Two Recruiting Lies and Truths (from an Intern)
Picture this: a college junior wandering around an NYU career fair - so packed that you can feel the desperation exuding from the thousands of students dying to connect with a future employer.
Not completely aware of what you are getting yourself into - you wander around in the hope of maybe finding a friendly face - and that’s when you run into Explore Group.
While other employers I’d talked to at the fair had been somewhat dull, uninterested, entirely job focused or on giving you their card – everyone I met at Explore Group was immediately inviting and friendly. I even managed to have a conversation with my future employer, Alex, about the lifestyle of New York while inputting my email into their system.
I’ve had experience in everything from Politics, Tech to PR and the idea of trying out sales and figuring out how to use my creativity and knowledge to sell jobs thrilled and intrigued me.
I’m a few weeks into this internship, and I’m so excited to have accepted this opportunity. Working on tech recruitment has been in some ways exactly what I expected yet also entirely different.
Here are a few truths and lies about tech recruiting that I’ve figured out from my first few weeks here.
TRUTH – Recruitment is hard work!
Coming into this internship, I was unsure of what I should expect. Since I’d accepted the position, I’d heard a wide variety of responses varying from excitement and passion for recruitment to “Oh, so you’re a head hunter?”
But even my first day as an intern it was clear this was going to be a challenging and intellectually stimulating internship. The general lack of understanding of what recruitment is and how it can help, often makes people closed off, rude and unchanging in their opinions. I’ve overheard so many calls and seen so many messages where people instantly respond, “Not interested. Bye.” It truly is a challenge every day to figure out how to convey that recruiters are here to help and not to screw anyone over! Recruitment is a constant uphill battle to figure out how to build strong relationships - even when people are unwilling to build a relationship - and man, that requires hard work (and some thick skin).
LIE – Recruiting is cutthroat
Something I had heard before coming to this office was that recruiters could be self-centred, and only focused on what they will gain personally. I’d heard that I should expect to not be making any friends during this internship because recruiters don’t care about making friends, it’s all about making the sale.
I don’t know if it’s the weekly snacks brought into the office, the cupcakes bought for a recruiters birthday or that this morning another intern spilt juice on her chair and a recruiter found her an entirely new chair - but I somehow haven’t gotten that impression at all!
In my few weeks here, I’ve sensed a better community than anywhere else I’ve worked, because empathy is an essential trait of a recruiter! So here at Explore Group, recruiters are not cutthroat, but some of the most friendly and empathetic people I’ve ever met. Recruitment is a profession based on relationships after all.
TRUTH - Recruiters are in it to win it
Now, this is 100% true, but maybe not in the way that you would expect.
Sometimes this can come off as a negative, but I’ve only seen it as a positive at Explore Group. Recruiters are always looking for new and innovative ways to find jobs, place candidates, etc. Since recruiting is a sales job, recruiters need to be on top of their game because the lazy recruiter is not going to get anything done. A client is not going to just fall into your lap, and neither is an overly qualified candidate. The best recruiters are the ones that utilize all of their knowledge and skills to find the best candidates for the best jobs. So recruiters are in it to win it, in the sense that they always have their eyes open for new candidates, new clients, new jobs and how to find better ways to do things.
A good recruiter never waits for good things to happen; they make them happen!
LIE - Recruiters don’t care about the candidate, they’re just looking to fill the job
One of the most surprising things that I’ve learned in my recruiting internship so far is that recruiting is about so much more than placing a single job. It’s about creating a network and building relationships with as many people as possible. Recruiters aren’t selling a single job, but themselves as a brand. Thus, only bad recruiters are focused on just filling a one-off position.
Recruitment in its simplest terms is about relationship building because you’re not going to get anywhere if you’re not focused on helping the candidate as well.
So if you’ve found so far that a recruiter ignores you after they fail to find you a job - that is not a recruiter you want to be working with!
My conclusions about recruitment so far
In my time being an intern at Explore Group, I’ve already learned so much more than I ever would have expected (mostly about recruitment, but also a little bit about Beyonce from one of my fellow recruiters).
I know a lot more about the way that people work and how their reactions and responses are so much deeper than they seem. I hope that in my subsequent time at Explore Group, I will expand my knowledge about communication and understanding to combine my creativity with my technical skills.
I would recommend recruiting internships to anyone - you learn so many essential skills that a lot of people don’t focus on developing. They get so caught up in what they’re doing, they lose touch with how to make connections and communicate. Understanding how people work and act is difficult - and listening, understanding and empathizing is the most important aspect of recruiting.
I’ve already learned many more communication skills here than in anything else I’ve ever done in my life. Even at NYU, they’re so focused on academics they don’t help you grow in other ways. And in our ever-digitalizing world, our communication skills are more critical now than ever.
So please, if you ever get a chance, try out recruiting (either as an intern or a graduate), I promise it will be worth it!
Written by Cassandra Cole - Explore Group Recruitment Intern