How companies advertise jobs and source candidates in a talent-starved market is changing at an accelerating pace. In most cases, companies are reacting to market conditions rather than responding with an appropriate strategy. Not surprisingly then, it is the companies that can establish a targeted programme to anticipate and lead the changes which will be the inevitable winners in the ongoing war for talent.
As you plan your sourcing programs for the next 6-12 months there are some important facts to consider. First and primarily, don’t be misled into thinking that your candidate just doesn’t exist. More often than not they do. However, it is likely that your golden goose is laying eggs in one of your competitors… so the questions become: how do you find them and how do you get them over to your team? The latter is easy: money and love (but not necessarily in that order). The former is little more complicated.
In the current market, the majority of exceptionally talented individuals are gainfully employed and thus don’t voluntarily seek out new career opportunities. Since they’re likely to be well looked after by their current employer they don’t expend too much effort in looking for something else. When they do get itchy feet or if circumstances necessitate a move, they will almost definitely Google for their chosen profession and check out some specialty or niche job boards. Then they are likely to start networking with friends and former associates. Then they may consider contacting a recruitment professional.
In short, if your active sourcing methodologies don’t mimic how tomorrow’s talent are investigating new career opportunities, you won’t find very many. To increase your share of this group of top performers who are “passive” seekers and highly selective you’ll need to reach out to them on their terms. Here are some quick tips:
- Rather than using traditional job adverts, tell compelling stories
- Create a positive brand awareness
- Ensure your business is actively promoting itself in the right circles
- Join and use the social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Myspace
- Use CRM software and keep an up-to-date database of applicants and candidates
- Build candidate-friendly websites
- Use creative campaigns to drive traffic to your talent hubs
- Keep “watching briefs” open for exceptional talent – even if it means creating a role to suit them
These are fairly commonplace in most progressive organisations, but unless you are a recruitment firm it is unlikely you would be doing it all. And herein lies the rub. It takes a lot of time and effort to source candidates; time and effort that when measured as an ROI is hard to justify.
Why? Because our research shows it’s not the tools themselves that make these sourcing techniques effective, it’s how the tools are consistently used to make and maintain these important connections. So executing an innovative and comprehensive sourcing strategy is just the start. Don’t expect talent hubs, reverse marketing, Candidate Relationship Management (CRM), networks, databases and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) to solve your sourcing problems. Instead you’ll need to engage, chat, contact, call, and stay closely connected to your network of prospects… and how well you do this will determine the quality of the people you hire and how quickly you do it.
At SCG we find that keeping proactive on this front offers a great opportunity for our clients to increase their share of top performers in a shrinking talent pool. In this market, we use all of the above just to stay even. Engaging a professional search firm to do the “hard yakka” is an excellent way to ensure you stay tuned into the talent that will eventually be tomorrow’s leaders, but if you are of a mind to do it yourself remember in all of this is that the best people don’t look for jobs the same way average candidates do. Following traditional “safe”, tried and tested methods will guarantee you average results, but being creative, different and compelling will allow you to keep the edge – at least for the time being.
Stonewater Consulting Group – SCG – is a leading firm of executive recruitment consultants, providing professional career advice and guidance for candidates seeking executive jobs and management positions across a wide range of industry segments including accounting, legal, finance and banking. Our client services include talent management, executive search specialising in locating senior level managers and corporate executives as well as providing human capital advice & services. Make an online enquiry or contact one of our Principals to hear first-hand how we can add genuine value to your business.