Training is important right now just to keep all recruiters motivated and engaged. We've had a turbulent couple of years, and the market is changing again compared to the applicant-driven market. So, what are the important training topics you need to focus on?
What's happening now is nothing new. Our industry has gone through many cycles over the years. We had Black Monday in the late eighties, other financial crises in the 2000s, and the pandemic. Our industry has always been subject to ebb and flow. We should be prepared to weather whatever comes and view whatever happens as an opportunity to reinvent, reexamine, and reapproach the marketplace. A lot depends, of course, upon how you view the world.
The reason why it's so critical to do good training is because people often think that when times are really good, “Oh, we're way too busy for training, and isn’t everyone doing great? We don’t need training.” Then, of course, when times are bad, “Oh, we can't afford training, and everyone has their nose to the grindstone, so we don’t have time.” The important thing to consider is that you’re either growing or dying. And our industry's challenge is that while we buy into coaching, management, and leadership at an intellectual level, we don't do it behaviorally. Our industry sometimes suffers because of these challenges. We may feel lost to a certain degree about what younger people in the industry are looking for. As much as anything, they seek a chance to grow and develop, to be part of a culture, and nothing does that better than learning and development.
Our industry, with the best of intent, has gotten a lot of things wrong. Here is a good example: How often have you heard someone stand up and say,” It's a numbers game.” I think strictly for a new hire, it's critical to have activity, and it's great to count the calls. I think it's better to make the calls count! I think we need to turn this from a numbers game into an insight game. That means I've got to know more about my client and my candidate than the average person. It means I can't sound like the sea of sameness that the candidate is hearing twenty other times today, and we don't sound any different. My favorite mantra is that if we don't differentiate by our approach, just differentiate by our price, and that's a game nobody wants to play. I can't think of any more important investment than in people growing and learning, which creates culture and loyalty. And they're going to be better on the phone, and they're going to be more confident on the phone. Nothing does that like learning and development.
Younger recruiters especially like learning. They like learning from somebody who's been there and will make them successful. And that is a win-win situation for everybody. When a younger recruiter can say: “I can do this, and I can be successful,” what a great return on investment for a business owner to provide this kind of support for their in-house staff! That does support loyalty, really, with those recruiters! When tech jobs were on fire in the late 90s, anyone could have done much of that work. But many young people came in and just assumed that this was normal, and then suddenly, after 911, things got tough. They got real. And people found the job was too hard. We're seeing that same thing happen today. So, you've got to challenge young people to understand that what's happening today is reality. It's not because the job market is bad and times are suddenly tough. I think that's the wrong paradigm. Successful recruiters understand that the job market has times of ebb and flow, and they stay ahead of the ballgame.
The market has changed for anyone new to recruiting, even within the last couple of years. It’s an opportunity for us to help other people who may need our help right now. Good training can prepare your staff to ride through the down times and excel in the good times! I also suggest that while technology has never been more important, neither have human relationships, and you can't have one without the other. There has got to be continual learning around how we better leverage technology and, probably in the future, AI. But that doesn't lessen the need for strong collaborative relationships, which can only come through real conversation.
Training for recruiting staff is the focus of Next Level Exchange, a collaborative of the best practices of over 3,000 customers worldwide in the search and staffing industry. It's what our colleagues are saying: best practices on the client side, on the candidate's side, on the placement processes side, on the operations side, and on customer service. Next Level offers training services, including webinars and workshops led by nationally recognized trainers such as Jordan Rayboy, Greg Doersching, and Lil Roy Vaughn. Feel free to contact me at 214-680-8657 for more information or at email@example.com.