Do you LOVE recruiting? So do our experts — welcome to Asked + Answered!
Asked & Answered is a monthly column where we ask talent acquisition professionals questions about their work, industry trends, and their productivity tips. Sign up for our email list to be emailed every time a new recruiting post is posted.
This month, we asked three experienced talent acquisition professionals about recruiting trends, strange interview questions, and, in honor of Valentine’s Day, the similarities between recruiting and dating. We hope you enjoy their tips— let us know in the comments what you’d like us to ask next month.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in recruiting and HR in the last 5 years?
Bill Coder: The tools we use are always in a state of change. Monster used to be the go-to tool in the past, but not anymore, it seems. LinkedIn became that tool, but I wonder for how long. I’m always looking for what that next tool may look like for our recruiting team. Brazen’s virtual job fairs have been a tool that we’ve had good luck with in 2015.
Quiana Peterson: Recruiting through social media. Just when we got the hang of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, then comes Instagram, SnapChat, and Periscope. It is an ever-changing landscape. Who knows what the next big social media platform will be in another 5 years? Whatever it is, Generation Z will be using it, and we will have to adapt to recruit.
Lisa: The biggest change that I see is people looking more for company culture than salary or benefits.
What’s your biggest recruiting challenge right now?
Bill: It’s always the same: Keeping everyone happy. Balancing the workload. Not enough hours in the day. Keeping things afloat and hiring as many great candidates as we can, as quickly as we can.
Quiana: Personalized messaging. With unemployment down in our area and lower number of candidates coming out of college ready to enter the education profession there is a war on talent. Candidates have their choice of where they want to work. They are being courted from many different districts. It is time-consuming to develop communication that resonates with various different demographic groups. Trying to stand out is a challenge, but absolutely necessary.
Lisa Parra: Given that the unemployment rate is low, there is less talent open in the market.
What’s the strangest interview question you’ve ever been asked?
Bill: “If you could be any kind of tree, what kind of tree would you be?” The answer I gave was “oak” because it can be made into so many helpful items like tables etc.
Quiana: “If you could be any color in a crayon box, which would you be?”
Lisa: After 16 years I am not surprised by much anymore, haha.
If you had one extra hour every day, how would you use it?
Bill: I would like to ask for three. One to spend with my kids before they stop being kids. One to exercise and keep me around. One to pray and think about big ideas.
Quiana: Strategy, strategy, strategy! Usually you develop your strategy early in your hiring season and then set out to achieve your goals. Often times we get sidetracked daily as more tasks get piled on. It’s not until the end of the season that we look at ROI and what did and didn’t work. With an extra hour a day, I would spend more time aligning each day to meet my overall strategy. That would include prioritizing my to-do list for the next day and measuring my daily recruiting efforts to develop more efficiency and eliminate time wasters.
Lisa: Time with my family.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, tell us how recruiting is like dating (or not)?
Bill: I have used the analogy of “dating” in connection with bringing in a contractor vs. “getting married” when we decide to hire full-time. Also similar in that we need to make good impressions and do the right thing to keep the relationship alive. I think I’m better at recruiting than I was at actual dating.
Quiana: Recruiting is exactly like dating. You are looking for the best match for your company. You work on employer branding and materials to make your company desirable hoping to attract suiters. Much like dating there should be a certain level of honesty in communication between the recruiter and candidate. And when there is a match, you must continue to maintain the relationship for it to be successful long-term. In recruiting terms — after the first interview you should gauge whether you met expectations and continue to communicate in a transparent manner with the interviewee.
Lisa: Recruiting is more like speed dating than true courting.
Special thanks to this month’s contributors:
Bill Coder is the Director of Recruiting at LGS Innovations in Denver, Colorado.
Quiana Peterson is an Instructional Recruitment Partner at Lake County Schools in Tavares, Florida.
Lisa Parra is the Human Resources Supervisor at the Alpha Corporation in Dulles, Virginia.