How to Go Rogue with Your Recruiting Efforts

January 8, 2013

11:00 am

With unemployment at 7.9 percent, the job market is flooded with candidates. But are they the right candidates for your jobs? The truth is, the skills gap in the U.S. means your wide pool of applicants doesn’t always translate to the talent necessary to fill open positions.

You also can’t just post your position and pray the best person for the job will fall into your lap. Overinvesting in learning search algorithms, however, isn’t the answer either. Search algorithms, like Boolean strings, are formulas you can plug into search engines to hunt down passive candidates.

The problem with these algorithms is that, by the time you finish learning a search string, you could have already connected with the top talent you need. And it’s likely your competitors have already swooped up the best people.

It’s time to step off the beaten path and go rogue, says Lori Fenstermaker, founder of Scavado, an online talent search engine. Changing up the way you find great people will give you a competitive advantage in your hunt for the best talent.

Stop Stringing Along…Get Technology Instead

As mentioned, it’s possible to use Boolean strings to find great passive candidates, but first you have to master the art of putting these complicated search algorithms together. This means long classes and hours of trial and error before you finally get it right. And whether you’re just starting up or running an already successful company, it’s likely you just don’t have the time to invest in these search practices.

“Instead of stringing along, get a platform to do all those complicated search algorithms and focus on the people it finds. Whether you’re a recruiter, an HR pro, or doing the hiring for your startup, the odds are you don’t have time to devote hours to mastering Boolean string theory,” Fenstermaker said. “Letting technology pick up the slack allows you to focus on what’s really important to leaping the skills gap: connecting with people.”

Don’t Follow the Pack

You’re a hiring maverick and, as such, you’re a leader, not a follower. So why are you still looking in all the same haunts for talent? Everyone is looking on the big social networks and job boards for top prospects. If you just follow the herd, you run the risk of being a few steps behind all of your competitors.

Instead, start looking for talent outside the usual online hangouts. There are sources less traveled located all over the Internet for the savvy hiring manager looking to break free of the pack. For instance, perhaps look to professional groups for a specific skill set your ideal candidate should possess.

“I’ve had great luck finding passive talent in industry-related Meetup groups, alumni organizations, attendee lists, discussion threads, and even press releases,” Fenstermaker said. “Don’t wait for the perfect person to fall into your open position — it’s time to get proactive!”

Pick Up The Phone!

You’ve found great talent, you’ve cut down on hours of searching, and you’ve stopped finding the same candidates as your competitors. Now it’s time to pick up the phone and get in contact with your top prospects. The best way find the talent your company needs is to stop waiting around for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect Candidate to come along. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of numbers and algorithms and miss the real human being behind the passive candidate on screen.

“My problem with endless search strings and long classes was the moment I realized they were keeping me from actually connecting with great prospects,” Fenstermaker said. “I found once I could let a talent search engine do the work for me, I could focus on picking up the phone and getting out in front of my search.”

Now that you have a viable talent pipeline, it’s time to get in touch with potential superstars to see if they’re the right fit for your company. To move your company forward, you need to focus on connecting with the right people in the hiring process.

What are some ways you go against the pack to find the best candidates? Share in the comments!

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Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Find Heather on Google+.

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