So you have an internal recruiting department or you are using external agencies to fill your position. Let me start by saying I know a lot of first rate agencies out there. I also know way too many that are staffed with recent college graduates who have low morale and high turnover. Do you know which one you are working with? Every agency you talk to will claim they are cutting edge. They will talk about calling into competitors and direct sourcing…if you are lucky enough to find an agency actually doing that you are lucky. Remember they are commission-based and looking for the quickest buck. As I said, there are some good ones, but they tend to be the very small boutiques –people who have built relationships and branched out on their own because they are that good.
If you have an internal recruiting department and you are not hiring, what are your recruiters doing?
Regardless of how you are managing your talent acquisition, let’s get to the heart of the matter. How are they finding your people? In a recent blog post, I wrote about the evolution of the job search. It went something like this…started with typing resumes on a typewriter and mailing, progressed to a word processor and faxing, evolved to MS Word and emailing, and now seems to be stuck at posting on job boards. I talked about how the “most desirable candidates have progressed to online branding or C.P.R. (Candidate Public Relations).”
If your method of talent acquisition, whether that be an internal staff or contingency agency, is still sourcing off the boards, get rid of them immediately. They are wasting your money. Hiring managers want the best available talent, not the easiest talent to find.
The best talent, for the most part, is still employed. Companies are holding on to their finest talent as they work to remain viable and competitive in this down economy. Do you subscribe to the notion that 80% of your company’s chance of surviving is coming from the top 20% of your thought leaders and performers? If so, then those are the people you as a manager want to know. So how do you find them?
The most obvious example for me is the open source code world. Developers are writing and contributing to a bigger community. The leaders in this space all know who the other thought leaders and “up and comers” are. There work is out there for everyone to see every day. You don’t find these people on Dice or Monster, they hang out on Linux.org, KPLUG, or sourceforge. You find them in their circle. They are out there and hiding in plain sight. We are working with our clients to ensure their “social presence” puts them in the same circles as these top people. We are showing companies how to approach and build relationships with these most desirable candidates.
If are working with some who claims to be doing this, test them. As a professional in “your space” you know the trade publications you subscribe to, you know the blogs you visit to keep current, you know the social sites that have the professionals who are thought leaders in your space. Ask them where they are. Better yet, if they were active in “your space” would you already know who they are. It’s a tough economy and everyone seems to be an expert at everything. I know I get agencies that call me all day wanting to work with our strategic partners. There are ways to help you separate “the wannabees” and “the been there done that”.