Why Don’t Recruiters Have Anyone ‘On The Books’ Anymore?

Dusty old books for a dusty old concept

‘On the books’ is a funny phrase, isn’t it? When a client asks, “Have you got this kind of candidate on your books? Or “Do you have a few on the books?”, the only reaction you can give is, “Oh yes, of course.” As with most things, it is a little more complicated.

Let us let you in on a little secret: ‘On the books’ doesn’t exist. It never really has. It is a pretty prehistoric idea of how recruiters operate, but there is more to it than just a non-existent concept.

Everyone says “yes” because it is more complicated to say “no”. If a prospective client doesn’t hear the answer in the affirmative, they will naturally conclude that you aren’t on top of your game and will move on to the ones who are. They will move on to the ones who say, “Yes”.

The contingency or non-specialist recruiter will reply with an emphatic “Yes” when asked. Then when the client is happy, they will search for candidates on the job boards while pretending they already have some. There is no judgment here. This is what the industry does. Then when they find them, they will let the client know that they have selected some perfect prospects. The more unscrupulous ones will also pitch them to other clients hoping for a bit of a bidding war to break out. There is no exclusivity with the first client so it is not as frowned upon as it should be.

The specialist, ‘partnership’ recruiter also lacks the candidates ‘on their books’, but what they have is ongoing networking. This means that once the call comes in from a client, they can set their machine in motion, approaching specially selected possible candidate. Specialists can get it all rolling in a 24-hour period and come back with really specific candidates for the niche required relatively quickly.

But the key here is specialism, and due to the exclusivity, they will not be splitting their focus between other clients for the same candidates. They are responsible for finding the prospects, no matter what, and they know where to look for candidates who are not on job boards yet.

In a candidate-driven market, your company is not special. You do not have the best advert on Linkedin. People will not automatically sign because of your perks package. This is a hard thing for some firms to hear, as they are used to having the most power in the situation. Attracting candidates to sign on the dotted line becomes a bit of marketing and PR exercise. Selling the company in the initial stages falls upon the specialist recruitment partner and they are ready to do that because they are specialists in the industry.

The candidates you want are not sitting there waiting to be picked. They are not hanging out on job boards waiting for their Prince Charming. They are not on someone’s books. Imagine if that were true, if they were there just waiting. Well, they wouldn’t necessarily be the ones you wanted, because then they are obviously not in demand. The ones you, and every other of your rival companies, want are very much in demand.

The hidden gems need to be headhunted out of their current role by someone who can persuade them that the move is the right thing for them. The candidates are there but they just do not know they are candidates yet.

Planting an idea that wasn’t there before, is not what generalist recruiters do. They have their skills but that is not one of them. Those prime candidates are buried inside companies who are probably your competition. Next time you catch yourself asking, “Do you have one on your books?”, just take a deep breath and ask, “Can you find me that diamond in the rough?”

We will answer, honestly, “Yes, we can.”

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Why Would Anyone Want To Be A Data Scientist?

What are the positives and negatives surrounding this kind of job?

A recent report has found that data scientists are experiencing an increase in demand by around fifty percent within healthcare, entertainment and banking.

With the disruption of the Covid-19 era, projects were stalled but now businesses will not wait any longer. The explosion of those roles versus the available talent in the marketplace has meant that it is a seller’s market. On top of that, companies are looking more and more to automation and AI to stave off any problems in the future, whether it is because of a fear of a continuation of Covid-19 or a similar pandemic. Add to this the popularity of Cloud data and you have the perfect conditions for data science becoming a popular career for people to look toward.

Careers in data take real commitment and determination. You must be a passionate problem-solver with great organisational skills.

Some industries (like the finance industry) were quick to understand the uses of using data to predict future events, while other industries are in their fledgling stages, still coming to terms with how much data they already have access to and what to do with it to positively impact their future endeavours.

Along with data being among the top occupations expecting growth, over 2/3 of companies are planning on increasing their data priorities into the next year and the growth areas include Cloud, Biz Intel, Dev Ops and cyber security. There is, however, a fly in the ointment of those plans, and that is the availability of those professionals who are needed to make that a possibility. There are amazing possibilities for those who are interested, but is it really all it seems to be?

So what things would turn someone away from pursuing a career in Data Science? Well, there is definitely a degree of confusion surrounding data. The role can vary greatly from company to company even if the job description seems the same. They could require a ‘clicker’ or a ‘coder’ or something in between. There is no codified definition of a data scientist so you are at the mercy of whoever writes the JD as to whether it matches what the role will actually entail. Having said that, if you are the type of person who doesn’t check the card in the chocolate box before you choose a chocolate, it may be the role for you.

A prospective data scientist also needs to learn a lot, keep learning and keep up-to-date with data laws regarding personal data. If you are willing to do that, you will reap a handsome reward and there are great job prospects. Right now, data scientists are in so much demand and are being chased by many companies that they are able to be choosy when it comes to which role they select. The onus is on the firms to sell themselves, rather than the other way around.

The positives are that it is very likely that you can work from anywhere and you will be paid well for your time. A lot of businesses are beginning to understand the ways in which correctly-utilised data can impact their future, so those moving into these roles will be more likely to make a difference than their predecessors. Burtch Works found that data science roles were market resilient, actually increasing during the pandemic, whereas other roles were not so lucky.

As we mentioned before, Cloud data analytics is definitely growing and firms are moving away from expensive and bulky servers towards a more stream-lined and collaborative workflow. These kinds of innovations require savvy experts and as there is already a shortage, it is certainly a sector that smart and capable individuals should seriously consider.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

What Are You Doing Hiring Zoomers And Millennials?

If you’re having a shocker when hiring, maybe it’s a generational thing…

Before we start talking about the generations, we should clarify, because there is a lot of confusion over what constitutes a Millennial (or Gen Y-ers) and someone in Generation Z (or a Zoomer as they are known). A Millennial must have been born between the years of 1980 and 1995. Generation Z were born between 1996 and the early 2010s.

The two generations are similar in a few ways in terms of how they view their jobs, sharing an expectation of technological use, a desire for instant gratification, expecting continuing communication and feedback, a need for the company they work for to be doing good in the world and that they themselves are making a real difference within the company.

They differ because Millennials value flexibility, work-life balance, encouragement and written communication, whereas Gen Z-ers love job stability, honesty, career prospects and video communication.

Now, we know every person is an individual and you should not pigeonhole everyone, but you must ask yourself if you are considering the values of the generation of your candidates when interviewing and making offers.

We bring this up mainly because, as the tables have turned and it is currently an employees market, efforts should be made within your organisation to demonstrate the reasons a prospect should choose you over the other offers they are receiving.

Before you start offering incentives, ask yourself if that is what the candidate wants. Some people will reject a big money offer in exchange for a promise of job stability or guaranteed career progression. Does that seem strange to you? When you offered more and more money to that desired candidate, only to be turned down in favour of a lower offer, did you wonder why? Or did you just shake your head and move on?

When you interviewed, did you really sell your firm? As we keep explaining, the interview, whether it is video or face-to-face, is a selling exercise. Obviously, it is harder to sell yourself well via video interview, but regardless, you must show your business in the best light possible. You must allow the values of the company to come across because the candidate will not know much about you, or the job, from your online presence.

So how can you attract them, when money doesn’t work? Millennials want to see the big picture. On the whole, they are passionate about social and environmental responsibility. They are also constantly seeking the next thing so will be interested in promotion possibilities.

With Zoomers, if you can convince them that your company is fair and ethical, inclusive and diverse, you are going some way to convince them that yours is the place they should be. They also want to learn quickly and want to know that their position is not going to be subject to change in the near future.

With around a third of the world’s population falling into the Gen Z category, taking a long hard look at how your business is represented, and what values it possesses that can attract this new generation of workers, will stand you in good stead for your future hires. Yes, money still matters, but it is not the only key factor. When surveyed on whether they would choose a well-paying yet boring job or an interesting job for not great pay, the Gen Z-ers fell 50/50 into each of the columns. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Should People Go Back Into The Office And Interview?

Can it be ‘green for go’ when it comes to office interviews?

How comfortable are you interviewing in the office? Or should the question be: at what point will you feel comfortable interviewing in the office?

These are questions that must be asked. A lot of people seem to be squeamish about broaching the subject and that is totally understandable. No one wants to look like the bad guy and feel like they are forcing people into dangerous situations.

Now we are not saying that video interviewing needs to stop. They have kept people safe and have been so powerful for the continuity of business. Video interviews will always have a place and a purpose somewhere.

Now before we go on, no candidates or interviewers should feel pressured to do an interview face-to-face. This must be made clear and they must be given the choice of face-to-face or video. If a face-to-face interview happens, it must be located in a private space outside or in a very well-ventilated, spacious area indoors. The participants should be a few metres apart. Masks should be worn. Hand sanitiser should be freely available. Guidelines must be followed.

Now you may be asking why people should be interviewing face-to-face and the simple reason is because we are reaching a point where video interviews are not working as they should.

Being honest, there has always been something lacking in video interviews, and it wasn’t the bad connections or the dodgy webcams or audio trouble. It has been that they do not help you represent your company well enough to the candidate.

Candidates don’t really know about your company. They can look at your website and they can check your social media but they do not know how your business feels. They don’t know the vibe of the office. There is a big difference between how you represent your company digitally, and how your business is in real life.

What differentiates you from the other companies who are interviewing in the exact same way? Nothing. The disconnectedness of the situation feels universal. Whatever else you think about interviews, they are a performance, and if you can’t give a good performance, you will not impress. People have stopped switching on their cameras when chatting as the constant availability at work has led to a kind of webcam fatigue. And that is before we even talk about how tech issues can add an extra, unneeded layer of tension to the proceedings. Having a camera positioned above a computer screen can also lead to distractions, as some interviewers still check emails instead of giving their full attention, like they would be forced to if in a face-to-face.

Candidates are rejecting higher offers for reasons other than money. The same Covid-19 that kickstarted the necessity for video interviews has also sparked a reassessment of priorities. The marketplace has gone ballistic and everyone wants the top quality prospects but if it looks like you aren’t bothered or can’t differentiate yourself from any other company, they will choose another option. This only gets worse, the more specialised the candidate is.

The companies that will be most successful hiring new candidates will be the ones who get around video interviews somehow. Whatever form this takes, it will overtake video interviews through the sheer need for a deeper experience. We are human beings and we need these types of interactions to feel like we belong. Just because people are working from home, doesn’t mean they don’t long for connection. Would you take a job if you felt no connection to that company at all?

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

What Are You Doing To Nurture Candidates?

Nurturing should become natural to you, if you want amazing results

If you were told that 7 out of 10 workers are passive when it comes to searching for jobs, how would that make you reconsider how you currently approach finding candidates to fill roles at your company?

What you were made aware of the fact that half of candidates state the biggest job search frustration is lack of communication? Would it make a difference to your processes?

Let’s put it a different way: the candidates who are advertising their CVs and applying for jobs are inundated with interest. They are flooded with messages from recruiters. Highly sought-after professionals are only on the job market for 10 days, This happens because they are easier to find than the 70% who are not actively sending their resumes out.

What happens then is that the clients of those recruiters are informed that these candidates are the best of what is available. Sometimes they are, but more often than not, there are other, better qualified or more experienced prospects out there. It is just that they are hard to find. And finding them usually requires specialist knowledge.

The question that then must be asked is: is that really the best/right person for your job? If you have struggled to find someone to fill a role and there have been many rounds of time-wasting interviews resulting in no hire, then that indicates that there are better candidates out there, but that they must be unearthed.

Sometimes it is not the recruiter who is at fault, it may be unrealistic timeframes that you have set. The communication may be letting you down. Even though the obvious candidates are inundated, it does not mean that there is no interest in the more hidden prospects your recruiter has found. Perhaps you are losing out on these hires due to a lack of nurturing. As was mentioned above, communication plays a big part in reassuring them that your firm is the best place for them to choose to work. This can be as simple as an automated email to let candidates know what stage of the process they are currently in. A third of job seekers say that they would love that simple step.

Patience and nurturing are very undervalued parts of the recruitment process. A lot of time is wasted when prematurely starting the process without the communication plan or correct job spec in place. Rushing interviews can kickstart the machine which then grinds to a halt when it is clear they are unsuitable and then it has to start all over again.

Experienced and more specialised recruiters will always keep the prospective hires updated on their status and how things are progressing. They will always give feedback to both parties. A nurturing campaign is just part of what they do. This human-centric way of working actually benefits, rather than detracts from, those involved. Questions are answered, fears are allayed, decisions aren’t rushed. What would you do if two companies were interested in hiring you, but one of them never let you know what was going on? You would choose the one that did, even if you preferred the uncommunicative one at the start.

Factors must be weighed up. What can a fruitless talent search cost? What can bad hiring cost you in the long term? Desperation can set in once the process has taken more than two months. With projects waiting on the new hire, or work shared across the department starting to take its toll on productivity, rushing is a false economy.

It also comes down to the right recruitment partner, of course, and when everything clicks into place, it means you are hiring the best individuals for the roles because they were discovered and nurtured by experts, they felt valued during the initial stages and they trusted that your company knew what it was doing more than the competitors did.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.