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What do they love? Challenges! A few years ago, I made this statement “Great recruiters and sourcers love challenges,” at one of the recruitment events. During the break, one of the participants reached out and asked me why I believe this is true?

We had a long discussion about this, and I told him that during my career, I met thousands of recruiters and sourcers, and what I found out is that the recruiters that were exceptional at their work always love challenges. They thrive where there is a challenge in front of them and they never stop just because they see some obstacle on the way. At the end of our discussion, this participant asked me, “Do you have data for it or is there a way to verify this theory?”

What Data Showed Us

I didn’t have the data at that time, but I always believed that this is true. Several years ago, I built SourcingTest.Online, an assessment tool that tests applicants and employees. It helps companies to develop and improve sourcing skills of their team, attract and test their applicants through gamification. It also provides data about their engagement and performance during those challenges.

All the data we collected over the years by testing thousands of recruiters showed us that recruiters not only love challenges, but those who are engaged in those tests also stay way longer in the company. Also, those that are not participating, leave within a year.

As we didn’t have information about the work performance of those users, we asked several clients to compare the data of their employees that were in their SourcingTest dashboard, against the employee performance reviews.

Several of our clients compared their data and shared with us their observations.

  • Thanks to gamification elements of those challenges, clients of SourcingTest were able to identify people who are not performing, as well as those who try to cheat in their teams. That type of behavior was correlated with the performance reviews of those people.
  • Recruiters that were engaged during the SourcingTest challenges were also engaged at work and were among high-performing employees. Based on these engagement results, companies could identify people who were not happy at work. After several discussions with them, they saved those employees, so they didn’t leave the company.
  • Through leaderboards and contests, they incited a friendly competition for better performance. All of the clients confirmed that the recruitment team’s cooperation improved when people worked together on solving these challenges during hackathon events.
  •  Candidates’ experience increased and time to fill decreased when companies introduced the gamification elements into the interview process. This made them able to identify the right candidates faster and test their sourcing skills without dragging them through several rounds of interviews.

Last Thoughts

“Great recruiters and sourcers love challenges,” I made this statement years ago and it still would be valid in the future. Not only does the data confirm that, but we can see on the market how crucial it is to have a great recruitment team.

Companies with recruiters that love challenges in their recruitment teams overcame recent challenges in the labor market. They helped the companies they worked with to thrive. These challenges have empowered those recruitment teams to reimagine recruiting processes, bring new innovative ideas, and find new ways to find the right candidates for their company. Also, because of those exceptional recruiters, companies become more adaptable to labor market trends and successful than their competitors.


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Jan Tegze
Jan Tegze, author of the book Full Stack Recruiter, results-oriented Talent Acquisition Leader with extensive experience in full life cycle recruiting, and broad knowledge in international recruiting, sourcing, recruitment branding, recruitment marketing, and pro-active innovative sourcing techniques. Author of the Sourcing.Games, and blogger who believes that recruitment is a great field and he is constantly trying to make it better.
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