Milan Novak - Co-founder of GoodCall, Recruitment Academy and Datacruit - shares his thoughts about how elementary school and recruitment are connected...
My 8 year old daughter just started the third grade in school. As a proud father I walked her to school on her first day and we had a great dad + daughter conversation. I asked her a typical parent question: What subjects will you have on Monday? She replied: Reading, Writing, Math, Arts, Music and Physical Education. It all sounded very familiar and it brought me back many years... And then she asked an intriguing question to me: Dad, and what will you do today?
I paused for a moment. I work as a recruiter all my professional life, so I said: I will help people find the right jobs. But you know what…we will have the same classes as you! The better we are at the subjects you just mentioned, the more people we’ll make happy at their job.
Class #1 – Reading
Of course, recruiters can read. Well, can we? According to Behiring, recruiters spend 5-7 seconds reading a CV. Is it enough? Can we read everything that a CV or a LinkedIn profile contains, can we detect all the red flags in such a short period of time? I doubt it. We need to be very good at reading in fact and capable of spotting the key messages in the candidate documents. CV screening is a skill which we need to master.
Moreover, our self-development is very much based on our ability to keep up-to-date with market insights, industry developments, candidate behaviour, etc. We need to read constantly. Books, articles, blogs. With the current information overload, I believe in selecting proper channels, feeds and read the relevant content that will enrich my work and personal growth.
"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” - Harry S. Truman
Class #2 – Writing
We write a lot. Our recruiters write around 60 emails a day on average, typically containing 60 words or more. If you add Inmails, text messages, database notes, job descriptions, offers, rejections and private communication, they all write a book every 15 - 20 days! (a mystery novel is usually around 60-80,000 words)
What makes a massive difference though is our ability to write engaging and relevant content. When we want to engage with candidates we need to be relevant. The statistics by Marketing Land show that a subject line with 61-70 characters get the highest read rate. The content to our candidates needs to be personalized and the message needs to have around 80 -120 words to catch attention and get a good response rate. The key part of engaging with the candidate is asking relevant questions, initiating the conversation, and always include a call to action.
Class #3 – Math
Dear agency recruiters, math is not only for calculating your commission! I believe the best recruiters are good at numbers. They know their KPIs and understand their recruitment funnel: How many people I need to source, approach, interview, and offer to get one placement. This is critical knowledge. If you can’t answer it, you can’t be a good recruiter, at least not consistently. You need to like math (no need to love it :-), but you need to like numbers and data.
Dear in-house recruiters: What is your candidate sourcing mix, time-to-hire or cost-per-hire? How do you measure quality-of-hire - which is by the way the most oft-requested recruitment KPIs desired by top CEOs and HR.
A modern recruiter needs to work with data, be able to extract information from their ATS and find a source of external data to complete the picture of the market. At GoodCall, we know we need to longlist 300 – 500 IT professionals to make a placement in the scarce IT market while in other fields, the longlist may include only 70 – 120 people.
Class #4 – Arts
LinkedIn already presented the new competency model of a recruiter. Part artist, part scientist. We need to become more creative. Instead of text job description, draw a picture of what the job looks like, shoot a movie about the work environment, take a photo, design a visual job ad…that’s the new world of recruitment. These are the concepts that we try to push every day at GoodCall too!
Marketing and creativity is now part of our job. The artistic part of the brain has to be switched on at all times.
Class #5 – Music
Does music impact recruiters? I don’t know. Although when I sometimes enter our office and see some of our sourcers wearing headphones listening to music, I would say music does help them be more effective.
Moreover, I have seen a lot of good recruiters-dancers. Many of us like to dance, especially when we celebrate our placements.
One lesson we can take from music though is rhythm. As a business manager I have always liked when the business had its rhythm. Monday – kick off meeting, Tuesday – Business development, Wednesday – Candidate Management, Thursday – Call around to check statuses with candidates and clients, Friday – Closing, reporting etc. Whatever it is that you put in a diary, it should play the rhythm of your life and business. Establish your (ROB) Rhythm of Business Model that you like and consistently follow. 1,2,3…. 1,2,3….1,2,3……
Class no. 6 – Physical Education
Our mental and physical health are so important. It has been proved by many studies that physical exercise can improve self image, social skills, and cognitive functioning; reduce the symptoms of anxiety; and alter aspects of coronary-prone (Type A) behavior and physiological response to stressors.
Based on the data and my personal experience, no surprises that I love and support when our recruiters go jogging, play volleyball or tennis or any other physical activity.
Although I never liked running but we were all born to run. I fell in love with running and it gives me a tremendous kick even for my personal mental state of happiness.
The day is over. Let’s go home and have fun with our loved ones! Don’t forget your homework – reading!
I didn’t mention one important subject – Speaking (Communication). It is such an important part of our recruiter’s lives that it deserves a separate article.
For now, I can say to my daughter: we have the same subjects as you and we need straight As to be good at our job. I am sure that whatever you do in the future, these subjects will be important for you too, so pay attention to your teacher!