We’ve all seen the reports that employers are signaling plans to increase hiring in 2010. In fact, there’s a renewed sense of optimism out there that’s invigorating. According to CareerBuilder and USA TODAY’S latest nationwide survey of employers, 23 percent plan to increase their headcount in the second quarter, with more than 1/3 of that increase predicted to be in IT-related jobs. And with reports that rapid technology growth is one of the top five trends impacting the job market over the next 10 years—the tables are turning for those of us in IT.
With the economy poised to turn around, there are many things that have to happen to be ready to meet the needs of this changing climate. But what we have determined to be a critical component—in fact the foundation of all of our work—is strong communication. It’s one of the most critical pieces in everything we do.
I realize “communication” is a fairly broad term. What I’d like to share with you here are three simple tips we’ve found to be most helpful in ensuring top-notch communication with our clients and candidates; ultimately leading to a successful working relationship all the way around.
1. Commit to open communication. We have found that open, back-and-forth dialogue is so important. Be up front about this expectation at the beginning of an engagement. For companies hiring—share all details of a position right away. If you think there’s an aspect of the job that won’t be attractive, don’t wait until the 11th hour to share it. Knowing everything up front is critical. If you’re looking for a job, be honest with your preferences. Sometimes it’s the simple things like the hours of an opportunity or the commute that become major factors in a decision. Knowing all details on both sides of the table can avoid common experiences like these:
• “I would have taken that position if it were for $10,000 more”; or
• “The candidate we’re looking for also needs to have XX skill set,”; or
• “The commute is too long—I am only willing to drive 30 minutes to and from work.”
2. Determine the best mode of communication. There are many tools for communication these days, so determining preferences will save time and create a smoother process. Is your preference e-mail? Text or instant messaging? Cell phone? All of the above? Knowing how to reach your contact is important, especially during a time when people expect instantaneous feedback.
3. Remember relationships are important. The irony of communication is that while it’s critical to the success of any relationship, it’s really easy to let it become impersonal with the ease, speed and convenience of electronic communication. Don’t forget to pick up the phone or meet in person now and then for a live conversation. We have found that even though schedules are busy and time is limited, extra efforts like taking someone to lunch or scheduling a brief 15-minute update are appreciated and go a long way in helping make our suggestion in tip number one (commit to open communication!) easier to do.
We all have stories where we know if we had communicated a little more effectively the outcome would have been different in a positive way. At the end of the day, our job is more than sourcing candidates and churning out resumes. Anybody can do that—it’s such a small piece of the relationship between a company like EdgeLink and our clients and candidates. For win-win-win situations, we believe in the value of communication.
What works for you? Any successful communication strategies for keeping open dialogue between clients, candidates and/or vendors? We invite you to share!