Expert Interview with Kimberly Patterson on Recruiting Best Practices

By Cheryl Morgan

Share on: 

Recruiting best practicesKimberly Patterson has worked in HR for more than two decades and gained expertise in everything from startup HR and paperless conversion to employee relations and hiring.

In recent years, she's noticed that recruiters seem less interested in building relationships than collecting resumes - an upsetting trend.

"Recruiting is like sales - it's about building relationships," Kimberly says. "It's always disappointing when I hear someone tell me that they've had a phone call with a recruiter and then they hear crickets."

If a recruiter has taken the time to speak with a candidate, then they should also take the time to circle back and close the loop, she adds.

To help organizations adhere to HR best practices like these, Kimberly founded Unconventional HR, an HR consultancy where she advises business leaders, HR professionals and employees on improving the HR pain points within their business.

She recently checked in with us to answer a few questions about recruiting today. Here's what Kimberly had to say:

Tell us about Unconventional HR ... what services do you offer? Who should be using them?

I specialize in working with companies who need improved direction in the HR area - whether it's with people, processes or technology. I dislike paper and always enjoy transforming HR to a paperless environment. My favorites clients are startups and smaller organizations that need a solid HR foundation in all areas of people management: performance, communications, onboarding and so on.

So what makes you unconventional in the HR world? What sets you apart from other HR consultants?

When I work with people, I understand that issues are not always black or white - there are plenty of gray areas. Employee issues can be a time-consuming struggle with managers at work, but they don't have to be. I don't get involved with issues, but I teach both managers and employees how to handle their own issues. Less drama means less time spent trying to make sure everyone is playing nicely in the sandbox.

What are the biggest recruiting challenges companies are facing today?

Companies will tell you that it's difficult finding the right people. I think that companies have difficulties because of an ongoing quest of the recruiters or hiring managers to find the "purple squirrel" that doesn't exist. Hiring managers need to understand that going after solid innate traits (good attitude, adaptability) can sometimes go much further than the person having extensive learned skills. Learned skills can be taught - innate traits cannot.

How important is social media to the recruiting process today?

Social media is very useful when used the right way. I don't believe it's absolutely critical to recruiting. It also depends on the company and if they have a need for a social media presence. Recruiting has been around much longer than social media. So has the telephone.

Do you have any advice on best practices for using social media for recruiting?

  • Use multiple social media tools to cast a wider net - and know the difference between quality and quantity.

  • Be sure the social media platforms are realistic to your company or industry.

  • Include current employees to allow them to refer candidates from their own networks.

  • Engage and interact with folks on social media so that you represent a company with positive values - treat people right.


What are some social media don'ts in the realm of recruiting?

  • Don't use social media as an armchair background check process for candidates.

  • Don't set up a bunch of social media accounts and profiles unless there is time to post and be active on them.

  • Don't be spammy or salesly - be authentic.

  • Don't abandon or ditch traditional recruiting methods - like face-to-face networking and phone calls.

  • Don't assume that everyone is on social media. They're not.

  • Don't be stupid about what you post on social media.


How has social media impacted HR in general?

Specifically for HR (not recruiting), it's allowed HR professionals to connect from all over the world and share their opinions, thoughts and blog posts. I joined Twitter back in 2008, and it still keeps my interest. Not only that, many of the HR folks I've connected with on Twitter, I've met in real life.

What aspects of HR do you wish more recruiters had a better understanding of?

Employment law. Specifically knowing the difference between employees vs. independent contractors. And also wage and hour law to know the differences between an exempt and non-exempt employee.

Connect with Kimberly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

About the company

We won't just do social media strategies. Social Hire will work collaboratively with your team to ensure your business gets genuine value from us and that your team gets the most out of the service. Our experienced social media managers are motivated to make a enhancements to your social media marketing and reaching targets in a way that realistically makes a difference to your business goals.

Our team are a company that assists our customers further their presence online by giving digital marketing on a regular basis.

You might like these blog posts Stop the Annual Performance Review Event, Try This, 5 Reasons Internship Programs are Valuable to Your Business, 4 Christmas Marketing Mis-haps, and 5 Challenges That All Entrepreneurs Face.

  Back to Recruitment blogs