“Send me a text!”
“I’ll text you!”
“Visit my webpage.”
“See the attached file…”
“Please electronically sign the contract and email it back to me.”
“’Like’ me on Facebook, Twitter, whatever…”
“Join my “GoToMeeting.”
It’s not at all unusual for new technology to produce crude results.
In our case, new technology is opening the door to weak communication skills.
Few stop to consider that all these impersonal communications may be endangering our work!
Social media, blogging, mobile, and Internet technology (in general) are hobbling opportunities that once were most fulfilled face-to-face or ear-to-ear.
When we venture out to meet someone many of us are filled with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension.
Apprehension because part of the experience of meeting a particular person lies in the unknown and anticipation because at the core of our human being-ness lies a social animal.
It’s the apprehension that’s winning out in this techno race of assumptions.
It’s winning out because for many of us it “feels” far safer to have that wall — that veil — between others and ourselves.
The fear of rejection and failure is (greatly) diminished with technology.
Now many of us seem aloof and withdrawn in our dealings with one another and the bottom line is — candidates notice!
If you believe we’re on the dawning cusp of another possible boom (as I do) you may want to consider that “in the old days” what brought us to booms was personal, one-on-one relationships that mattered to both sides.
I’m willing to bet that it’s the recruiters (and sourcers) who are “talking” to people who are finding the most success.
I think many of them here will speak for themselves backing me up on this.
When we’re communicating electronically only, there is almost no obligation to the receiver of all your good news to reciprocate anything to you — is there?
How many times do you send emails to someone, expecting a reply (or response — any kind of response!) and receive nothing?
More of you than I bet are willing to admit.
Texts: same thing — easy to ignore.
Blog entries — who’s reading them? Really? You? How many times do you read your own blog entry? Feels kinda’ lonesome, don’t it, Dove?
Let me tell you how to make an impression.
Return a candidate’s calls. You’ll likely be the first (and only) one to do so!
Call a potential candidate and surprise them. You’re more than likely to be the first (and only) recruiter to have ever done that in their experience. (Just don’t call one off LinkedIn — you sure as heck won’t surprise those soiled goods.)
Walk in to a company’s main lobby and ask to speak with the head of staffing. I’ll guarantee you’ll be the only one who’s done that in the last 10 years!
STOP sharing everything openly online — enough with that stupid word “transparency.”
We’re not doing anyone any good with all our goody-two-shoes FREE blathering.
We’re oversaturating the market with information and misinformation. We’re part of the problem — leading others to believe getting a job is a matter of comparing this one and that one to that one and this one online.
Recruiters (and some sourcers) are routinely texting and emailing information that is sensitive and precious — made much less so in the public’s eye (and experience) by its cheap distribution.
We give candidates (and potential candidates) the idea they have all the information they need to make one of the most important decisions in their lives.
They don’t and they can’t.
They most assuredly can’t without your help.
Why are you taking yourself out of the loop?
My advice for meeting face-to-face with someone:
Consider your appearance. Some “casual” has become far too casual in the last few years. Lose the flip-flops and pajama pants. Dress seasonally and respectfully for whomever you’ll be meeting with.
Schedule in-the-flesh meetings. when you can meet face-to-face. When you can’t use a service like GoToMeeting. It’s an electronic solution, sure but you have the opportunity to “see” and be “seen.” It’s an opportunity to sell yourself and your abilities.
Forget meeting at the local Starbucks. Too noisy, too little privacy, too many distractions, too impersonal.
Schedule your time (and theirs). Set your expectations for the time you’d like to spend with them before you meet. People are less reluctant to meet when they understand the time commitment.
Share your market knowledge in person at first. They’ll pay more attention to your emails and texts later.
Insist on commitment. Explain you’re running a business — not a charity. They’ll respect you more.
Qualify the candidate. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have a non-compete. Explore their feelings about relocating. Talk about salary. Get the scary stuff over fast and first. They’ll welcome your interest and this will help create commitment, loyalty, and trust in you in your candidates.
Phone calls and follow-up. Set yourself apart from the madding crowd with this one.
Almost nobody else is doing it! Once your relationship is established, call them regularly (once a week is good.) It only takes a few minutes — less than five, usually.
Do Not Be Afraid of Rejection and Failure.
That is all.