Cremona, Italy - August 21, 2012: Linkedin Application home page on Iphone 4. Linkedin is a social network and the iPhone 4 is a smart phone produced by Apple inc. In the iphone you can also see "TIM". It's the biggest telephone company in Italy.
Attention, recruiters: there are imposters among us.
They are recognizable by their incessant use of LinkedIn, their dependence upon InMail, and their reluctance to use the phone. These imposters often sit at their computer for hours with little human communication, hoping for a response from skeptical candidates.
If that just described you, perhaps we need to talk. Since LinkedIn’s 2002 conception, the recruiting community has been infiltrated with poor practices, candidate myths, and a tendency toward laziness (James Woods, linkedin.com). This is not to say that LinkedIn does not present some benefits for recruiters; it absolutely eases the process. However, the number of imposters in the community has grown.
When I say “imposters,” I am referring to those who call themselves recruiters but do not truly recruit. They believe that simple LinkedIn searches will reveal all qualified talent, irritate their candidates with unsolicited messages, and hand hiring managers stacks of resumes instead of forming relationships. Today’s average recruiter is an imposter.
Aside from the advent of new technologies, I believe that the rise of the imposter can be attributed to a few key myths that have circulated the industry. These myths have been passed among recruiters, through so-called “educational articles,” and have completely wrecked the industry. If you subscribe to any of these myths, your peers have misinformed you at one point of another.
5 Myths the Recruiting Industry Told Us:
Candidates Always Respond to InMail: The average candidate receives too many InMail messages to respond to consistently. As a result, many delete their messages without even glancing at the body of the message. Of course, there are exceptions: the active candidate will be more open to messages, and those with less qualifications will be more responsive. Generally, however, candidates are not interested in what you have to offer over LinkedIn.
InMail is the First and Last Resort: This is the myth that irritates me the most personally. What happened to the phone? Do you not have one sitting on your desk, right in front of you? Phone calls are much more personal than a LinkedIn message or an email, yet they are highly underutilized. Recruiters complain about a lack of talent, yet they refuse to personally communicate with candidates. Unless you’ve gone down all avenues – including the phone – your complaints are invalid.
Candidates Update their Profiles: We already know that not all candidates are on LinkedIn. But how many candidates on the site actually update their profiles consistently? Take a moment to scroll through a few of your non-recruiter contacts and determine how many are incomplete. I guarantee the number will surprise you! The average LinkedIn candidate either does not want to advertise every past position, or s/he simply does not feel that all past positions are relevant. In fact, my own LinkedIn profile does not include every job I’ve ever had.
Candidates are Always on LinkedIn: This fact is simply not true. According to Forbes, 2% of users “log in monthly,” 16% use the site “a few times per month,” 8% only use it when “they get an email from LinkedIn,” and 6% use the site “less than once per month.” This adds up to 32% of all LinkedIn users! Add this to the fact that not all LinkedIn users will respond to you, and we have quite an inconsistent candidate pool.
Paper Shuffling is Recruitment: This is another favorite of mine. We wonder why hiring managers can’t stand to work with us, yet recruiters are known for handing over a pile of resumes and calling it “recruitment.” True recruitment requires a personal connection, knowing your candidate, and being able to vouch for him/her in front of a hiring manager. This art has been lost due to a lack of dedication and sluggishness.
If you found yourself nodding along with any of these myths, you’ve been a victim of the imposter community. Fortunately, it is not too late: take charge of your recruiting career now, and perhaps the candidate pool will not seem so dismal after all.