Season 6 | Episode 1
How Technology Helps (and Hurts) Recruiting
Today on Recruiter Fuel, Steve Lowisz sat down with Tim Sackett, president of HRU Technical Resources to discuss the role of technology in recruiting – and whether it’s really made us any better at our jobs.
Steve kicked things off by asking Tim about his background. Tim started out his career in sourcing at HRU – which was actually founded by his own mother. He worked his way up over the next eight years. However, with time and a lot of commissions, he admitted he got a little too “cocky” and she fired him.
During that time he had earned his master’s degree in HR, which pushed him to go the corporate side of HR. His wife was from Nebraska, so they moved out that way and he started working in that field.
“Every time I got into a corporate HR gig, somehow I’d run into these recruiting issues…and I was like “why are they recruiting like that, why aren’t you recruiting like I know how to recruit?”
“Somehow I would always run into these meetings with executives and I’d be like “I can find you people, this isn’t hard” and they’d say “alright, now you get recruiting!”
So Tim kept going back and forth because he really loved the HR side of things, but kept getting nudged toward recruiting. For the last ten years, he’s been running HRU Technical Resources since his mom stepped down.
Writing Articles and Becoming an Internet Authority
Along the way, Tim Sackett got into writing and running a blog. He connected with Kris Dunn of Fistful of Talent who encouraged him to try his hand at writing. Although he was skeptical at first, he gave it a shot. Kris challenged him to try writing every day Monday through Friday. That was eight years ago, and he’s been doing that ever since.
As an aside, Steve said you had to subscribe to Tim Sackett’s blog if you haven’t already!
Tim also talked about how he added eight Gen Z writers recently. Every Wednesday, he puts out an article about Gen Z from Gen Zers.
“One of the things I couldn’t stand…through the whole millennial thing…for like ten years we had millennial content…it was like Gen Xers, or baby boomers or whatever writing about millennials…and so when the Gen Z stuff started to happen…I go, I don’t want to hear about Gen Z from 65 year olds. I want to hear about Gen Z, from Gen Z.”
Changes in Recruiting – Has Technology Helped or Hurt?
Steve switched gears a bit by asking Tim how recruiting has changed since they started…or if it really has changed at all.
“I think the speed with which we do it has changed. The technology hasn’t necessarily made us better recruiters, it’s made us faster recruiters. If you suck…you suck faster now. And that’s literally all that happens. If you have a terrible candidate experience, technology is just gonna make that more exasperated, it’s going to happen faster.”
“I have ten years worth of data in my shop that shows the person with the most activity, wins every time. They’re gonna have more placements, they’re going to connect with more candidates, they’re going to screen more candidates, they’re going to put more candidates out to the hiring managers..doesn’t matter if you’re staffing or corporate, it’s all the same.”
Adapting to New Channels
Some people will say it’s not about phone calls anymore, but Tim’s not sold. He strongly believes we should use a combination of channels to reach and connect with candidates.
“Emails we know have a really low response rate, InMails for some people are even less, sometimes a little bit more…but text messaging is giant. We’ve really went over the last two years all in on texting and mass texting and all of that.”
Steve prodded Tim about this – why is texting so important? Tim emphasized it’s all about getting a response.
“All the research and everything we’ve seen too, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a $10/hr job, a $100/hr job, a 20 year old, or a 60 year old…text messaging has a 6-10 times higher response rate.”
A Triple Threat Strategy
He still calls, emails and texts. Most of the time, he sends a text that says something along the lines of “Hey, have this position, here’s the location, sent you an email go check it out.” He talked about how his sons who are in their 20’s won’t see an email he sent them until a month later. But when we call candidates, email them, and text them…the response rates are through the roof.
Has Technology Made Us Lazy?
Steve asked Tim whether he thought recruiting has made us lazy.
Tim’s take is that technology hasn’t made recruiters lazier, but the bad recruiters do take the easy way out. He talked about how a lot of bad recruiters will send a single email, then give up if the candidate doesn’t respond. In contrast, he trains his recruiters to go for nine contacts with a candidate before giving up.
“What we’ve seen is, we’ll get a 93% response rate by the ninth. Some of those responses are like “hey, psycho stalker, stop, I don’t want it.” But for every one of those…we got one that’s like “oh my gosh, thanks for continuing to hound me…I definitely am interested!”
“We see it constantly where people give up way too early.”
He shared a story about how when he was in corporate recruiting, he would often have hiring managers share leads to corporate recruiters. The recruiters would email them, the candidate wouldn’t respond, and the hiring manager would check back in about what happened. The recruiters would actually say “they’re not interested,” when they just hadn’t responded! Just because someone hasn’t responded doesn’t mean they’re not interested.
“Find a way to get them to respond!”
Check back next time for more of Tim’s thoughts on the state of recruiting in 2019!
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