3 Strategies to Recruit Top Candidates
By: Ben Weiss
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"The rate of job creation has been slower than what we would have expected at this point in the recovery, but the market is stable." Matt Ferguson, CEO CareerBuilder.
As the United States economy continues on the slow road to recovery, an annual employment survey conducted by CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive (in which 2,298 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,892 U.S. workers were polled) between May and June 2012 found that 44 percent of the respondents planned on increasing full-time staff members during the second half of the year. This figure is up from 35 percent of respondents who mentioned the same in 2011.
Interestingly though, the percentage of respondents stating that they would be increasing the number of temp workers also increased from 12 to 21 percent between 2011 and 2012.
This juxtaposition highlights a key issue in today’s hiring market: while employers are now ready to bring on new talented staff members, many firms are having trouble finding the right candidates to suit their needs.
For example, according to another annual survey by HireRight - an employment screening firm in Irvine, California - 71 percent of the respondents reported a desire to bring on additional staff this year.
However, as HireRight’s CMO Rob Pickell notes to California news source The Press-Enterprise, areas of emphasis have shifted from cutting costs to weather the economic downturn to finding, developing and retaining talent with the right skills. This issue is especially prevalent in the IT world in which many open positions exist, but that require core competencies that high volumes of applicants may not possess.
Moreover, Pickell mentions that many companies have become so fixated on avoiding risk that their candidate search becomes limited to only the best-of-the-best, making their hiring standards difficult to meet.
The result is that many firms that could use new employees simply put the process on hold until they find that “purple squirrel,” or mythically-perfect candidate, oftentimes leaving open positions unfilled or leaving hiring managers to resort to temporary workers (as suggested by the statistics in the earlier part of this analysis).
So, what’s a hiring agency to do when it needs new employees but is having trouble finding the right ones? Here are a few tips that may help fill the void.
1. Be open
When it comes to securing the best candidates, it is important for hiring managers to remember that these individuals will want to know how their input will fit into day-to-day operations. With that in mind, it would be wise for any hiring firm to explain to candidates exactly what their responsibilities will be and how much creative freedom they will have. It would also be wise for hiring managers to relay to candidates whether they will be working closely under a project coordinator or autonomously.
Simultaneously, in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises, hiring agencies would also be well advised to be open about corporate culture. As important as it is for candidates to understand their core responsibilities, having a clear picture of their working environment could be the make-or-break once the offer is on the table.
2. Work with a specialized staffing and recruitment firm
Unless a company has the major internal hiring resources of a Fortune 500 company, it may be difficult to comb through the pool of available candidates to pinpoint the right fit. As such, a viable alternative is turning to a staffing and recruitment firm that specializes in the specific technologies being sought by the hiring agency. Specialized recruitment professionals are often experts in candidate relationship management, affording them superior insight into what prospects would thrive in a particular position.
3. Don’t hesitate to show enthusiasm
If a hiring manager is excited about a prospect, make it clear. Some companies may want to create a certain mystique by not showing much emotion, but with the hyper competitive job market, top talent is going to get scooped up fast. On that note, when a company feels good about a candidate, it makes sense to bring them in for a second round interview or just pull the trigger lest the firm lose that prospect to another agency that was willing to move faster.
Infusive Solutions Inc. is a niche technical recruiting firm within the Microsoft Partner Network dedicated to serving the workforce needs of our clients as well as taking our candidate’s careers to the next level.
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