Why Relationship Building IS Recruiting

Recruiting, especially if you are growing at a fast pace, is a huge focus of your HR organization. We have the traditional tools of inbound, outbound and university recruiting, but let’s not forget about the fundamental basis of all recruiting - relationship building.

Recruiting tends to be very task-oriented- you have a job and you need to fill it with the best person you can find. But remember those people that you have met in the past, and you think, wow, that person I met last year would be perfect for this role. I wonder where they are or what they are up to?

We get so busy sometimes that we forget about those special people until we have the right opportunity for them. By that point, it may be too late to reconnect.  That’s why it’s important to develop a relationship with people who really impress you. If you develop a sincere relationship with that person, when you have an appropriate role that opens up, they will be much more willing to listen to you because you have a baseline of trust.

This is especially important for in-demand roles that are hard to fill. For example, finding software engineers can be incredibly difficult. There are way more open roles than available people, and software engineers are so inundated with recruiter inquiries that some refuse to engage with recruiters at all. This is where relationship building becomes critical - you want to make sure your team is constantly networking with this audience and not randomly contacting people. That way, when you are reaching out to them, you know enough about them to know if the role is a good fit or not. You will increase your chances of hiring the right person in these tough to fill jobs by taking the time to develop relationships and understanding what job would appeal to them.

There are also times when it is worth exploring if you can create a role for someone. This should be done judiciously, but it can be worth it if you meet one-of-a-kind talent that is ready to make a move before you have a role open. By the time you have a role open, this special person will have probably moved on. Think about the future needs of your company and if it is worth accelerating the timeline in order to bring in someone who could be transformational. It’s a risk, but trust your instincts - you’ve been hiring for a long time and you shouldn’t ignore a feeling you have about someone.

It can be difficult to focus on relationships when you have a lot of jobs to fill. But taking the time to develop relationships will ultimately make your job easier. 


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