After taking a detailed job brief from your client, it’s time to start sourcing the best candidates. There are lots of different facets to recruitment but one immutable component is the client’s expectation; every client has one thing in common – they all want you to find the best candidate who ticks all their requirement boxes and fits in with the rest of the team.
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 otherwise you could be missing out on a hot ticket.
Sourcing the perfect candidate can be difficult, especially if you’re working to tight deadlines. Sometimes the most suitable candidate can be right under our noses – they could either be people you know personally, or someone who is known to your colleagues – 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 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 your advert – whether for print or online – it is essential that you show care and attention and think strategically about what you want to say. Always lead with the opportunity, not what the client wants but what the candidate can expect to gain. 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 give them a way to respond.
It’s important to think carefully about the words you’re using in your advert, especially when advertising online, as this directly effects your SEO efforts and can help you reach your ideal pool of candidates.
Many recruiters are choosing a different approach by taking advantage of technologies such as LinkedIn, rather than relying on traditional formats. However, don’t underestimate the power of your database – this list has been built up over many years and the potential candidates here already have a relationship with you or your agency, therefore they may be more likely to respond. Not only this, you’ll also be able to view previous notes on their record which will help you decide whether they’re the one for you.
When using your database to find a suitable source, I’d suggest writing down what your client is looking for in terms of essentials and desirables (salary, location, qualifications etc) and grading your candidates accordingly. This is a good way of filtering the potentials from the definite no’s.
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.
Social media and job boards
You can utilise social networks when headhunting as an unobtrusive way of introducing yourself. Not only this, social media networks such as LinkedIn have revolutionised the way we recruit. You now have access to the most intricate candidate database there’s ever been with experience, qualifications and aspirations plastered on their personal profile. As well as this, 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.
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.