Resume Genius is not only focused on explaining the world of professional resume writing, but also every part of the job hunting process that goes with it. This blog post focuses on the hiring process and details how today’s HR professionals are seeking out talent. Read on to find out where recruiters are going for talent so you know where to focus your job hunting efforts.
You’ve probably seen it all by now – every month there’s a new article proclaiming a “recruiting revolution” using some new technology or app.
We wanted to get to the bottom of the hype and find out what real HR managers are actually using to find their talent. We reached out to 6 recruiters with years of experience to ask: “What is your favorite way to acquire new talent?”
Here’s what they said.
Email lists eliminate the need for paid advertisements
Douglas Bray, Managing Partner, The Nanny Experts Ltd.
Douglas Bray is the owner of a recruitment agency out of based Hong Kong recruiting nannies from all over the world. Douglas’s strategies have changed over time, from using LinkedIn to email lists. Here’s how he detailed the evolution for Resume Genius:
For me, there are many creative and fun ways to find candidates. In the beginning of starting our business I remember using LinkedIn, filtering by profession (nurse etc.) and then connecting with them to see if interested in a nanny career.
Overtime Bray changed adapted his strategy to become even more focused; looking where he felt talent was more abundant and more efficiently attained.
That was to just to get the ball rolling. Now that I have built up a strong
email list I always include in my available job lists the following:
Please forward these onto your friends and network. We socialize with
people like ourselves; maybe you might be the link to a great opportunity
Ultimately, Bray feels that acquiring quality talent is about more than simply networking.
“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.”
This methodology pays off for The Nanny experts — they now rarely post job ads, as people who “know” people fill most of the positions.
Career fairs quickly give a full picture of each candidate
Greg Szymanski, SPHR, CCP, CBP, Geonerco
Another face-to-face approach of finding talent is to seek applicants out where they are most abundant and most enthusiastic. Career fairs provide just such a location to scout out talent in real-time.
Greg Syzmanski prefers this method for multiple reasons.
“I like job/career fairs. In these environments, I can
1. Quickly assess candidate verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
2. Assess candidates’ preparation for the career fair event (manner of dress and grooming, resume quality, etc.).
3. Understand how much preparation candidates did for the event in the area of researching potential employers, etc.
4. Efficiently ask a number of candidate screening questions required for available positions.
5. Provide candidates a business card and see if they follow up with a thank you note or email.”
The underlying strength reoccurring in Syzmanski’s points is the ability to see a person in the flesh and make evaluations based upon a face-to-face meeting, something not available via social networks or online recruitment boards.
Seize the moment — interview everywhere
Leanne E. King, SPHR, SeekingHR
Headquartered in San Antonio Texas, SeekingHR takes a more unconventional approach to finding new talent in creative places. Sometimes, when looking for something like quality professional talent, it pays to think outside the box.
“We interview everyone (and I mean everyone) for potential employment and we are not bashful about it.
We have interviewed our mail carrier, the waiter at one of our favorite restaurants, our neighbors in the building and even a salesman who was in our office to sell his services.”
This concept of “Guerrilla recruitment” – looking for potential employees under every nook and cranny — can be applied more traditional existing channels as well, such as job fairs or small business events.
“We will walk around an event and talk to people manning other booths, the caterers and the stage hands. You just never know how or where a talent connection may happen. “
The unconventional and relentless recruitment hunting strategies of SeekingHR has paid off, as they’ve found some of their best talent through some of the most non-traditional means.
“One of our most successful ‘interview outreach’ efforts is interviewing with well-known and respected colleagues’ children. We were able to find a three-year returning intern and an office coordinator sourcing talent through their parents.”
Recruit from within & do some poaching
Paul Chittenden, Co-founder of JobKaster
Paul Chittenden is the co-founder of JobKaster, a map based job search app that helps people find local jobs. Featured in notable online publications Mashable, Yahoo, and Business News Daily, Chittenden has dialed HR down to a science.
Chittenden’s’ preferred method by far are referrals from current employees.
“Referrals from current employees help ensure candidate and workplace fit. When a current employee makes a recommendation, they are putting their name on the line that the candidate will be a good worker.
A bad hire in this instance, could make the referee look bad so it’s imperative that they only recommend the best.”
Beyond increasing chances that new recruits will be high quality workers, in-house referrals also means that there’s a lower chance of a new recruit clashing with company culture.
“Furthermore, referrals from current employees help ensure a [candidate’s quality]. Typically current workers are very candid with their friends about the jobs. If they hate their job, they’ve probably told their friend, and they probably scare them away unless they are just in dire need of a job.
If they love it, it means that the candidate will often feel the same way.”
Another unique approach employed by Chittenden is looking to competitors for talent poaching.
“Poaching candidates from competitors is a great way to find talent. Using recruiters or internal staff, you can find high performers and directly steal talent (ethically) from your competitor. “
Chittenden’s logic is explained further by using the comparison of equally qualified applicants, one unemployed, and the other employed by a competitor. He says the difference might not be detectable, but by poaching from a competitor you safeguard against it regardless.
“If you compare two equal candidates, one currently working for your competitor, and someone who is currently out of work, the hiring manager would normally pick the worker at your competitor.
You will always have a lingering thought as to why the other person does not currently have a job, whether it be personality issues, bad work performance, clashing with other employees, etc.”
Chittenden doesn’t think highly of job boards, although he’s sees their value in promoting a message and opening the door to applications.
“Job boards are basically only an advertising platform. They help get the word out about your open position and bring in applications. While they are not the preferred method, they are definitely needed to get the news of your open position out to potential candidates.”
Birds of a feather flock together
Erin O’Hara, Public Relations Specialist, Halogen Software
It was unanimous amongst all HR professionals interviewed that the days of simply casting a big net are over. Recruiting departments are becoming increasingly targeted and efficient in their acquisition processes. Erin O’Hara of Halogen Soft details how — more often than not — finding talent means asking their friends.
“To find out where elite talent hides, focus on building, nurturing and leveraging relationships with the talent that is already in-house working in the very roles that need filling.
Where do superstar software engineers hang out? Ask one, ask 10, heck, ask 100 . . . and find out exactly where to focus your external efforts.”
Basically, industry specialists are naturally likely to know where to find other talent in their field, providing an excellent resource that should not be ignored.
For recruiting youth, a varied search strategy is best
Erin Jordan, Senior Media Relations Specialist, Walker Sands Communications
Recruitment strategies must vary depending on the level and type of worker being sought. Erin Jordan of Walker Sands Communications details how their strategy for recruiting young talent is multipronged, using job boards, social media, and even having alumni connect with future graduates.
“For interns to entry-level positions we’ve found that some of the best places to look and post are college and alumni boards.”
Naturally, targeting a younger demographic means adjusting the hunting process accordingly, making their company presence known in areas where younger talent hangs out, such as social media.
“Lately we’ve been focusing more on acquiring talent through social media – from LinkedIn groups, to Twitter to now even Facebook ads.”
Jordan explains how using social media advertising for talent recruitment can be a great investment for any company looking for young, online talent.
“[Searching online] can be a successful tactic among the younger generation when we’re looking to target this group. For example, just one promoted ad with a specific, targeted audience reached more than 32,800 people, compared to our average post reach of up to about 120 people.”
In addition to online advertisements and social media promotion, having experience personnel reach out to their alumni schools is a great way to connect with younger talent.
“We’ve also recently invested more in having our executive leadership connect with students through speaking engagements and presentations at universities across the U.S.
In Chicago and a couple of different other universities across the country we also have a couple of core colleges that we’ve been able to send alumni to spread additional word of mouth about our internship and entry-level positions.”
In addition to the above channels, Walker Sands also uses a variety of tactics mentioned above including searching for talent from within and always being ready to maximize in-house talent.
From these interviews, it’s obvious that HR recruiting trends in 2014 will be more diverse and specialized than ever, and will depend heavily on what type of applicant is being sought and for what industry.
However, the fluctuating recruiting industry has one constant — and that is the need of a professionally formatted resume to accompany an applicant, regardless of how they are discovered.
If you have any recruiting secrets not touched upon in this article, we would love to hear them in the comments below.