sourcing learning and development talent

What is our secret ingredient for sourcing learning and development talent at SweetRush? Is it our unique culture? The prestigious awards we win? Our crazy, creative, and innovative team and the work we produce? Well, these may be part of the formula, but I think it’s much simpler than that.

It all begins with the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated. It starts by taking the time to read a candidate’s résumé. It’s about being someone who cares about people’s careers and what the next best step is for a candidate and not about going through the motions, sounding like a robot, and forgetting we are working with people and their lives, livelihood, and aspirations. It’s about relationship recruiting, not transactional recruiting.

When candidates apply online, we always respond with an empathetically written email that ensures them that a real person, not a machine, will review their résumé. It’s amazing how that seemingly simple act stands out. So many candidates respond with warm notes of appreciation.

Communication is a major part of what we do daily. It’s crucial to keep candidates posted on where they are in the hiring process when sourcing learning and development talent. If their résumé has been reviewed but not selected for a prescreening, we let them know in an email that also acknowledges the trials and tribulations of job searching and landing that next awesome job. Again, empathy and caring infuse all our communications.

If candidates advance to interviews but are not selected for the position, they get a personal phone call. So many recruiters allow this critical conversation to go into the proverbial black hole because they don’t want to have difficult conversations or disappoint people. Our philosophy is the exact opposite. People deserve to have closure, and though it’s not the message that they want to hear (or that you want to deliver), they do appreciate the respect you are showing them by delivering the message personally. I wish we could hire all the worthy candidates, but we can only hire one. You know that feeling you get when you see the high school coach playing only the top athletes and leaving a bunch of kids on the bench? You want all the kids to have a chance to play, but that does not happen. Well, that’s the feeling I often have when we select one candidate and disappoint the others.

In some cases, after we have selected our one final great candidate and the engagement is taking longer than expected to start, we send a little something, such as a Starbucks gift card. Caffeine seems to heal a lot of things. Kidding! It’s about taking that extra step to say thank you and acknowledge that candidate’s effort and flexibility. Sometimes we do this when a candidate applied for a role, went through a lengthy, difficult interviewing process, and did not get selected. Again, we’re showing our appreciation for his or her time and acknowledging the difficulty of finding a great job.

At SweetRush, the way we act—which is so much a part of our culture—is not revolutionary. But a little humanity, kindness, and empathy seem to stand out these days. As I was writing this, I received an email from a candidate we had presented to a client of ours in the hospitality industry; she had not been selected for the job. She wrote, “Working with recruiters hasn’t always been the most positive experience for me, but your quick communication, honesty, and positivity have all helped make this a great experience from which I will continue to grow.”

So, in the end, I think our secret sauce for sourcing learning and development talent is communication, honesty, empathy, and truly caring for the candidates we work with.

Ann Cathers is a Talent Solutions Consultant at SweetRush, helping clients with their temporary L&D staffing needs. If you are interested in open positions at SweetRush, please visit our Join Us page. If you have staffing needs and would like to engage SweetRush, please contact Ann at her email.

(1) Comment

    Ann Carthers

    its always the simple steps that are taken to build relationships that sets a brand apart from the others. It can be time and cost intensive too, so thank you for making a difference to the L&D and HR Industry.

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