Thinking Outside the Box as a Recruiter

February 07, 2023

At Paylocity, we Live the Reputation and Think Next Generation, so potential is important to us.

Gail Shields Headshot

By: Gail Shields

Talent Acquisition Partner

The most exciting part about being a recruiter is finding someone’s full potential. Did I think I was going to be a recruiter seven years ago? No. However, in 2017, I found myself in need of a job and turned to a recruiting agency. It just so happened that there was a recruiting role at the staffing agency itself, and after the manager looked at my background in sales and collections, he was able to see my potential as a recruiter.

Now, recruiting is in my DNA. Just like that manager who saw my full potential in 2017, I seek this out in every conversation I have with a future Paylocity candidate.

Resumes Are Not Always the Full Story

Different companies look for different things in a resume. Some companies prefer one-page resumes, some companies want a cover letter, and others are looking for every skill set needed.

What About Looking for Potential?

At Paylocity, we Live the Reputation and Think Next Generation, so potential is important to us. When going through resumes, if I see a candidate with most of the required skills needed — let’s say 70% — I still reach out to see if those missing skills are within the person. If they are there and they’re strong enough, I’ll often take the candidate’s information to my hiring manager to see if the other 30% is teachable. Having a detailed conversation with the candidate can tell a lot about a person, and resumes don’t always reflect how talented they are and could be.

We build trust intentionally, through every interaction, so going the extra mile for our candidates creates a unique candidate experience and helps our hiring managers with their decisions. That’s part of what we do; we hear, affirm, inspire, and challenge one another every day!

Don’t Be Afraid to Quietly Recruit Outside of Work

I carry around cards called “You Impressed Me” cards. For example, if I’m at a restaurant and my server was amazing, had a great attitude, and handled multiple tables at once, all while upselling me on food and drinks, then in my mind, I'm thinking she would be great for our National Sales Support position.

As I leave the restaurant, I would thank her for her service and leave her tip around a “You Impressed Me” card. On that card, it has my name, organization, and number on one side. On the other side, it simply says, “Let’s chat. You impressed me.”

This is one of my favorite ways to recruit passive candidates because it’s quick and you’re complimenting the future candidate up front.

A Culture as Unique as Its People

As I speak to candidates daily, I always ask the question, “What is important to you in your next opportunity?” The number one answer that I keep hearing is, “A great culture.” Most people would like to be able to wake up and love their job.

And I love my job! On social media, I love posting videos of me working from home, playing my music in the background, or showing a video of team activities. When people can see how great our culture is at Paylocity, it attracts them to want to apply. A majority of our staff has the option to work remotely; our benefits put me, my family, and my finances first; there’s an entire team dedicated to ensuring my mental well-being is healthy; and development opportunities are abundant, helping us level up our skills and careers.

I never could have imagined where I’d end up versus where I started, but I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m thankful for the manager who saw something in me. Along the way, I’ve learned how to spot potential and trust my instincts so that I can do the same for others and bring the best of the best to Paylocity. What are some of your unique recruiting techniques?