It’s time Recruiting became a Marketing exercise, not a Sales exercise

I was thinking about this article for agency recruiters but it became clear that it was a good topic for corporate recruiters too.

Whether we talk to potential clients, clients or, on that rare occasion, candidates, the conversation always seems to start with a variation of;

“Are you looking?”


“OK, talk to you next month”

“OK, looking forward to it, bye”

No dialog, no relationship building, no authority building, actually, no nothing really.

And it’s always the phone sometimes coupled with email. Never LinkedIn, never text, never Facebook. And it’s always the same messaging, month after tedious month, no wonder candidates or clients won’t talk to us.

We bore them.

But the flipside is this, it’s impossible to push out a few thousand emails, phone calls and text messages and get seen in people’s online conversations, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Think about it, if you could reach out to a client or a candidate with a relevant message at will then the opportunity would be massive.

The passive job seeker would become active to you days or weeks ahead of his or her dialog with the other recruiters. And even if the potential candidate wasn’t a candidate, regular contact would mean that he or she was open to passing your name on to somebody else.

The client would talk to you and nobody else because what you were saying mattered then. We don’t do that any more, we don’t have time. But maybe we do.

But none of this starts with the idea that we’re going to place a candidate or win a client tomorrow, it starts with us doing the groundwork for that to happen and letting that happen.

There is a clear opportunity to drive candidates to your preferred outcome (getting hired) months ahead of the job existing, but we don’t do that. We just send out the bog standard vanilla emails and voicemail messages (because people stopped answering their phones in 1997).

And then the retort is always “But I don’ have time for all those calls and emails!” Which is understandable because we have 15 potential modes of communication and nobody answers any of them.

But what if we do?

Certain parts of the dialog can be automated so that we can at least measure interest.

In the new world order interest is measured by the lack of automation in the communication process. If you’re interested then you step in to the process, it doesn’t matter if you’re a corporate recruiter, agency recruiter or even a candidate.

The one thing that is lacking right now is outreach, which you can call marketing, customer service or a host of other names.

Outreach gets you to that next level that the recruiter is paid to get to. Ay fool can go on Monster or Dice or LinkedIn and do a search, it takes a special kind of fool to get to the next level.

We’ve all heard of “The 6 Degrees of Separation” and say we live by it in our search efforts, but we don’t, we like to go for the low hanging fruit rather than searching out the best fit.

Dig deeper, it’s what you get paid for.