Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – platforms designed to bring us together (as blogged about by many). Our increased use of social media has arguably changed our definition of friend and teenagers are increasingly inviting ‘friends’ they know only from social media to real-life social occasions.  And now everything from watches to fridges are becoming part of our connected world. So soon everything and everyone will be connected, and that’s a good thing right?

Sometimes connecting comes with an associated cost. That person you connected with on Facebook on a night out may prove to be a purveyor of offensive or ignorant social media content. Or there’s the individual you connected with on LinkedIn at a conference who then starts to send you personal or inappropriate messages. For some, there’s a growing need to actively disconnect from this digitised social world within which we are so actively encouraged to live.

And recruitment is no exception. I recently read a blog from a developer that summarised every bad experience he’d endured at the hands of recruiters into a series of instructions. He was annoyed with recruiters for a lack of perception, ability, insight, attention to detail; the list goes on.

He concluded with a series of terms and conditions about how, when and via what method recruiters should connect with him. He, like so many people do, failed to acknowledge or understand that the recruitment industry is about effective connections and communication and please don’t be misguided in the opinion that it’s a one-way street.

For every recruiter who ‘didn’t read my CV’ before calling there are as many candidates who ‘didn’t read the job advert’ before sending in their freshly-graduated CV for a CTO position. 

With that in mind: are all recruiters equal or are some ‘more equal’ than others? Would you refuse to date a brunette ever again because she chewed with her mouth open during your first date? I would hope the answer is a resounding ‘no’. ‘Ah… but I’ve had multiple bad recruitment experiences!’ But do a series of bad dates lead to you switching your sexuality? My guess is you’re more likely to adjust your methods and parameters; switching from nightclubs and bars to online dating for example.

Can I suggest we do something differently?

Ask your friends, your colleagues, your contacts or your network to recommend a good recruiter. Connect with the good recruiters and maintain relationships with them.

So what makes a good recruiter? The good recruiters want to call because we want to connect with you. For us, connection is more than social media; it is understanding. We need to hear your voice because that’s an integral part of who you are and, if we don’t understand you properly, we can’t do our job properly.

As the middle men, it’s often recruiters who are perceived to be the bottle-neck, the obstruction, the issue or problem. But we’re also the facilitators, the motivators, the engagers. And often the most pro-active because we constantly strive to connect with both sides of the market.

Whether it be GitHub, meet-ups or jobs via Twitter, our industry will continually seek to engage with technologists, because in many ways, this is very much a symbiotic relationship. It would be easy to think that the art of conversation is becoming redundant as we increasingly allow technology to facilitate our ability to communicate, and find us our dream job. But for us recruiters to give you our best, we need a few moments of your time.

Just to talk.

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Steven John

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