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5 Tips for Former Agency Recruiters for Using Corporate Recruiting Software
by Jessica Stephenson
Director of Client Services, ExactHire
Given the rapidly changing recruiting landscape, it is not uncommon for agency recruiters at staffing, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and executive search firms to sometimes move into a corporate recruiter role; or, for in-house talent acquisition specialists to conversely move into a third-party headhunting position. Regardless of your recruiting background, if you have ever worked for an organization that chose to leverage technology to make the recruiting process more efficient, then you have first-hand experience with some type of recruiting software.
Specifically, if you are a former agency recruiter who gets excited as the number of resumes collected in your recruiting portal continuously increases, then you might struggle when you first encounter the technology orientation of the in-house corporate recruiting tool set. After all, you are used to a candidate-oriented sourcing process; whereas, many corporations will have a job-oriented selection process. Here are some tips on how to adjust your recruiting style to complement your new corporate environment, but without losing your “hunter” instincts.
#5 - Sales is No Longer the #1 PriorityAs an agency recruiter, your first priority is usually to source and close new clients while at the same time finding candidates to fill open positions. As a result, it is natural for you to want to collect as many resumes as possible so that you will always have a giant applicant pool into which you may dive to get a jump start on filling new openings - particularly similar types of openings that you regularly see.
In the corporate environment, the applicant tracking software that you will encounter will probably be job-driven since you will only need to recruit for your own organization. So, while in the past you could quickly grab resumes (often without candidates needing to actually apply to a position) by doing paid searches of job board databases and then worry about matching them to actual job qualifications later, with your new hiring software applicants will usually be indicating interest in a specific job or two as they complete an online employment application. The good news is that you have the chance to hone in on a unique job’s requirements and attach position-specific screening questions to the application. Then, utilize filters in your applicant tracking software to automatically score and qualify/disqualify candidates based on answers to key job-relevant questions.
#4 - Refocus Your CRM Mindset to Bolster Your Organization’s Employment BrandIn the agency world, you would probably have had a mild heart attack if you lost access to your favorite customer relationship management program. After all, it was critical for you to stay on top of all the prospecting irons you had in the fire, as well as the candidates that might potentially fill your open position docket.
Channel your time management skills into wowing your potential recruits at your new organization with your ability to juggle many open requisitions while remaining responsive and resourceful. In a new role, it will be especially critical for you to be an ambassador of your company’s employment brand - intimate with your corporate culture and hiring practices and guru of answers for common applicant questions. There will be even higher expectations for you to respond to applicants in a timely manner since you are directly representing the employer. Utilize your applicant tracking software’s email templates and Outlook integration to make this easy.
#3 - Use an Electronic Job Requisition Management Process to Shorten Time-to-FillWithin an agency setting, you were likely never involved with the sometimes delicate and/or political process of getting a job opening approved. No, you probably only started working on job listings once they were ready to receive applicants. In the corporate setting, you may have a role in the job requisition management process. Whether you or your hiring managers initiate new job requisition requests, your applicant tracking software will have a feature that allows you to make this flow paperless so that you may quickly get the string of approvals you need in order to make the job listing live. Help the process move along even more quickly by using your powers of persuasion to convince managers to respond to electronic requests as soon as possible.
#2 - Brush Up on Your Compliance Reporting RequirementsNow that you are working directly for the employing organization, you may find the task of managing compliance reporting has fallen onto your plate - despite it being something your professional palate has perhaps not yet experienced. Depending on the scope and size of your organization, you may be responsible for preparing items like an applicant flow log report for affirmative action plans under the jurisdiction of the OFCCP; or, the EEO-1 Report due annually to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Certain behaviors should be applied consistently in order to ensure that your recruiting software can effectively report on these items. Revisit the applicant status codes you are using, as well as the voluntary demographic information you collect on your online employment application, and make any necessary changes. Or, don’t recycle old job listings by just reopening their active dates, etc. Check with your employment law attorney for additional guidance on your organization’s reporting responsibilities.
#1 - Use Social Media & Condensed Application to Proactively RecruitSocial media sites are a tremendous resource for sourcing applicants proactively, as well as for gaining a more complete picture of a candidate’s background (as long as the way in which you use social media is consistent and appropriate across all candidates). Utilize your experience (you are probably already a social media maven coming from the agency side) to continue to confidently reach out to potential A Player candidates and connect to learn more about them; however, truly gauge their interest by then inviting them to apply for specific positions with your organization using the social media integration built into your applicant tracking system (i.e. don't just "inhale" their resume without identifying their intent for a specific set of position types).
Ask your hiring software provider if there is a way to invite passive candidates to complete a shortened, basic application to indicate interest in a group of positions. This will help convert passive applicants into individuals in your database since they will not have to complete a long application. Then, once certain individuals have been identified for progression in the hiring process, invite them to finish the more extensive application since they have been identified as a contender. This approach especially works nicely when you are sourcing executive-level candidates.
With these quick tips under your belt, you are on your way to making a smooth transition from the agency recruiting environment into the corporate recruiting role.
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