I saw something in the Twitterverse last week that took me aback. My friend, Chris Hoyt, also known as the Recruiter Guy in the blogosphere, did something very simple, but seemingly very ballsy. He put his phone number out there. A job seeker had said to him if a recruiter were serious about using social media to recruit, they would put their phone number out there. So he did. My response to Chris? If a recruiter were really serious about using social media to recruit, they’d put their phone number in their Twitter profile. And then he did it. Now here’s someone who walks the talk.
Yet I can’t bring myself to do it… yes, my little tail is cowering between my legs. Admittedly, I’m actually scared. You probably are too, because the reality is that for recruiters, we’re all overwhelmed right now. I’m receiving resumes upon resumes from every which direction. I’m receiving calls from candidates by the hour. And I’m even receiving calls and emails from the boyfriends of candidates. Then there are the third party recruiters and agencies calling daily. Everyone has a candidate or is a candidate and is trying to sell themselves to me. It’s a lot to deal with and my patience is tried almost daily… so to put my phone number out there to be even more accessible? I don’t know…
Yet, I also don’t know how I feel about building walls up around me completely. (Are we talking about recruiting or relationships? LOL!) I’ve been thinking about this idea of how much to put ourselves out there quite a bit of late, particularly as a job seeker asked a question of me recently… when coming across a job posting that says, “no calls please,” does the employer really mean it? And if so, what’s the penalty for a candidate calling? Of course, as I often do, I farmed the question out to my friends on Twitter to see what they thought and Susan Burns of the Future of Talent raised an excellent point. The bigger question is what does a statement like that say about the culture of the organization? It’s kind of negative language, isn’t it? And I couldn’t agree more. The notion of job posting language such as “no calls please” reinforces the whole notion of companies being “big black holes” when it comes to applicants sending their resumes in… yet given the volume of candidates out there, I get why someone would do say no phone calls. I don’t agree, but I get it.
So, what’s a recruiter to do? If you’re serious about using social media to recruit, if you’re serious about recruiting in general, you have to be accessible. On my LinkedIn profile, my email address is spelled out for you. On my company’s website, my actual name is listed. You can find my phone number pretty easily or call our receptionist. You can find my email address, if you click around a bit on the interwebs. The number of candidates who find and contact me, it’s greater as a result. And there are days, I’d like to yank my contact information. There are days, I’d like to not pick up the phone, or just ignore candidates. But what then is going to happen when the market turns and I’m the one calling passive candidates? You know what I mean?
The tables will turn back around at some point. So let’s just see what happens if we put ourselves out there. This is about accessibility. Don’t be another black hole to your talent community. So if I’m going to walk the talk? Here you have it. Candidates can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring me. My direct dial is 202.478.3723. My apologies in advance if I can’t get back to you immediately. You’ll understand because the market is so plentiful and there are lots of candidates calling me – but I’ll get back to you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Jessica Lee is a VP of TA at Marriott International where she leads a team that enables the company to think big, broad and boldly about all things talent acquisition and in effect, keeps them relevant and ahead of the curve in how they attract and acquire top talent. Don’t be fooled by that fancy pants title and description though, she’s still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade and a half into trench HR life… she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat.