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It’s easy to get caught up in the trends. Everyone seems to be writing something new about the “next big thing” in recruiting, and blogs, Twitter streams, and news sites are covered with them. True, a lot of methods and tools have emerged, but that just makes it harder to figure out what really works. Instead, this information overload results in companies that are unable to sort through the hype and improve their recruiting processes.

Getting Back to Recruiting Basics

While these new tools and methods can be helpful, it may be time to disregard them – for the moment – and get back to the basics of recruiting, which will build a foundation that the tools can enhance. It’s become all too easy to rely on technology for everything from finding to screening candidates , much to the detriment of recruiting. While the online job boards have facilitated applications and made it easier to get qualified candidates to apply, automation in the form of impersonal responses and resume screening has negated the ease of online applications. Top candidates are put off by these systems – and are often screened out because their resumes don’t contain certain keywords.

The human touch can’t be replaced by computer. At a time when most people are resigned to an email or text message, hearing a human voice on the phone can be the push that a candidate needs to become one of the most valuable members of the team. The truth about recruiting is that it relies heavily on relationships, and those can’t be forged effectively through computer screens. These relationships take human intervention, and they help bring in more and better referrals, resumes, and hires and increase retention.

Top Three Recruiting Tools for Benefits Agencies

Instead of following the trends, companies can use the basics that have worked for years, then build on them with some of the tools available. Here are the top three:

  1. Interviewing skills. These don’t just apply in the actual interview but throughout the recruiting process. Recruiters that can question and listen in a way that shows interest in the candidate helps foster relationships. Most likely, the best person for the job isn’t even on the market or is in demand, and to get that person to leave his current position or turn down a competing offer, he needs to feel like the opportunity is a good fit for him as a person, not just as a cog in the machine.
  2. Handling objections. Recruiting isn’t just about dangling a big salary in front of a candidate, although those conversations need to be managed, too. Good recruiters know that salary isn’t always the top reason why a candidate chooses a position, and they don’t ask for the candidate’s desired salary because then they end up negotiating against themselves. Instead, most ask for the candidate’s current salary, increase it by 15 percent, and deal constructively with any objections to the figure.
  3. Commitment and influence skills. Successful recruiting requires being able to envision the end result and create a clear road map to it, addressing questions that candidates have along the way as well as gauging  where the candidates themselves stand in the process.

While using social media, like Facebook and LinkedIn, can enhance the brand and how the company recruits candidates, these aren’t primary tools. Like a dash of ketchup, they complement the process but shouldn’t replace the meal itself.

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