By Jessica Miller-Merrell 
From one expert article to the next, there are plenty of methods and suggestions for recruiting the best candidates. However, one thing that not many industry leaders touch on is the recurring theme that is found in nearly every one of those recommendations and tactics: knowledge. It seems so simple, but knowledge is the underlying support that makes the wheels turn and produce results.
Consider one of the most effective and popular aspects of modern recruiting: employment branding. Your employment brand is the sum total of all the ways today’s workforce sees you. And while you don’t own your employment brand (because you can’t make people think a certain way about you), you can shape your employment brand based on the knowledge you have of your organization, workforce and candidates.
It all comes back to knowledge
Recruiting is made up of many different tactics, such as candidate engagement, relationship cultivating and marketing. And a key ingredient of each of those aspects being successful individually is knowledge. Since efforts must be strategic in this day and age, a shot in the dark just isn’t going to cut it. It takes knowledge to make each element of recruiting successful, from using data to understand your audience, to conducting exit interviews that provide insight on employees’ experiences, to making the most of personal connections so you can discover who the best candidates are. Placing all your trust in a gut feeling just doesn’t work. It takes knowledge and understanding to attract the best of the best.
Knowledge is power – for you and your candidates
Have you ever paused to think about what candidates really know about you throughout the recruiting process? What about when they apply? Or how about at the interview? Better yet, when they arrive for their first day, do they have a good grasp not only of what your company does but also what its values are and the climate of its culture? Often when we think we’ve armed candidates with the knowledge they need to make a decision, we’ve really fallen short.
The key here is to educate them every opportunity we have, from the first job posting they see to their first day on the job. Tell them, show them and point them in the direction to find out more by using multiple channels, marketing campaigns and methods of communication to help them make the right decision.
Equally as important is collecting knowledge that will help you source the right people, provide a recruiting experience that will leave them wanting more and create a work environment that makes them want to stay. You may not even know it, but as a recruiter, you have access to knowledge, information and resources that turn your shot-in-the-dark approach into a finely tuned strategy. Start talking to your current workforce, recent hires and past candidates, researching case studies and conducting your own investigations to discover what candidates want and need, as well as what your current employees would have liked to see when they were recruited.

It’s important that you and your candidates have the knowledge needed to make the right decisions. Your job as a recruiter is not to simply lead someone into a position so you can check a box. It’s to find the right candidate and make sure they’ve found the right company so you can also retain that talent. The power of this knowledge provides an opportunity to make better hires than ever before.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

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