Do You Know What You’re Recruiting For?

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Do You Know What You’re Recruiting For?

Recruiters need a hefty set of skills; however, no skill is quite as important as communication. The way you communicate will either make or break your recruiting career. It can keep companies coming back, or it can send them running. It can earn you loyal candidates, or it can run your roster into the ground. After all, if you don’t communicate well, you’ll never fully understand the needs of the companies and the candidates you are representing.

Why Communication is Vital

One of the biggest problems recruiters face is a lack of understanding of the demands in a given job. While a recruiter can never fully understand every aspect of a job, they must be familiar enough with the position if they hope to find and place a successful candidate.

Whether you’re just starting out as a recruiter and you’re trying to attract clients and candidates, or you’re a seasoned pro with many years in the field, communication is a skill that must be honed. It touches every aspect of your job, and without strong communication skills, you’ll never really meet the needs of your clients and your candidates.

Square Peg in a Round Hole?

There are numerous careers in food and myriad jobs in the food industry. Every single one is a bit different. There are flavor careers, ingredient manufacturing jobs, and food production jobs. Then there are the technical, mechanical, and analytical jobs that support the food and flavor industry. Of course, there are also management roles and administrative roles, customer service roles and creative roles that are vital to the successful operation of food companies.

The mistake that many recruiters make is assuming that one job is much like another. They figure one management role is probably the same as another. They assume that a job in the soft drink industry is the same as a job in the coffee and tea industry. They figure that experience in bottling might transfer easily enough to a career in baking. Without a clear understanding of the industry or the job at hand, a recruiter can spend countless hours interviewing candidates that simply aren’t qualified or experienced for the position.

As a recruiter, you are going to be searching for candidates and posting on’s job board. The way you construct your job postings will determine the type of candidates you get. Unless you truly understand the needs of the companies you represent, you will forever be trying to force square pegs into round holes – and we all know how that turns out.

Immerse, Educate, Listen

So what’s the solution? Roll up your sleeves, open your ears, and start learning. Before you ever have a single phone conversation or meeting with a new client, take time to immerse yourself in the client’s industry. If they are in the seafood industry, spend a few hours learning all about the processes and practices relevant to the niche. Research the company itself and find out how they run their operations, the type of equipment they use, and the general vibe of the organization.

All that research is just the first step though. Researching the industry and the specific company will allow you to ask the right questions and use the right terminology as you discuss the company’s hiring needs. Once you’re actually sitting down with the hiring manager though, it’s time to listen.

The only way you’ll be able to meet a company’s needs is by truly understanding them from the get-go. Listen carefully as the company explains their requirements, and ask questions if anything is unclear. It’s better to bother a hiring manager with a few too many questions in the beginning than it is to waste countless hours on unqualified candidates.

You Don’t Have to Know Everything

Unless you’ve spent a lifetime working in a specific food industry niche, there’s no way to fully understand every aspect of every company – and that’s ok. No company is going to expect you to be completely versed in industry terminology and processes. What matters is that you make a sincere effort to educate yourself before launching into your search for candidates.

Just remember that there is really no excuse for lack of learning. There are endless online resources that provide detailed explanations of every industry and every job. Before you post a single ad on our online job board, before you interview a single candidate, take time to do your homework. It might take you a little longer to find the ideal candidate for a job, but knowing what you’re looking for will save you – and the companies you represent – a lot of time and effort in the long run.