How Recruiters Can Beat Artificial Intelligence By Adding More Value
Here are some simple steps to add value that will set you apart from Artificial Intelligence and the rest of the Recruitment industry
When asked if they add value to their clients and candidates, most recruiters would say “of course.” They truly believe this. Talking about it further, it soon becomes apparent that their response is based on a successful placement being made. After all, isn’t that the value both clients and candidates are looking for?
Of course, this could be a measure, but I believe that to be more of a transactional value. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, I strongly believe that both clients and candidates are going to want to work with those recruiters that are able to add value beyond the actual placement.
Here are some simple steps to add value that will set you apart from the A.I. competition and the rest of the industry:
You must understand your clients’ and candidates’ value system.
This is easier said than done, as often they don’t realise what they need until they need it. Nor are they necessarily aware that they can ask you for it. So how do you find out? Of course you could ask and they may respond with a direct answer. But it goes beyond that, it’s what they didn’t say but that you clearly heard. Identifying where you can add value starts at the client onboarding stage and the candidate screening process.
Quick example: The client may not have a local office, so they don’t know where to conduct the interviews in private. The value you could add is to offer your office. This is one less thing for them to have to worry about. But a word of caution, don’t use this as an opportunity to lock your client in to seeing only your candidates, therefore attempting to secure a placement. You most certainly should not entice their candidates with other opportunities. The candidate is free to approach you afterwards should they wish to. You could argue that AI can help the client find an office location and book somewhere directly. Yes this is true, but in my example they don’t need to do anything.
Value can change during the hiring process.
As the process continues, both parties will learn something new or priorities may change.
A candidate may discover that they are nervous about the interview. They may not be able to fully articulate their story. Here’s where you can add value. Do a full mock interview. Ask the tough questions and – as hard as it is – pretend all you know about this candidate is what’s on the CV and what you’ve told the client. Challenge their answers and probe other blind spots around their answers. The other day I asked Dave to conduct a mock interview for me, with a senior executive who was struggling to articulate why he was let go from his last role. Dave was able to relay back to him what he was hearing. The interesting part here was that the candidate didn’t realise how his tone became slightly more aggressive, making him sound angrier about the situation than he actually was.
Sometimes a client may need further assistance in securing their top candidate, when for example you know they are interviewing elsewhere. How can you add value? By sharing this with the client. To be clear, do not share anything the candidate has asked you not to (such as company name). You can guide your client by allowing them the opportunity to compete on an equal footing. For example, the other role may offer full time working from home. Your client might not be currently offering this as they didn’t realise it was important to the candidate.
By making them aware of these issues you have given them an opportunity to have internal discussions before the final interview or an offer is made. If they are not able to offer work from home, they can look for other ways to ensure that they are presenting an attractive offer. This could be working a day a week from home or, if that’s not an option, maybe they could look at basing them at a different location or covering their cost of travel. Remember, your client might not be aware of decision factors like this unless you bring them to their attention.
Can you add value without making a placement?
Of course, you can. Now I know every recruiter that simply chases the invoice will be disagreeing with me here. In fact, they probably disagree with the whole post!
Even after investing countless hours into the process either party could decide not to move forward. As disappointing as this is (trust me, like you, I hate not closing a deal at the end of a long process), John Maxwell sums it up extremely well “sometimes you win sometimes you learn.”
Without going through the process, you would not have learnt so much about your client, your candidate and indeed yourself.
All the value you added in their minds will not be forgotten. This is how you end up with repeat business or even a new client. Your current client may have other roles that they want to work with you on. Your candidate may have accepted a role where they need to hire a team. Both will remember how you conducted yourself and how you made them feel.
What goes around comes around.
As technology continues to challenge and disrupt every industry, recruiting is no different. The days of submitting a CV just to get the name locked in are long gone. So if this is how you recruit, it might be time to start thinking about a new career.
Consultative recruiting is where the industry is going. By adding value in ways that A.I. cannot, you can truly become the recruiting partner of choice.