How to Boost Candidate Engagement and Win the Next War for Talent, with Alan Cutter, Ep #70

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By Mark Whitby. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Last year many recruiters struggled due to decreased hiring activity and lack of job orders. However, now most recruiters are experiencing the opposite challenge, saying “we have more orders than we can fill” and “we desperately need more placeable candidates.”

This rapid shift to an extremely candidate-driven market, combined with high levels of counter offers and dropouts, means that candidates aren’t responding to recruiters like they used to. This is both a threat and an opportunity. If you’re able to secure the interest of passive candidates and get them to engage with the recruiting process, you will capture exclusive talent that isn’t available to your competitors or in-house TA teams.

This is where my special guest, Alan Cutter, excels. In this episode of The Resilient Recruiter, you’ll hear Alan’s approach of adopting multiple models and a 12-step process to engage with both clients and candidates, combined with investing in HR tech and being ahead in terms of technology, and much, much more.

Alan Cutter is the Founder and CEO of AC Lion, a Forbes rated “best recruiting firm in America” four years in a row. Focusing on digital talent, AC Lion builds leadership teams for growing, forward-looking companies. Their reach spans from innovative venture-backed startups to enterprise-level organizations.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [1:39] From New York to Israel - Alan’s 24-year recruitment career journey.
  • [8:09] Helping tech start-ups - why Alan loves working with Founders.
  • [13:28] The downsides of focusing on early-stage start-ups.
  • [15:28] Creating candidate engagement: how to get them to consider joining a start-up.
  • [26:36] Why LinkedIn and voicemail engagement may no longer be as effective for millennials.
  • [31:30] A tip for explaining your USP (unique selling proposition) to clients.
  • [34:41] Why candidates do not want to talk to recruiters the way they used to.
  • [37:30] After surviving and ultimately thriving post 3 economic downturns (2001, 2008, Covid), listen to Alan’s perspective on where recruitment will go from here.
  • [42:38] Know about alternative business models - disrupting and approaching business differently.
  • [50:19] Key learnings from Alan’s 24-year career and looking after your people.

Adopting Multiple Models to Engage with Candidates and Clients

Alan expressed his passion for helping start-up founders and how he is investing in the early-stage founder market. One of the challenges you can expect is attracting talent to join start-ups. How would you convince a strong candidate to get interested in joining a company they’ve never even heard of before? What makes AC Lion’s approach unique is its creativity and persistence. “Today you have to do it like 12 steps,” Alan stated. He described how they engage with a candidate using multiple platforms, without making it look like a generic marketing campaign.

One good example of how they apply creativity is using video. Instead of a simple phone call or a traditional email, they use personalised video outreach to win more candidates efficiently and effectively. Hear how Alan’s team leverages video and why you should consider applying this approach in your own business.

Why Candidates Do Not Want to Talk to Recruiters the Way They Used To

During our conversation, Alan mentioned that candidates do not want to talk to recruiters the way they used to. Why is that? He elaborated, “I think they assume that everything is very transactional right now… there is so much information and data coming at people. I can’t even keep up with my WhatsApp, Telegram, text messages, emails, I have 15 email accounts, so Facebook, LinkedIn, I mean Instagram, TikTok, right?”

Alan believes that with too much data coming in, more candidates would not have time to talk to recruiters like before. But he also stated a very valid point on how some candidates feel more ‘guarded’ or sceptical towards recruiters. Listen to how you can overcome this potential blocker as Alan shared from personal experience how they use two approaches and how it works for them.

Life and Work Balance

Alan had been living in Longbeach, New York but he and his wife always wanted to live in Israel. Listen to the challenges he faced as he moved towards this goal, as well as the rewards, of ultimately leading a U.S. based recruiting firm from abroad.

Alan Cutter Bio and Contact Info

Alan Cutter is the Founder and CEO of AC Lion, a Forbes rated “best recruiting firm in America” four years in a row. AC Lion’s functional specialities’ include Senior Sales, Marketing, Product Management and HR/Talent. AC Lion’s Industry Expertise include Media/Ad Tech, Fintech, Mar tech, Ecommerce &, Health-tech AC Lion has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Israel.

In addition to its core practice, Alan founded a recruitment innovation lab and investment arm, AC Lion Venture Partners, to invest in companies, challenge the status quo, build new paths and re-imagine outdated traditional models utilizing the new paradigm including Blockchain, Autonomous, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Mobile-First technology.

Much of Alan's success can be attributed to his belief in and passion for people; ask any of Alan's clients or employees and he/she will speak volumes of their boss's care, consideration, as a complement to his innovative thinking and out-of-the-box problem-solving capabilities. That's an entrepreneur, leader, Board Member and driver of innovation in today's HR world.

Alan’s a huge believer in work-life balance – relocating his wife and 4 kids to Israel just 2.5 years ago, volunteering for numerous community charities, is an avid surfer and Mountain Biker.

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