The More Things Change in Talent Recruiting, the More They Stay the Same

I’ve been in the talent and executive recruiting world for going on 20 years, having entered the industry as a Goodwin Recruiting Partner in the early 2000s. When I first started in the business, things were a little different than they are today. Some practices and methodologies have changed, and surprisingly, some remain exactly the same.  

Here are the biggest transformations I’ve observed during this industry’s remarkable evolution and the constant pillars that have kept it resilient and strong for all stakeholders.  

Organizing and managing work is infinitely easier  

Way back when, the cool thing to do was write everything down on paper. That’s right, everyone took notes to remember names, discussions, details, plans, and decisions! Notes were then entered into computers in ways that worked best for the individual.  

As time went on, new providers popped up all over the business landscape that made working life a lot easier with their platforms, programs, and methodologies. Even social media has improved the lives of recruiters, hiring companies, and job candidates. Companies like Salesforce, Zoom, LinkedIn, and many other innovators have grown exponentially as professionals and businesses continue to adopt their solutions and make changes to simplify how we work, pursue new business, and track information, relationships, events, meetings, and progress.  

Today, it’s all about virtual meetings, recordings, and typing as fast as possible! I, for one, have dramatically increased my typing speed in recent years! I’m currently up to 35 words per minute. If you’d like to see if you type faster than me, or just for fun, try your luck with this speed test 

Phone communication is a different animal today  

Are you old enough to remember the days when you could call people, and they would actually pick up the phone? Believe it or not, that really used to be a thing! In talent sourcing, the telephone was essential to our recruitment strategies. It was a lot easier to catch hiring managers, job candidates, and other stakeholders for a live conversation than it is now. In the good old days, people would also reliably show up for scheduled meetings, and in general, you didn’t get blown off (ghosted) as much.  

Working from home was not a thing 20 years ago   

When I first started working in the recruiting industry, working from home was somewhat unheard of. Now it’s commonplace. With faster internet speeds and virtual meeting capabilities, more companies, in general, are offering work-from-home opportunities. The recruiting world is one of many that has shifted from the traditional office setting to a mostly remote work model. It has not hindered the recruitment process or our initiatives.  

Even though this is the case, I make sure to meet with my clients and candidates in person as often as possible because nurturing and strengthening relationships is what talent recruiting is all about.  

Relationships are still everything  

I can say with total honesty that building strong relationships has been the key to my success in talent recruiting over the years. I could write case study after case study with real-world examples of how a relationship bridged the divide from a talent gap to a perfect new hire. I’m the one my network thinks of when they need recruiting assistance or know someone else with talent needs. People remember me because of the congruent relationships I work so hard to foster and sustain.  

I love having live, in-person conversations with clients to talk through what they need in a candidate, to get a feel for their environment and culture, and to meet their teams. And with job candidates, it’s essential to get to know them in person instead of only on paper. There’s no question that knowing candidates makes a difference in successfully aligning them with potential employers that are a cultural fit.  

Face-to-face meetings have become more important over time  

I think you’ll agree that as we build relationships, we start to see the creation of an amazing network. The more we learn about each person, the more we realize how small the world is – and in talent recruiting, the easier it becomes to match the right people with the right opportunities.  

Little things may change, and technology will continue to evolve how we work. But the biggest reality of all will never change, which is that relationships are what really matter. In recruiting, it’s all about being a successful matchmaker so that both clients and candidates find success in the short and long term.  

For me, one other thing has not changed  

Recruiting can be hectic, but I love it and value the relationships I have built – including with my company and fellow recruiting partners. After almost two decades with Goodwin Recruiting, I can say that this thriving organization remains wholly focused on helping hiring companies and job candidates reach their full potential through effective talent acquisition. It is gratifying to be a torchbearer for a firm that’s consistently ranked by Forbes as one of America’s Best Executive and Professional Recruiting Firms.