SmartRecruiters Blog

A Recruiting Vet’s To-Do List After Hiring Success 18 Toronto

After a decade in the industry, SmartRecruiters’ Head of People, Sarah Wilson, shares why she still never misses a conference.

Sometimes I walk away from an event and think, “That was pretty good, I am glad I went,” and sometimes I skip out of the room thinking, “Holy shit I love my industry!” Our Toronto Hiring Success breakfast definitely fell into the “holy shit” camp. It was an early morning, a time of day that pairs poorly with jet lag and Toronto humidity. The struggle was real getting out of bed. Though the hotel was moments away from the venue, by the time I reached the slightly muggy room, I was already thinking, “This is going to be a long one.”

Moments later, a few of my favorite Torontonians walked in – equally blurry-eyed – and that amazing thing happened when you remember why you love something. HR has always been about the people for me. The people we serve, but also our peers, our exhausted fellow practitioners who can make an early morning conference session fly by with insight and enthusiasm, and I wanted to share some of the top takeaways that sent me back to San Francisco still skipping, even after 10 years of doing this whole HR thing – and in ascending order:

  1. Think of marketing and recruiting like peanut butter and jelly.

We’ve been talking about Marketing and Recruiting intersecting for several years, but now it’s really happening. The consensus from the room was that marketing (for now anyway) belongs inside the Talent function (ask us again in a year or two and see whether we change our minds), but we have a lot to learn from our marketing counterparts. At the top of the list is how to be data driven when we think about reach, response, and investment. The key to having a business case for marketing spend is built upon solid data. If you aren’t sure how to do that, don’t be shy about asking your friends in marketing.

  1. Just tell the truth.

Not every candidate is going to get hired. In reality, 99 percent of the candidates you meet may never work for your company.  What’s important to them is that you keep them in the loop. Let them know if you aren’t going to hire them – gently of course – because all they really want is the truth from you. One of our panelists talked about rejecting a candidate over the phone because there wasn’t an open opportunity, but offering to chat casually with a few colleagues so the candidate would be top-of-mind when a position comes up. Taking accountability:  ✔ Making the candidate feel special: ✔

  1. Help hiring managers more.

Listen to their needs, learn from them, and lend them your expertise so they can pick the best candidates.

  1. Never feel alone!

Every story prompted a chorus of nods. When we opened to questions from the floor, there was continuity in the flow of ideas. My a-ha moment that morning wasn’t so much a tactic I could take away and implement tomorrow,  it was that I felt a sense of community. Which leads me to my final takeaway…

  1. Get together more often.

Talent Acquisition is a team sport. It’s an industry that gets better by sharing. Yes, the war for talent is real, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work together to win it for the industry as a whole. Of course we are a competitive bunch, but we are also a group of “people people” who gather energy from everyone around us. The people I meet at conferences inspire me, and push me to be better – and I know I can do the same for them. Who’s with me?

Join SmartRecruiters for Hiring Success 18: European Edition, being hosted September 19-20th in Berlin!

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson is the head of people at SmartRecruiters.