Considering we are always looking for ways to stand out, build a business and find the best candidates, I’ve been really bothered lately by the number of companies and people who just do the bare minimum to get by… and yet still expect amazing results. Getting away with doing the minimum is not limited to recruiting and HR of course. You’ve probably worked with suppliers who only contact you once a year, usually when a contract is up for renewal or you owe them money. Or what about those colleagues, who do only what they’re asked (and that sometimes grudgingly). They can’t see the bigger picture and are out the door bang on 5pm whilst you’re fighting an overflowing inbox, juggling multiple tasks, following up candidates, arranging meetings and so on. More than a little frustrating isn’t it? Both examples probably justify their actions by saying, “But you never asked!” It’s a bugbear of mine. Recruitment, HR and people management are tough enough and you know that doing the minimum is unlikely to take you places. It’s just not the route to sustainable business. To put this in context, let me share an example with you which is close to home, even if it feels a bit risky. We had a client cancel their contract with us last month. A recruiter decided they wanted to stop using skills testing simply because they weren’t asked for it. The recruiter in question praised our service and product, but felt it was an unnecessary spend because their clients weren’t asking for screened or assessed candidates. Think about that for a moment. It’s not necessarily the choice to use skills testing that bothered me. I understand that for some roles it is not always relevant and of course, there is choice on the market for any product or service. It was that the reasoning seemed so illogical. You weren’t asked for something…. you shouldn’t have to be! Go the extra mile – it’s less crowded Going the extra mile, adding value, surprising and delighting your candidates or clients is where the good stuff happens. For me, there is clearly a plus point in both internal and external recruiters understanding their candidates better. Knowing their transferable skills and capabilities, and being able to say with confidence, “I will only consider candidates who score in the top percentile for numeracy,” or “I’ll be assessing individuals to find the best fit with exceptional language and teamwork skills.” It just makes sense. Where else are you holding back? At a recent recruitment event, one of the speakers talked about offering more value, making a great point that really resonated with me. It was to always have two reasons to make contact. One primary reason and then something secondary which adds more value and creates a conversation. So, the primary reason might be about a great candidate or asking about a preferred supplier list, but your secondary reason gives your contact more. It positions you as worth knowing. For example, you could be telling them about a business you know is relocating so their staff may be open to offers, or inviting them to an event or gathering some market intelligence. Such a useful tip since we all receive those phone calls that start with, “it’s just a quick call…” and immediately your heart sinks since you know it’s a sales call. Value adding ideas for recruiters Here are just a handful of ideas: Invitations to useful events – that could be exhibitions, training days, careers fairs, employment law updates and so on Sharing whitepapers or useful market intelligence Conducting or sharing salary surveys Sending relevant local news articles with a ‘I saw this and thought of you’ note Genuine referrals not just passing names over for a kick back Introductions to trade bodies The opportunities are endless but the message is the same, don’t wait to be asked! ***** ISV.Online is the leading supplier of skills testing software and services to the UK Recruitment Industry. Used by 9 of the top 10 UK agencies, by number of offices, and 7 of the top 10, by revenue, ISV.Online offers candidate skills assessment and evaluation software and online training tools, allowing agencies and in-house HR/recruitment teams to validate the skills of potential candidates and existing employees across a wide range of areas.