Finding great people to help make your company productive and profitable isn’t easy. It’s getting more difficult every single day. It’s not impossible, and going back to basics when searching for top talent can help. Any time I am working with a new client or position requisition, I spend time with the hiring manager. I ask questions and go beyond the formalities or job description. It’s important to get a feel for the managing style and personal approach that a hiring manager brings. In our jobs, we often spend more time with our co-workers and our bosses than our own spouses, and this type of compatibility is often not important. It’s not important until we make the wrong hire focusing solely on culture fit or qualifications.
Spending an extra 45 minutes with a hiring manager and their team can make all the difference. Getting a lay of the land to understand the team dynamic and job and position priorities. Building trust and relationship with a hiring manager takes time but it provides you a foundation. I like to take things a step further treating my open requisitions especially those that are specialty much like a consultant would. This means using a more formal process using a questionnaire and a communication scheduled between recruiter and client.
A recruiter’s most valuable asset outside of their relationship with the hiring manager is the direct communication lines, such as phone and email. Similar to how a public relations professional leverages their professional rolodex for clients, recruiters recruit and fill positions using similar strategies. While I support social media recruiting as an important piece of the talent acquisition puzzle, fostering and building relationships through phone calls and email is the single most reliable way a recruiter can fill positions. This doesn’t mean always include calling potential candidates directly but touching base with key players, industry leaders, influencers, and informants to help guide your talent search and recruiting process.
The Most Effective Way to Recruiting Talent
One of my most effective recruiting strategies for filling multiple positions when faced with a deadline is to offer my rolodex an incentive in which to fill my candidate funnel. Sometimes a simple item like a digital camera or popular tech tool can be an effective and inexpensive carrot in which to funnel qualified candidates in your direction. A simple email and series of phone calls offering the incentive to your rolodex has led to positions filled within hours instead of months all at the cost of an iPod Nano. Recruiters should focus on building contacts and relationships with industry leaders and influencers using more intimate methods to establish a more grounded relationship. This means scheduling calls, Google hangouts, or in person meetups with a variety of new and different leaders instead of candidate hand holding. Give yourself a goal in which to meet like 4 per week by focusing not only the value that this new contact could bring but also on the value in which you could provide them. People tend to give when they know they have received. Before recruiting online there were only conversations, phone calls, and relationships being developed. The world moved at a slower and sometimes more genuine pace. By not losing sight of the basics of your recruiting practice, you can truly set yourself apart.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.
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