Any extrovert who has just accepted a talent acquisition role that operates remotely will be met with this question: “You’re so social, won’t you miss that aspect of being in an office?” Or, this statement: “I could NEVER do that. WAY too lonely for me.” Said extrovert will shrug these things off and look forward to their new experience until it becomes strikingly apparent and obvious that yes, some days are incredibly lonely, yes you do sometimes miss the hustle and bustle of office life and “OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” thoughts start to cloud your once glistening excitement for this new opportunity. If you’re in this spot currently, I’m here to tell you it gets better.
Equipping yourself with tools to succeed
If you don’t know where to start, simply begin. This can be an intimidating statement for someone who knows absolutely nothing about the jargon, how a sourcer should think, act, speak, etc. There isn’t an easy attack plan, but in addition to on the job training that was provided, I surrounded myself with the greats. Subscribe to RecruitingDaily, ERE and the SourceCon blog, also tune into Katrina Kibben’s weekly webinars where she picks the brains of folks in the recruiting world. If any conferences come up in your area, I’d challenge you to attend those as well. I also recommend reading this article by Kerri Mills.
Building relationships with candidates
Your role in talent acquisition is likely going to include trying to talk to or talking to several hundred people per week. I am a sourcing specialist, which means I search for talent that isn’t necessarily looking and try to convince them (in so many words) that they are. My job is fun, I get to be creative in what I say to candidates, and there’s nothing better than hearing someone you spoke with first is now thrilled to be starting their new job.
Use feedback to continue conversations
Many candidates will fall into the ‘black hole of recruiting.’ It’s not a fun place to be. We’ve all been there: the role of a lifetime comes up, and you’re more confident than Cinderella’s step sisters that THIS. IS. IT. AND. IT. WILL. FIT. You apply, smugly tap your submit button and wait for the recruiter working that role to phone you and rave about how they cannot believe someone as perfectly suited as you applied.
To be honest, that’s a dream scenario on both ends, but I digress.
Chances are, you end up waiting, and waiting, and waiting and maybe you receive a notification that was automatically generated from the system that “the company has received many applications for this role and they’ve chosen to focus on candidates with a skillset that more closely matches the job description.” Defeated, you retreat with ice cream of choice to wonder why your time applying wasn’t worth at least someone picking up a phone to let you know where you were at in the process.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be that way? As a new sourcer, it can be easy to spin your wheels with all the quality candidates you’re finding and submitting to the hiring manager and let some folks slip through the cracks. Set aside time each Friday to get back in touch with those that you talked about that week. Let them know where they’re at in the process, or deliver the good/bad news. This builds credibility with your candidates and a trust that you’ve got their best interests at heart.
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Similarly, if a candidate isn’t chosen and you’re the one to deliver that news, you can turn it into a great networking opportunity. “While you weren’t a fit for this role, I’m pretty connected on Linkedin. I’ll send over an invite, and if you see anyone in my list of contacts, feel free to let me know, and I’d be happy to do an introduction for you.”
Lastly, it can be easy to let the “voices of doubt” take over when you’ve just started a new role that is so different than the one you’ve held before. Choose the high road when you encounter these. You’re a (hopefully) well-compensated professional who has obtained this role because of their great skills they can contribute to this new organization. On your breaks, go for a stroll around the neighborhood, and always practice gratitude for the opportunities you’ve been given in life.