form to keep the post about the length of a tweet.

Finally, consider giving candidates your personal email address and mobile number to keep in touch.

Overall, the best networking strategy is to become the recruiter more people want to meet. If you are the recruiter who goes above and beyond sending emails with job descriptions, the fear will dissipate as more referrals will come to you without even having to ask.

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