Ghosted again? The Post-Pandemic Recruiting Struggle.


What? You were ghosted again? Let me fill you in...

It's not you. It's them. Human Resources is working on its relationship with Talent Acquisition, again. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, when leaders were trying to save their companies, their best employees, and their customers, they were faced with difficult decisions. As things began to look dire, many cut their Talent Acquisition teams because they could not imagine the next time they would be hiring. The loss of this institutional knowledge and the networks their former recruiters had cultivated over the years has disadvantaged many organizations.

This leads to one of many reasons why you may have been ghosted. Last week alone, I had four people ask if I could recommend a contract recruiter and I spoke to two more contacts who had just added contract recruiters to their teams. In other words, talent acquisition teams (aka - recruiters) are stressed. They are pulled in all directions, and the labor market is changing. So now they are bringing in contract recruiters who are not familiar with the organization or the systems.

The downside to this is that there is often little to no investment upfront to bring contract recruiters up to speed. Employers without strong talent strategies see this option as a quick fix, and they do not anticipate keeping them in the business long-term. By the time they opt-in for a contract recruiter, they are so far in the weeds that no one can come up for air, and the candidate experience suffers. 

At one point, there were so many recruiters on the market the website was developed with a mission to help recruiters get back to work. However, there is a positive side to this story for employers. With so many talented recruiters who are still out of work, companies can choose between multiple candidates. Thus, allowing them to determine what they need the most when hiring a contract recruiter: similar backgrounds, systems knowledge, or recruiting philosophies. 

Some say recruiting is a skill, but I believe it is an art. So the question is, when will companies start investing in their recruiting teams again? Is everyone on a "trial basis" until they have proven their worth? Or are recruiters opting into the idea of contract because they can command an hourly rate equivalent to the skills with less drama and less company politics?

If you are an organization sitting on the fence, deciding what to do, think about candidate experience first. If you don't have the time and money to bring a contract recruiter up to speed, spend the extra money to hire an agency. I have a shortlist of great agency recruiters I can share, but here are two I would highly recommend: Rod Brylawski and Mary McIntyre's team. There are many great agencies out there, and they are masters in candidate experience; these are just two of the best.

If you are going the contract route, set clear expectations about how your company treats candidates. When interviewing, ask them to tell you about a difficult turndown experience. Understand how they manage the process once the company has decided not to move forward with a candidate and audit your candidate experience. Remember, first impressions are important, and this is the person entrusted to create a first impression that will build interest in learning more about you and your organization.

Now that you know more about what is going on behind the scenes, if you were ghosted - be patient. Great recruiters recruit because they love helping people succeed. The worst part of their job is the turndown. Ask when you can expect to hear from them, and will it be by phone or email? Follow-up a day after your expected communication if you don't hear from them and allow them to do the right thing by you.

#talentacquisition #ghosted #recruiting





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