WHAT NOT TO DO IN 2019
Written By Jack Pearce
Because Everyone Else Is Telling You What To Do.
Recruitment ain’t half a funny industry, full of ‘old school’ sales people as well as the new wave of Gen-Z/Millennials – so, in 2019, let’s consider if recruitment is in fact a truly inclusive sector. I mean no offence here, but anyone can essentially be a recruiter regardless of background, education and so on.
Now, you will have seen a thousand pieces of content around what to do in 2019, how to change, how to be better and how to earn more money. And that’s all well and good – honestly, it is, no sarcasm here.
Yet I still see things which isolate people and that are not inclusive; I still see people uploading weird shit to LinkedIn and I constantly see Brexit this, Brexit that. So, here’s my guide on what NOT to do in 2019 – with the heavy caveat that I am not a recruiter, however I do work with some of country’s best.
Stop using LinkedIn like you do Facebook.
LinkedIn is such an essential tool for the modern recruiter. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to fully utilise it, because I only get about 5 likes a post. But, my feed is always clogged up of utter drivel. Let me give you some examples; I’ve just opened up Google Chrome and gone onto LinkedIn, and here’s what I’ve immediately found just scrolling through:
This fella here has been kind enough to crop the BBC news page. WHY?! Who honestly goes to LinkedIn for a news update? Plus, the Beeb is not neutral – I don’t care what anyone says, they have an agenda. That rant isn’t for here though… maybe next time…
Someone here has shared a photo of some socks. Sure, I love a fresh pair of socks, who the heck doesn’t? But is LinkedIn really the place to share a picture of your new socks? Really?
LinkedIn in fast becoming Facebook for professionals. But, we already have Facebook to update our nearest and dearest with photos, so why do we need to do this on LinkedIn? It’s getting in the way of good, relevant content.
Now, I might seem a bit scrooge-esque here and yes, I am guilty of quoting David Brent on cheesy and inspirational ‘quote’ posts (LinkedIn was definitely not made for this), but that’s in the comments section, where rules seemingly do not apply. I am referring to the kind of posts that just do not belong on LinkedIn.
I love seeing innovation on LinkedIn and I encourage all recruiters to utilise ‘video’ – each and every day I see great videos of people just talking directly to the camera; either offering advice, talking about their experiences and so on – this is what LinkedIn is for, sharing experiences and knowledge whilst also opening doors to new careers. Not for screen shots of the BBC news page or showing-off a pair of fetching new Clippy socks.
I’m also looking at you, Oleg Vishnepolsky. Don’t fall for his click baits people – it’s all part of a mega data comb that is recycled around the Daily Mail, which is a vitriolic bog full of toxic waste. Don’t fall into their traps, don’t engage! Block him, lest he take over your feed entirely.
Stop fearing technology
You’ll probably have read how AI and Machine Learning will take away jobs from recruiters. You’ve probably read that in the Daily Mail – quick piece of advice, just stay away. Even if you’re an ironic reader, the horrid opinions could still lodge into your mind and could even negatively affect your unconscious bias. Advice for 2019: avoid Murdoch’s media machine. From memory, that’s The Daily Mail, The Sun, Sky and TalkSport.
Anyway, despite what you may have read, AI and ML will augment the process and yeah, it’ll take away some of the shitty parts of the job – such as scouring job boards, for instance. But ultimately us humans still want human interaction. AI will only take your job if you’re not evolving as a consultant.
We are seeing a huge upheaval in AI-based recruitment firms, but that isn’t a floor full of robots filling jobs – at its simplest, the robots are just searching for candidates! In fact, if your business looks to install the technology now, you’ll actually get ahead of the curve and already be utilising a program that harnesses the power of a search aggregator. Not quite AI, but very helpful all the same.
Technology will augment your role; it’ll help you spend more time talking to candidates, more time schmoozing new potential clients and, ultimately, make you more money. Trust me on this one. Tech Talks has taught me a lot…
Don’t (always) listen to your boss
Now this is a bit of dodgy one, and if my boss is reading this then I always listen, ALWAYS. But I do encourage you, the reader, to follow your gut more as a recruiter – sometimes your manager will be wrong and sometimes they will only be focused on their P&L. I’m here to tell you that if you’re passionate, then follow that passion – if your boss is a good one, then they’ll let you realise your vision, as mine does. Your appetite might be, say, to make more videos or create content or something engaging – a good boss will harness your passion and let you flourish in it. A bad boss will tell you to stick to the day job.
Use inclusive language
I see this a lot and, unless you’ve been taught about inclusive language, it may be ignored – but that’s no excuse. What’s wrong with this sentence? “My client is looking for an energetic candidate who will seamlessly fit into their fast-paced working environment”.
Well, a lot. Words like ‘energetic’ and ‘fast-paced’ could really isolate some readers, so much so that they won’t apply for the job. Take a step back and think about why they could feel isolated (and if you can’t see why these words are a problem, please slide into my DMs). Also, I hate the word ‘candidate’ – it really dehumanises someone. To label them a candidate is essentially like assigning them a number.
Here I’ve reworked the above sentence, to include the kind of language we should be using: “My client is looking for someone like you. You’ll be dedicated to your work and your passion will be noticeable.” Maybe it’s not perfect, but it’s certainly more inclusive.
Going to keep this short, because Brexit is a fucking mess. But it’s happening and it’s happening to all of us, so get over it – deal with it, find a solution to circumvent it. Sure, that’s easier said than done, but don’t let the fears of Brexit stop you in your tracks. Who knows where we’ll be at the end of the year, or even by the end of this sentence; what I do know is that our government won’t listen to us, so just crack on in a BAU style, until whatever happens, happens.
Thinking you’re in Wolf of Wall Street
Yeah, yeah, I always mention this exact example, but I keep seeing it all the time! The film is well old now (well, not well old, but the story itself is).
Look, there’s no denying this film was brilliant but, Gordon Bennett, it changed a lot of sales peoples’ mentalities.
We’re in an age where Jordan Belfort would’ve been sued for harassment waaaaay before he’d have made his fortune. He is not a role model. He ended up in prison. It’s almost like basing your sales technique on Tony Montana – sure, he wasn’t half effective, but his pal ended up losing his life to a chainsaw and he ends up with a shotgun in the back.
For Pete’s sake – avoid the ‘sell me the pen’ technique when interviewing a candidate. If I am ever asked that in any interview I will perform the Joker’s magic trick from ‘The Dark Knight’ on them – sure, I’ll end up in prison like Belfort, but it’d be worth it.
So, there you go: my guide on what not to do this year. Ignore Brexit until we know what’s what, use inclusive language (if you want more guidance on this, do send me a message, as I run a training course on this), embrace technology, keep LinkedIn clean, don’t always listen to your boss, oh and, have a good year! There’s a lot of negative media around how we’re all essentially up shit creek, but we’re not; life goes on and so does recruitment.
Spare me a thought though – I’m an Arsenal fan so not only my club, but also my government AND my favourite franchise (Star Wars) are all being horribly mismanaged by money grabbers. Stan Kroenke, Theresa May and Kathleen Kennedy, I’m looking at you. STOP RUINING MY LIFE AND YEAR – it’s only mid-January!