Recruiting & Candidate Development
No advantage is too small when faced with a difficult search, and there’s simply no reason not to ask for as much help as possible before you begin—especially from your client. Not only do I want to know the sources of all candidates interviewed to date, I also want to know where candidates with the requisite skills might be found, such as competitors, companies with similar products, non-profit organizations, universities, research centers and so on.
It never pays to be shy when gathering useful information. On one search assignment, I asked the employer to run a computer printout of his company’s direct competitors, complete with their addresses and phone numbers, and then circle the ones most likely to harbor suitable candidates.
On another assignment, I had the gall to ask the HR manager from my client’s competitor to send me all the resumes his company received from a recent ad for a similar position. To my amazement, 300 resumes arrived at my office via UPS the next day, and from the pile of unwanted candidates, I recruited one who was ultimately hired by my client. I can’t recall any special technique I used to solicit the resumes; I guess the HR manager was in a good mood the day I asked for them. But if I hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have received.
Thirteen Additional Sources of Referrals
There are a number of vehicles for increasing your candidate flow other than the investment of your personal phone time. These include:
1. Networks. Many successful recruiters turn to all-purpose or niche market networks to augment their supply of candidates and increase their billings. (For a list, please go to Recruiter Networks.)
2. Collegial supporters. By asking for help on a difficult search, you may find another recruiter who’ll save the day by supplying you with the perfect candidate.
3. Industry, trade and alumni directories. Need I say more?
4. Company phone books. Like alumni directories, company phone books can be worth their weight in gold.
5. Inter-company publications. Most organizations of any size distribute monthly or quarterly newsletters to their employees. Chatty in nature, these publications read like a People magazine for recruiters.
6. Patent ownership. I like this technique for finding brainy candidates. Remember, for every product on the market, there’s an inventor (that is, a referral source or candidate) that’s applied for patent protection.
7. Position advertising. I’ve never placed my own ads for candidates; however, on rare occasions, I’ve written classified ads for my clients, who pay for the insertions.
8. Self-advertising. Many recruiters run classified ads in trade magazines to increase their visibility—and their candidate flow.
9. Trade show attendance. There’s no fun like trolling for recruits. If you don’t attend your target market’s trade shows at least every other year, you’re missing out on a wealth of opportunities.
10. Job fair participation. Many job fairs are generic or location-dependent and tend to attract unemployable or entry-level candidates. However, some recruiters swear by them.
11. Listing your business in the Directory of Executive Recruiters. The most visible directory of recruiters is published annually by Kennedy Publications (Fitzwilliam, NH, 603-585-2200). As a result of my listing in the directory, I receive anywhere from five to 10 unsolicited resumes a day. While most of the resumes are totally inappropriate and end up in the trash, some are right up my alley.
12. Research assistance. Your recruiting situation may require you to do all your own candidate sourcing, which is fine. On the other hand, if you’re in a position to hire someone to help you, it might improve your overall efficiency. For a list of independent researchers (whose fees range from $50 to $100 an hour), contact Ken Cole, publisher of The Executive Search Research Directory in Panama City Beach, FL, at 850-235-3733.
13. Personal visibility. Whether you speak at your local Chamber meeting, write an article on changes in the work force, or attend a national trade association convention, your personal visibility will stimulate candidate referrals as well as marketing leads.
Naturally, each search situation will determine the usefulness of these various candidate flow vehicles. Whatever method you choose, remember that in our business, there’s no such thing as too much high quality inventory.
Bill Radin is a top-producing recruiter whose innovative books, CDs and training seminars have helped thousands of recruiting professionals and search consultants achieve peak performance and career satisfaction. Bill’s extensive experience makes him an ideal source of techniques, methods and ideas for rookies who want to master the fundamentals—or veterans ready to jump to a higher level of success.
One of the most popular and highly regarded trainers in the recruiting industry, Bill has trained many of the largest independent and franchised recruiting organizations, including Management Recruiters, Dunhill, Sanford Rose, Snelling and Fortune Personnel. His speaking engagements include the NAPS national conference, the annual Staffing Industry Summer School in Chicago, and dozens of state association meetings and network conventions, including Top Echelon and Splits.org.
Bill's recruiting career began in 1985, after he received his Master's degree in Music Performance from the University of Southern California. A specialist in the sensor and instrumentation industry, Bill serves his client companies by filling sales, managerial and technical positions.
Under his leadership as manager and training director, Bill helped Search West of Los Angeles and Management Recruiters of Cincinnati set individual and company billing records.ɮ addition to his best-selling industry-specific books for recruiters, Bill has also authored the critically acclaimed career books, Take This Job and Leave It and Breakaway Careers, published by Career Press.
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