Over the weekend I received a e-mail from a recruiter from a recruitment company in Illinois that was looking to fill an entry level retail position for a local cable company in my area. The recruiter stated that he had seen my resume online and thought that he would I would be a good fit for the position he was hiring for.
I normally receive these types of e-mails and phone calls once maybe twice a week…so another one wasn’t a big deal, but for some reason; this particular recruiter caught my attention. So I decided to click the link in his e-mail and lo and behold was the job description for the entry-level position he was recruiting for. Now, no one understands how difficult recruiting for a retail position can be better than myself, I know that when you’re out there looking for talent, especially for retail, you really need to go at it with all you got, retail recruiting is rough, most of the time you’re looking for top talent for bottom dollar. That however, doesn’t translate into “throwing sh*t against the wall to see what sticks” as a recruiting strategy.
That is what really got me about this particular recruiter, if you’re going to pay me the compliment of reaching out and letting me know that you have viewed my resume or LinkedIn profile online and then come and invite me to apply for a position that you know will be a long shot given my experience, why set yourself up? I replied back to the recruiter and called him out by saying that if he indeed had taken the time to view my resume he would have realized that I probably wouldn’t have been the best fit as a candidate given my prior experience.
So you might be saying, “hey…big deal…so he struck out with you, right?
Wrong! Recruiting isn’t just about getting warm bodies into a position (although at times, it seems like that is the case when you recruit for retail…but let’s not go there right now…maybe in another post). Candidate experience is just as important for our industry as it is for any other industry or corporate position. Why? Because even though a particular candidate may not be a right fit for your position or your client’s position; their friend, co-worker, family member etc., might just be. Now, how likely are you to get a positive referral if the candidate experience of the original candidate was a negative one?
A better approach in this case, and we’ll take my particular example; would have been to go ahead and touch base with me…
”Dear Ernie, I have a position I’m currently recruiting for, I saw your resume online, I know this particular position may not be a good fit for you but would you mind passing along my contact information to anyone who you may know that may be interested? Thanks, -Recruiter”
Now, not only have your caught my attention in a positive manner, but; you’ve probably created a good networking contact. Folks, just because you’re a recruiter doesn’t mean you’re limited to networking with other recruiters. Connecting with hiring managers in your particular industry may be a good strategy; you’d be surprised at the referrals that may come along your way.
Moral of the story: “throwing sh*t against the wall to see what sticks” shouldn’t be your recruiting strategy. Be strategic, reach out and start building your pipeline, and not just with candidates but with other sources that can contribute to your talent pool as well.