SmartRecruiters Blog

The Hunt for Talent

In this recruitment series, we’ve how to teach a recruiter to fish and the importance of farming talent. Now let’s take it a step further with Hunting for Talemt.

Once you’ve identified the type of talent you want and need, it becomes a matter of getting that talent in your organization. By developing recruitment, engagement and retention programs you are putting your company ahead of the curve. However, no process is 100% effective. What that means is no matter what you do at some point you will need new employees; it’s called “turnover.”  Even the best companies lose top performers. That’s where Recruitment Hunting comes in, think of it like a sport. Your company has to be ready to find and “bag” the big one.

The trick is to minimize or mitigate the likelihood of missing the big one. So how do you do that? Another way to increase your chances of gaining the best of the best is to actively pursue them. Knowing where to hunt and look for the best candidates is very import. You must also understand the whereabouts, traits, and movements of top talent. Having a great website is awesome, taking care of your current employees is excellent, but none of that helps you if you don’t present at the right time.

Recruitment HuntingRecruitment Hunting differs from Recruitment Fishing; not only do you have to figure out where the top talent is but you have to make contact and close them. Yes in some cases you can’t wait for top talent to discover you, you must make the first move. Here’s an example, I had a resume client who took a job with a high profile company as their Social Media Director and a few weeks later a major company sent him an inbox message via LinkedIn. The wanted to poach him from his new employer, not only were they farming (previously connected) but they were hunting! They knew his skill and wanted him to be part of their team. This is known as employee poaching or talent raiding and companies rely on this all the time, especially in highly competitive industries of technology, marketing and business development.

I am not suggesting you create a strategy that necessarily lures talent from competitors but I am suggesting that you use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, professional development associations, colleges, job/career fairs and referrals to track and hunt your most desirable candidates. Knowing where top talent grazes is not easy but it’s definitely doable. 

One of the biggest problems in war for talent today is compensation. Many companies want top performers with skills and education however they do not want to pay for them. Salary offers are incredibly low in the job market. According this article from The Press Democrat which sites reports from the Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics that jobs are back but salaries are down. In order to execute big-game-talent-hunting, you have to have an industry leading compensation and benefit package along with a great brand message and recruiting strategy. 

Top talent is more aware of their value then others in the job market. Not only do you they visit your company website but they investigate your culture on social media. They look at your LinkedIn accounts, Facebook pages, and interactions on Twitter. If they cannot find examples of your social reputation capital they may not want to be part of your company. If they cannot determine the type of organizational culture and employee engagement at your company, they will hold out for a better fit. 

Recruitment Hunting is easier when there is a mobile recruiting strategy, opportunities for advancement, awesome compensation, great culture and innovative products – this simplifies the recruiting sales pitch to top performers. Unlike sport hunting you cannot simply hunt down the big one, shoot it, tie it to the hood of the car and go home. You have to convince potential employees that you are the best place for them – you have to sell your company, so bet big, go all in and good luck hunting. 

Chris Fields

Chris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who blogs and dispenses great (not just good) advice at Cost of Work & ResumeCrusade.