Recruitment is really very similar to marketing and sales in terms of workflow. Marketing delivers qualified leads then sales follows up on them.
If there are not enough qualified leads, sales complains about marketing. If insufficient leads are converted into sales, sales can (really) only blame themselves, but sometimes they’ll chide marketing for poor lead quality.
It is a never-ending game, but the rules are clear. People know their responsibilities, expected activity levels and goals.
It’s Not as Clear for Recruiters
At times, dedicated sourcers do the prospecting (like marketing), and recruiters do the interviewing (like sales). Other times, recruiters do both. But what are the expectations?
If a job is filled quickly and the cost is reasonable, everyone is happy. But if the job takes too long to fill or the company needs to resort to agencies and cost skyrockets, who is to blame?
In my experience talent sourcing is far from being run like sales and marketing operations, although the concept is very similar.
If salespeople are not calling enough prospects, sending enough LinkedIn or e-mail messages, they will surely be summoned to their supervisors for questioning. Sales calls and message numbers are closely monitored, and salespeople are held accountable for them.
But recruiters? How many recruiters are held accountable for the number of messages they send to potential candidates? The number of calls they make? In my experience, very few.
Unfortunately, recruiters are measured primarily by the results of their work, not by their practices. If results are the only measure for success, it is hard to help them improve and be successful.
Sales and marketing departments have another advantage. They have process automation tools. Marketing has marketing automation tools like Marketo and productivity tools like Auto Dialers. Salespeople have sales automation tools like Salesforce and a bunch of productivity tools like Gong.
What do recruiters have? LinkedIn and perhaps a few other search engines for talent.
Recruitment is the last standing industry where people sit by computers, enter keywords, sift through listings and then spend hours trying to engage with potential candidates. If they are lucky, people respond to their LinkedIn messages. If not, they need to look for e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. All is manual. Even messages are crafted manually with the hope that a personal message will prompt the candidate to respond. This is not scalable.
It Is Also a Numbers Game
Let’s assume the recruiters get a 10% positive response rate on LinkedIn. If they send messages to say 20 candidates, they may get two interested candidates and hope that they will pass the initial screening interview.
If they send 40 messages, they may get four interviews. This may not be enough to fill the job with qualified candidates.
If the company is interested in diverse candidates, the mission is even harder. Let’s say there are 20% diverse candidates on the list. With a total of 20 candidates and 10% response, we are unlikely to get any interviews with diverse candidates.
Talent Acquisition Departments Need a Mind Shift
It’s time to explore automated sourcing tools that can send messages to hundreds of candidates per job. Not just one message but multiple messages through an optimized drip campaign.
Yes, the quality of the candidates contacted will not be as high as selecting them manually, one by one, but it is scalable and the trade-off between 100% control and a campaign that generates a mix of higher and lower quality candidates is worth it. At the end of the day, with such tools, recruiters will have more candidates to choose from and less work to put into sourcing.
Ultimately, recruiters can be elevated to the quality and sophistication that sales and marketing people enjoy.
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