I was talking with an executive last week who said, “We’re taking advantage of the ample supply of unemployed people right now so we really don’t need to do any searching for candidates.” I have no doubt that the volume of candidates is heavy, but I question the quality of their response if they are just using one channel (job boards) for recruiting. As well, let’s keep in mind that if the unemployment rate is roughly 9% right now, that means that 91% of the population is working. So, essentially this executive is satisfied with a sample of 9% of the population – hmmm.
I’ve taken an unofficial poll recently of medium and large corporations’ recruiting practices and generally speaking, they haven’t changed in the last decade. Internal recruiters post open positions on job boards and their website, wait for a response, screen candidates and present the ‘qualified’ individuals for an interview with the hiring manager. Then, the recruiter stops ‘recruiting’ because surely one of these candidates will be hired. The hiring manager goes through the interview process and scratches his head – are these the best people? All the candidates are rejected and the search process begins again – just like the first time – on the job boards. This method is dated, unproductive and flawed. Let’s investigate some alternatives that will net a better result:
1. Recruiting is EVERYONE’S job in the company. Hiring managers are especially important here – they know precisely what they are looking for. Are you a hiring manager who thinks that recruiting is a department and not a functional part of your job?
2. Social media – outbound sourcing is critical. If you want to find great people, check out Linked In and Facebook. Candidates used to look at job boards, now that time has been replaced by social networking. The best part – you can do this form of sourcing 24/7. If you are one of those recruiters who still haven’t embraced this channel, get trained and get in!
3. Networking – not an option. As a hiring manager or recruiter, you need to hang out where your target audience hangs out. User groups, professional associations, meetups, etc. This is an after-hours activity, but will give you access to the passive job seekers who aren’t actively looking but might be interested in the RIGHT opportunity.
4. Interview times with the working professional in mind. Some of my clients get this. People who are actively engaged in their work and take it seriously aren’t going to be available for an interview during the work day. Would you have time to take a half day for interviews right now? Hiring managers and recruiters who accommodate after hours interviews can more quickly complete the interviewing process and alleviate scheduling difficulties. Why is this important? Because candidates are beginning to see multiple opportunities and multiple offers – you need to act quickly or you’ll lose them.
5. Boolean search – if you are a recruiter and don’t know how to source candidates on the web you are behind. This method can help you gain access to folks who meet a specific criteria but aren’t available to you through job boards or social networks.
6. Forget the big boards. Posting positions publicly is fine, but opt for niche boards to help you gain exposure to a particular skillset or industry experience. It will cost you much less and the quality of your response will be much better.
7. Build your employment brand. Again, this is a company responsibility. How do your employees talk about your company on their social sites? Do they carry your employment brand with them? Are they representing your values, strategy and vision in their online communities and networking functions? Are you proud to have them represent you to your customers, prospective customers, investors, stakeholders and future employees?
8. Pipeline Management. Recruiting never stops. If you are an internal recruiter, or a hiring manager, one of your primary responsibilities is to always be recruiting. That means consistently making connections, building your personal network, monitoring social sites for smart people, and asking your new hires for referrals. Get these future hires into your database and start a dialogue with them. I promise you that your competitors will be actively recruiting your stars in the next 12 months. You need to have new talent engaged and excited – this method of pipeline management will make your next search effort SO MUCH EASIER.
It’s time we all admit that the old method of finding, attracting and hiring great people doesn’t work. As recruiting professionals and hiring executives we must embrace the change. Open new channels for sourcing candidates and infuse the function of finding great people into our corporate culture. Change up your process and experience an improvement in your outcomes.
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