This is part two of our five-part series about effective recruiting in a candidate driven market.
By: Edna Nakamoto and Jessica Barrett
Two weeks ago we started our five-part series on recruiting, where we began by examining how we determine recruiting needs and establish strategic processes. This week, we’re going to take a look at recruiting resources, specific strategies, and more on processes.
Obviously one main focus of every recruiting team is where and how they will find candidates. In today’s recruiting climate, the opportunities for sourcing are significant. Let’s take a look at some of the tried and true, and some you may not have considered.
Internal Talent – Probably the most obvious, but often overlooked source for candidates, is your existing talent pool. Current employees are constantly learning, evolving, and changing, and many are ready for that next step. Additionally, there may be associates within your organization who have a skill set they aren’t fully utilizing because they joined the company in a somewhat unrelated capacity. Don’t forget that your current employees will start looking for opportunities elsewhere if you don’t find ways to keep them challenged and help them develop. Another option is to invest in your current talent by moving employees into roles they’re not 100% ready for, provide intensive training, and assign a mentor to get them up to speed. (Look for next week’s post where we will focus more on the importance of internal recruiting.)
Former Employees – We all know of the “ones who got away”. We were shocked they left, broken-hearted to see them go, and felt like we’d done all we could to prevent their decision to move on. Do what you can to stay in touch with those folks. They may have left because your company didn’t have the opportunity they were ready to move in to, but at some point, you may have the perfect promotion they can’t pass up. If they left on good terms, and the culture was a great fit, they may someday find themselves in a position to return.
Former Candidates – There are always those outstanding candidates you come across and say “if only we had a job open, this person would be perfect for us”, or what about that number two choice who didn’t get the offer, but was truly outstanding? If you cannot find an immediate role to offer them, it’s imperative to hold on to those candidates, stay in close contact with them, and when the right role opens up, make sure they’re your first call.
Job Boards – Recruiters and candidates alike wonder at the efficacy of job boards, but they are still widely used by both. As you develop your recruiting strategy, be sure to look at those job boards specific to industries and roles, rather than just focusing on the major ones that don’t necessarily attract those candidates with specific or niche skill sets.
Job Fairs – As with job boards, both recruiters and candidates wonder if job fairs are worth the investment. Recent statistics provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicates that yes, job fairs are still very much a top source utilized by college students. Not only does it give them the opportunity to learn more about what roles are out there, but it gives them a chance to meet with employers face-to-face, ask questions, and get a feel for the culture of an organization without being in a formal interview setting. Job fairs also give recruiters the opportunity to begin establishing a relationship with a candidate which sets them apart from other employers.
Corporate Website – Last week we touched on corporate branding strategies, and this is one of the biggest reasons why it’s critical to get this right. Corporate websites are typically the first stop most candidates make on their way to determining whether or not they want to apply to your company. It’s a great way to sell your company culture and values, and give people insight into what goes on day to day. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and if you’re not already, here are some reasons why you’ll want to give video a try as it relates to your corporate website.
Social Media – No doubt you’re already aware that utilizing LinkedIn is critical to recruiting efforts, as over 93% of hiring managers are using it to find candidates. What’s also interesting is that both Facebook and Twitter have emerged as important sites to recruiters and hiring managers as well. Use social media as a way to not only connect with potential candidates, but to educate people on what it is your company is an expert in, and showcase your corporate culture.
As you look to establish your recruiting strategy as it relates to specific roles, there are some key elements you’ll want to integrate every time, such as your ideal time to fill (TTF) based upon the market, the level of the positon, the qualifications required, and the history of TTF of similar roles. But you’ll also want to consider some things you may not have tried before. How can you get creative, or try another approach to filling positions, especially those that are difficult to fill, or where you’ve struggled to identify the right team or culture fit in the past? Here are a few ideas to consider as you develop your recruiting strategy:
Referral Bonus Program – If your company doesn’t already have a referral program in place, it’s worth considering. When you hire great performers, they typically also know other great performers. Find out who they are by offering your associates a bonus for referring names and contact information to you. Referred candidates typically move through the interview process faster, making your time to fill much shorter, and they cost less than more traditional sourcing methods. Additionally, both referred candidates and their referring associate tend to remain with the organization longer than those who were hired in another manner.
Attend Community or Industry Events – Sometimes the most effective way to recruit someone is by not recruiting them at all. Simply getting to know people, letting them get to know you, showing up where they are; at their meetings and events. Start building relationships with them and slowly but surely they’ll know who you are, where you work, and what you’re about. This is an organic way to attract talent to your organization. It won’t necessarily happen immediately, but in the long run, it’ll prove to be worth the time invested.
Host Open Houses – Play host to school and trade organizations and clubs related to your industry. Open your doors for their meetings, offer to provide an in-house speaker to talk about something relevant to them. Provide refreshments and if it makes sense, provide a facility tour. This is a soft-sell way to offer a sneak peek into your company that may turn into a hire down the road.
Swap Interviews for Coffee – Have you ever considered how nervous people going through the interview process are? Often times their initial meeting with a company is when they’re shaky and tongue-tied. What about changing things up and making your first contact with a candidate casual? Consider not calling it an interview at all, but an informal meeting for coffee somewhere other than the office. A no pressure meeting can be a great way to present the elements of a job and what you’re looking for, and allow a potential candidate time to process that information before starting the formal interview process. Once they start that process, they’ve already met you, and the initial nervousness may not be too bad.
One of the worst things a company can do is put their candidates through completely different interview processes. There are several reasons for this, but the biggest reason by far is that your integrity is called into question.
Consistency is Key – Always be sure that as you establish your recruiting processes, your steps are the same for each candidate going through the interview for that position. Not only does it build your credibility and establish integrity, but it’ll ensure that you’re compliant should anything be questioned from the standpoint of equal opportunity employment. Also, be sure that any notes and documentation gathered throughout the recruiting and interview process is consistent, thorough, and complete.
Have the Right Tools – The easiest way to remain compliant, and to move through the recruiting process cleanly and quickly, without wondering where you’re at with each candidate, and with the opportunity to mine for data effectively, is to invest in a quality applicant tracking system.
Be sure to check back next week when we’ll be discussing the importance of internal recruiting in part three of our five-part series on recruiting.