5 Tips from Recruiting Ninjas to Advance your Career in 2018

It’s the new year, a time for goal-setting and fresh opportunities. We’re predicting a few trends that will make 2018 a little bit different for recruiters that we’ll discuss in a bit. With that being said, the key to becoming a recruiting ninja and annihilating your goals really is simple: master the basics and adapt for trends.

Technology has significantly impacted how recruiters operate over the past several years. That doesn’t mean that you should be all in on technology at the expense of personal touch and relationship-building. Before jumping on board with current trends, stick with the basics, then approach the trends like a wise Samurai for complete and total goal destruction.

Before we jump into trends for this upcoming year, let’s look at 5 tips from our recruiting ninjas to master your sales domain in 2018.

Use marketing to strike early

Getting in front of the right candidates is half the battle. That’s where effective marketing comes into play. Get in front of passive candidates while they’re still in their current role. Then, when they do find themselves looking for a new opportunity, your consistent branding and messaging will place you front and center in their minds.

There are several ways to achieve this. First, your company should have a branding marketing strategy with the goal of reaching more people and expanding brand awareness. Social media engagement is a powerful strategy. As an individual recruiter, you can share your company’s blog posts, job postings and share your own success stories of candidates you’ve personally placed. If you have photos to include, that’s even better. Any time you can add a personal element, you open the opportunity to connect with someone new, because that story might resonate with him or her.

Know exactly what you are looking for

Review each job description carefully, and pull out the qualities that are needed for the job. Make a list with two columns: need to haves and nice to haves. Then, when speaking with candidates for the job, you can more easily check off whether or not they meet the criteria.

This can also help when searching for candidates on LinkedIn or at networking events. Having five keywords ready to roll off of the top of your tongue when asked what types of candidates you staff for can help you get more qualified referrals.

Don’t only consider experience

It’s hard to really get a feel for a candidate by simply looking at their resume. Recruiting ninjas know how to uncover the “real” candidate. From initial contact, do what you can to put the candidate at ease. During the interview, create a comfortable environment where candidates are more likely to be themselves. This will help give you a feel for the overall package that they have to offer.

Many recruiters draw a hard line when it comes to experience. However, the most experienced candidate isn’t always the most qualified. If you really get a feel for the candidate, you can make an assessment in regard to their drive, quickness to learn and likelihood to succeed. Some people are natural winners and competitors, and will excel if given the opportunity. Ask about overcoming past obstacles or achievements they’ve had from learning something new. Get a feel for what the candidate is capable of, and you might uncover a candidate in the rough who is more than qualified for the opportunity you have available.

Communicate the impact that the job will have

Everyone wants to feel like they’re making a positive difference, whether they tell you this or not. Good ninjas know that, when we lie our heads on our pillows at night, we have upheld a mighty responsibility and tradition of matching candidates and employers for a win-win that helps propel our economy forward. What drives your candidate?

Start by painting a picture with the job description. Include things like:

  • What the candidate will own, or be responsible for
  • What the candidate will teach their colleagues
  • What the candidate will learn from the organization
  • What will improve as a result of the candidate joining the team

Go beyond the normal job description, and paint a picture for how the candidate will have an impact on the company, and vice versa. The words that you choose can either paint a beautiful, compelling picture, or make a job seem like a bore and a drag. Choose wisely, ninja.

Get feedback from candidates who didn’t get the job

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things that happens on the candidate side is when a recruiter goes radio silent. Often times recruiting firms operate with a model that churns through candidates, conducting emotionless interview, uploading their resume into a system and never hearing from them again. This leaves candidates feeling dehumanized and frustrated. Don’t go radio silent.

In fact, follow up exactly when it might feel uncomfortable. If the employer turned down a candidate’s resume, or the candidate didn’t get the job after an interview, follow up. Provide feedback and ask for feedback. All feedback is an opportunity to grow and improve. Take it in with that respect and understanding, and you will always be improving and honing your ninja skills.

Recruiting Trends for 2018 

Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s look at upcoming trends. We are predicting some noteworthy trends for 2018 that will have an impact on how you recruit this year.

A.I. technology will expand

A.I. is here to make your life easier. It allows recruiters to search based on job criteria without taking into consideration demographic, race and age. It essentially eliminates any, even subconscious, biases, which allows for a more diverse and qualified candidate pool.

Additionally, A.I. allows you to automate and can significantly improve your productivity. Take the time to learn a new skill, like talent mapping and various algorithms to analyze data that will tell you how you can be more efficient in your job.

Working remotely is more commonplace

More and more companies are offering the opportunity for employees to work remotely, and many candidates are demanding it. According to FlexJobs, 85% of millenials prefer working remotely full-time, and 54% prefer to work on a flexible schedule.

With tools like video conferencing and cloud-based CRMS and project management platforms, working remotely has never been easier. Some candidates should consider the emotional impact of working at home alone all day, especially for people who are more extroverted, before taking on a full time work-from-home job. As the recruiter, you can help candidates navigate these big decisions.

Continuous learning is the way forward

This goes back to the need to make an impact. Employers need to show how the job will impact the candidate, and continuous learning is a hot topic for candidates. With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, candidates can no longer simply rely on their four-year-degree for everything they need to know. To stay relevant, continuous learning is a must.

Employers that provide continuous learning not only improve their employees’ skillsets, which not only benefits the organization’s bottom line, but also builds rapport and helps with employee recruiting and retention.

For more resources to help make your job easier check out our Candidate Resources page for helpful information and templates that you can share with your candidates.