John Vlastelica talking about the root of all recruitment evil

This week in the Q&A Hot Seat, Trevor Vas (@trevorpvas), Director at ATC Events, and John Vlastelica (@vlastelica), Founder and Managing Director of Recruiting Toolbox, sit down at the US #ERE14 Conference to talk about the root of all recruitment evil, and the importance of influence.

Lessons from John Vlastelica:

  • The two most important training needs in recruitment are increasing sourcing aptitude and relationship management.
  • Managing the relationship with the candidate- as the hard to source jobs are getting harder, engagement and influence of top talent is becoming more critical.
  • Managing the relationship with the business- The ability of a recruiter to be a leader versus a customer service provider stems down to their ability to manage the hiring manager relationship, and lead rather than follow.
  • This influence can involve getting hiring managers to broader their candidate profiles, to think outside the box and to perhaps stop using interviewing techniques that add little value
  • All evil in the world of recruitment can be traced back to a poorly executed strategy meeting when a rec is opened. More time needs to be spent on this first step.

Watch the interview on YouTube or read the transcript below:

Trevor: John, have you enjoyed ERE?
John: I’ve enjoyed ERE, Yes, It’s my tenth year!
Trevor: Tenth year! Happy [ERE] Birthday. John I’d love to know, you’ve worked with some of the top US companies, what are the key things you find that their training needs are? What are you doing?
John: So I think two areas are going up most, one is around sourcing- no surprise- the biggest challenge for most recruiting functions when they get feedback from the business is that they want better candidates, they want better candidates faster, and a lot of companies we work with, certain jobs are easy to source for, others are hard and getting harder, and even though we have all these great tools available to them, there’s issues around finding them, techniques to find them, but more importantly; how you engage them, because people who are good get bombarded with recruitment messages from recruiters, so that’s the big piece.
The second one I think is even bigger, and it’s our most popular training program right now which is really focused on managing those hiring manager relationships and learning how to manage set expectations with unrealistic hiring managers, pushing back, really being a leader around the recruitment process versus, just frankly, being a customer service focused recruiter who listens and runs and tries hard to do their best, we really need recruiters that are leading managers, and leading that relationship more.
Trevor: So John on that line, what do you think is the most important competency for an internal recruiter? You mentioned sourcing, and influencing the hiring manager side of things.
John: I think its influence, It think its true for recruiting leaders, it’s the ability to influence candidates, but even more importantly I think it’s the ability to turn around internally and look at the interviewers and hiring managers and work with them and influence them. Sometimes the influences is getting them to think about a bigger, broader profile for the candidate, to consider a candidate that doesn’t meet exactly what they’re looking for, thinking a little bigger. Sometimes influence is around getting a manager to stop doing something that is frankly a stupid interviewing process- they want to do stupid puzzle questions, or they have eighteen people involved in the interview process, or one person involved in the interview process. So being able to influence is probably the most important
Trevor: John you’re a really funny guy, what is the one thing you would advise an internal recruiter to do, to kick on, to improve?
John: One thing to improve, I will tell you all evil in the world in recruitment starts from poor intake strategy sessions with hiring managers. Even though it takes time to schedule a meeting when a new rec is opened, and sit down for twenty, thirty, forty-five minutes, all evil that happens in the world of recruiting I can usually tie back to a poorly executed strategy meeting, so I would say spend more time on that.
Trevor: John, thank you very much

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