We don’t know who needs to hear this but – “eeenie, meenie, minie, mo” – is NOT an effective strategy for selecting the right individual for the job. Looking for candidates after a job post goes up is NOT the right strategy for finding quality prospects. And, operating in this climate of the “Great Resignation” without a sustainable plan to keep your employees happy, will NOT prevent them from quitting!
Recruitment is like matchmaking. You find the right employee for the right role – and voila – it’s a match made in heaven. When the opposite happens, it can cost an employer up to two times the employee’s annual salary to recruit and train a new worker. Recruitment is fast becoming heavily dependent on solid relationships more than ever before, and companies must formalize this process to keep up in the global rat race for top talent.
Want to up your game and learn the ins and outs of relationship-based recruiting (RBR)? Here’s everything you need to know to stay in the game.
What is Relationship-Based Recruiting?
RBR is a strategy that involves building a pipeline of qualified prospects and maintaining a relationship with them. When a job vacancy opens up for which a couple of your prospects are qualified, companies throw out the opportunity, pick from their hat of suitable candidates and boom – the role is filled without a frantic manhunt.
6 steps to successful RBR
Step 1: Create a Pipeline
Now that you know how RBR works, it’s time to create a well-calibrated pipeline. They say data is the new gold and that it’s more valuable than oil. But do you know what else is a valuable commodity? Labour. Roughly 49 million people quit their jobs last year in the US; cloud-based, AI, and other tech industries are experiencing explosive growth rates, and the ratio of jobs exceeds the number of folks filling them.
If there was ever a time that you needed a well-calibrated pipeline of prospects with interests in areas that your search is focused on, it’s now. Finding Black talent or any other talent begins in your backyard. Look at your friends’ list, network, former employees, conferences, events, and user groups. Suppose you’re a corporate partner or executive looking to recruit Black talent in North America. In that case, obsidi.com is an all-in-one marketplace with 11k+ Black tech and business professionals connecting and leveraging new opportunities daily. If you don’t know where or how to recruit Black talent to build your pipeline, start at Obsidi and tap into your network before shopping online.
Step 2: Build Relationships
Matchmaking or relationship-based recruitment only works if all parties invest in the relationship. After creating a pipeline, you have to nurture and maintain it. Many recruiters and companies undervalue the importance of having a “face.” People want to work for “real people,” not brand names or logos. To be good at RBR requires actively pulling up to communities, circles, groups, networks, and events – wherever employed and unemployed top talents are hanging out. On platforms like Obsidi, Black professionals in tech and business are constantly connecting and seeking new opportunities to level up their careers. It’s an ecosystem where you or someone from your company can actively put candidates on your radar or download their resumes for when the right opportunity comes.
Connect, start conversations, make introductions on LinkedIn join the interactions in our community chat at our Global Masterclass Series. If you’re constantly building rapport, the relationships will naturally grow, and folks will want to work with you. Waiting for a colleague to resign or for a vacancy to open up before you go on a cold talent hunt might leave you with the frustrations of a limited candidate pool, talent misfits and quantity over quality. If you stay ready, you’ll never have to get ready.
Step 3: Engage Your Talent
Now that we’re getting comfortable in our relationships let’s keep things festive through engagement. FYI, pulling up to social media platforms and community groups to throw up job posts to get a flood of top-tier applications is a little ambitious and ludicrous. After the pandemic, employees complain of not being engaged, and millions quit. Recruitment in the Black community starts with genuine and authentic engagement. We must trust that your company isn’t looking for another ‘token’ to boost their DEI efforts or statistics.
Who are the leaders within your company? How are they engaging communities – do they post, comment, like or share valuable content? Does your company or senior leaders how up or sponsor events in the Black community? For example, BFUTR – is the largest global tech summit for Black professionals. If you’re scouting Black talent and you’ve never attended, sponsored or plugged into a benefit event like this, can we take you seriously? What about mentorship initiatives? Your boss can engage in the CULTIVATE Mentoring Initiative and help to scaffold early career growers. This is how you build relationships with prospects. This is what attracts great employees. This is how you understand the wants, desires and needs of the people you wish to hire.
Step 4: Know What Talents Want
We’ve all been on the receiving end of a cold call or very long LinkedIn message from ‘John or Jane Doe’ – a recruiter who came across our profile and thought we’d be an excellent fit for a position that has nothing to do with our resume or qualifications (sigh). You do not want to be a ‘John’ or ‘Jane Doe’ a.k.a a clueless recruiter. Next time you go about courting or recruiting a prospect, start with GTK – Get To Know conversations first. Find out the prospect’s interests and goals and see if they’d be interested in connecting with some senior managers or leaders in your company for networking purposes. Using company perks like a games room or “great work culture” as your main selling point is a rookie approach.
People want to hear relatable stories about your company. Invite them for a little coffee chit chat; reach out to them from time to time. If you’d instead get an expert to handle the recruitment of Black talent to take your business to the next level, you also can partner with BPTN and let our trusted experts take the hassle out of finding your next star employee.
Step 5: Join Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
ERGs are major talent magnets and can transform your RBR efforts from the inside out. If used creatively, ERGs can become a marketing tactic for your company to put actual employees front and centre and give prospects a glimpse into your company. By getting information from the horses’ mouth, rather than a company sales deck or sell sheet, candidates can feel the energy, see aspects of your work culture and decide whether to ghost you or stick around.
Showing up or hosting ERG meetings also shows your appreciation for and commitment to diversity and inclusion. You can discover underutilized talent, and it’s a massive step towards building trust with job seekers through transparency and authenticity. Job seekers are more likely to trust what they see or hear over what you promise.
Step 6: Join Executive Networks
Remember what I said earlier about matchmaking, nurturing professional relationships and getting to know what job seekers want? Those tips all focused on the candidates. But there’s room to focus on you, too. You can learn a thing or two by plugging into the circles of big wig executives who are doing what you dream of. Learn new strategies to enlighten yourself and grow your business or find high calibre Black executives to fill roles in your company. We ALL know there is no shortage of Black talent by now – that narrative is old and obsolete.
Encourage your leaders, managers, executives and all decision-makers to be part of a trusted ecosystem like BPTN’s Executive Networking program. Each month, members host or participate in discussions on various topics, enjoy lunch and learn and are enlightened by other executives. It’s the perfect opportunity to build rapport with other Black executives and discover new talents, and you can even woo some potential employees to join your team. It’s time for your executives to plug into the future of Black relationship-based recruitment or allow the experts at BPTN to do it for you.
When it comes on to RBR and relationships in general, it’s hard work. But, with a supportive community to lean on, lots of resources, information and a positive attitude you can do it! Just be intentional, strategic and purposeful to get the best results.
Connect with us, and let us take the hassle out of your recruiting process.
See you soon!