6 Ways Talent Pros Can “Draw The Line” When Helping the Unemployed…

Maren Hogan Maren Hogan, Recruiting, Working With Recruiters

Recruiters work hard, most of them anyway. And for that, they are sometimes ignored by candidates, patronized by clients and overlooked by internal partners. There is one exception to this rule, and it’s happening right now. It’s the sucky economy and this is one of the worst of them all, with unemployment at its lowest levels in 16 years.

In this kind of economy, an average recruiter will get at least an email a day, and several calls per week from job seekers. You might remember that I wrote a post about helping folks out as did fellow FOTer Kelly Dingee. I still agree with that premise. But what happens when your reputation for getting people for jobs, turns into a a reputation for getting jobs for people. . .

I have found myself with upwards of three “job coaching” appointments per week, which would be great. . . if I was a job coach. But I’m not and as much as I love a good cup of coffee, from any employment perspective (third party OR corporate) there just isn’t enough time in the week to job coach everyone who seems to need it now. I led a great discussion about this very topic on Talent Talk Cafe and got some amazing feedback:

1. Measure their commitment. Recruiter Julia Stone ensures that a candidate really wants help and isn’t asking the recruiter to cover all aspects of their job search by giving them homework. Fleshing out their resume, collecting references and making a “sell sheet” for themselves are all good ways to see if they’re serious about looking for work.

2. Use the tools. Virtual Recruiter Jenny DeVaughn uses her email to send resources and materials she collects on job search. Other options include your ATS, CRM, or newsletters and e-blasting tools. Use tools aimed to up your productivity to allow you to “give back” in moderation and on your own timetable.

3. Use a net. Recruiting Strategist Sarah White hosts monthly gatherings at her church for folks all looking for basically the same thing. She outlines strategies, suggests websites and gives search pointers. Julia Stone is considering an e-book to get the information all in one place.

4. Hit the local angle. The MN Headhunter or Paul DeBettignies, is planning a series of webinars to allow him to “help people all at once”. He recently launched BeYourOwnHeadhunter.com to help give people the resources and connections they need. Mike Anderson, not a recruiter but a local Omaha business figure, hosts a weekly gathering for unemployed executives at a restaurant. He lines up speakers and posts jobs he hears about and collects a $20 surcharge for the meetings (up to 50 people attend the meetings). He also publishes a spreadsheet of the names to allow members to network.

5. Don’t be afraid to self-promote. One thing I usually ask is if they are reading my blog. Have they looked at Fistful? If not, then I ask them (politely) to see if there is some information on the blogs I read that can help them. Alternatively, I will ask them to read up before we spend some one-on-one time together. Most people are hungry for information but don’t know where to find it.

6. Use RSS. Having an RSS feed that boasts both openings and tips and tricks or links to great content is an excellent way to keep job seekers informed. It’s ongoing which means that they can follow up with you anytime.

This post isn’t meant to be unfeeling. Third party recruiters, HR Pros and Corporate Recruiters all have to focus on making sure they do their jobs. These are easy ways to help the ever growing number of “interemployed” while still keeping an eye on the bottom line.