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Sourcing candidates

After taking a detailed job brief from your client, it’s time to start sourcing the best candidates

Your ability to source and provide your clients with the best candidate is what will ultimately determine your success. To provide this, you need to tap in to as many sources as possible and give yourself the best chance before a competitor comes along and places them before you.

Remember that practically every recruiter has access to the same candidates so don’t spend all your time chasing one source – you need to expand your market and search multiple sources. The trick is to use every resource available to you. Typically, these are; advertising, external and internal databases, networking and referrals and social media.

Advertising

Advertising is one of the most effective tools you can use to find a perfect match because by targeting a large audience, you can uncover a wealth of potential candidates. When you are designing and drafting your advert it’s important to make a compelling case for why job seekers should apply. Keep it short and engaging and include an appealing job title. You need to sell the dream! Entice your audience with career progression, grab their attention, give them a reason to be intrigued and always remember to finish the ad with the next steps the candidate needs to take and include contact details.

Databases

Your internal database has been engineered to store and retrieve CVs much quicker than Internet resources. Initially I’d contact candidates you have recently sent to interview for a similar position, reach out to other candidates you know that fit the spec and let your team know about the new role you’re working on so they can notify you if they find a suitable candidate. Your database should be filled with previous notes and help you to decide whether they’d be suitable but you can also cross reference with LinkedIn to see if they already have found a new role.

Networking and referrals

Networking is vital for expanding your resource list and making sure you’re seen as an active player in the game. If you do it effectively, you should be meeting people you can place and not just other recruiters. Don’t be afraid to network through your contact base and ask around – you could know someone, who knows someone who is looking for a role – but how would you know if you’re not putting the word out there?

Word of mouth is the most effective tool in recruitment. The majority of the candidates I placed came from referrals and this is probably the same for most recruiters. Sometimes being proactive and headhunting candidates can be the best tactic. Many candidates don’t even know they’re candidates until you approach them. Leaving their current role didn’t cross their mind until they were offered something better.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects you to the world’s candidates and 85 % of professional on LinkedIn are “approachable”. The key is finding the right candidates and then grabbing their attention. LinkedIn products such as Recruiter Professional Services, jobs, and InMail can support your search and put you in touch with the candidates that meet your requirements.

To get started, ensure your research from your job brief is at hand and search for the different job titles that relate to the role. LinkedIn’s Smart Search automatically suggests different titles and skills to make the process easier. Use the ‘Groups filters’ to search for people against their activity rather than what they have written. If the candidates look like they fit the brief you are on the right lines. Once you have found the best Candidate, use the ‘similar’ button next to their profile to find other candidates that might be suitable.

Send an InMail or connection request. Keep it concise. Most people will read your message on their mobile or tablet. Include a short and friendly introduction. Ask when would be a suitable time to contact them to discuss an opportunity you have. Don’t be generic. Good candidates receive a lot of InMails and may ignore the message.

Job boards

Job boards are a great way of sourcing candidates: just a quick search of a job title can bring up hundreds of willing, potential candidates who are eager to hear from recruiters just like you. Despite popular opinion, job boards are not filled with desperate, low quality candidates. Don’t be put off by CV’s older than 30 days. These candidates may still be looking for a role, but are now being either missed or ignored by other recruiters.

The key thing here is quality not quality, so do not just submit the first 2 or 3 you find, how likely is it that they are the perfect fit. Also, don’t always assume that a CV reflects the candidate. No one is a CV expert and often a quick conversation can move someone from the maybe to the yes pile when you take the time to talk through their experience. Job boards do supply a huge number of results so to limit the time you spend trawling through CVs you can apply the 10 second rule.

Sourcing the perfect candidate can be tricky but by effectively using an array of different methods, you will get to the finish line quicker and stand a better chance of succeeding and making both your client and candidate happy.

By James Caan

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One comment

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