Leah Daniels
Leah Daniels

Recruiters: Find your Nirvana by Giving Up your Super Cape

July 6, 2016 at 02:46 PM — Post

Recruiting is the hardest sales job on the planet. It’s selling two sides against the middle at one time, in a non-repeatable, non-scalable operation.  With every new requisition you must start from the beginning.  Every hiring manager has a new set of expectations, working styles, tests, trials and tribulations.  And then, of course, they can and do change their mind frequently.  While you try to recruit for any one position (or all 20, 30 or more at once), you get to manage internal politics, family schedules, travel, bad days, good days, unfounded positivity about certain candidates and invalidated negativity towards others.

This is only a small component of a recruiter’s job.  Every requisition needs candidates and you have to figure out the perfect mix of internal candidates, referrals, job boards, social media sites, email messaging, cold calling, direct messaging and ad targeting to find you those candidates.

So when you get an offer to post your jobs to hundreds of free sites, why not just say “yes!” It seems like you instantly increase your odds of getting in front of every possible job seeker, which means, theoretically, that you will get hundreds upon hundreds of candidates. Then, all you’ll need is a magical sifting tool that lets you find only the good candidates from the countless applications received.

Let us know when you find that magical sifting tool – we’ve all been hunting for it!

This sweet deal may not be so sweet…  Let’s think about this.

If every open requisition was posted on every job board, all of these sites would look like Indeed – millions of jobs and millions of candidates.  It sounds perfect… an endless plethora of job seekers.  The reality is, however, that you’ll never need a million candidates from the 6,000+ job boards in the U.S.

Recruiters are superheroes - but do they have to be?

There are over 300 million people in the U.S.  Of those, 100 million are non-farming, working Americans and the average tenure of an American employee is about 4.5 years.  That stat scales – more changes for those who are closer to the beginning of their career, while less changes as employees gain more work experience.  The job spectrum reflects this. There is less of a need for CEO’s and senior level individuals than entry-level employees.

What will actually happen if you send your job ad out to every job board?  You will get lots and lots of applicants. Nirvana. Until everyone else posts their jobs on every board, too.  At that point you’ll fight to be found through the clutter on all the big aggregator sites.  

It gets even more complicated. In general, the combination of the high volume of jobs, with no self-targeting by the candidates (think Craigslist candidates vs. LinkedIn candidates), will make job seekers frustrated as they filter through pages upon pages of ‘matches’…  many of which are not even be a match.  Job boards are challenged to return quality matches on very limited information – title, location, keywords.  Those search results inherently depend on good, matchable titles, locations and job descriptions. In the absence of those qualities in the search and/or the job, the job boards infer what you meant or might mean as an employer or a candidate.

As a recruiter, going to the largest source of candidates means combatting against the largest source of jobs, rather than harmoniously working together.

So, what is your alternative?  Asking a recruiter – who is already too busy – to know what jobs are the best matches for specific boards is unreasonable. And then to have a crystal ball that lets a recruiter know which types of candidates are being driven by the various boards at any time, given changing client priorities, seasonality and cross-industry pollination of many boards, is a nearly impossible request.  The result is that most recruiters post where they last had success – even if the new job is nothing like the previous one.

This is where technology needs to step in.  Technology MUST step in.  There are millions of jobs flowing throughout the US market, millions of candidates and no magical sifting tools. The complex algorithms of new technologies and software now understand jobs titles, candidate experience, candidate behavior, job functions, geographic location, and much more.

To best optimize conversion rates on open jobs, requisitions should go first into a singular software platform that sees the entire landscape – much like air traffic control sees all the planes in the sky – where programmatic technology can decide where your ideal candidates live and play on the web.  Magic.

As a recruiter, a hiring manager, a business owner or anyone who needs to add someone to their team, this is much better handled by technology than sheer brain and brawn.  When this all comes together appropriately, the right candidates can find the right jobs for them on all the right sites. You get the highest quality candidates, without the burden of sorting through the wrong candidates. Nirvana.