Effective Recruiting Strategies

The recruiting landscape has changed significantly over the past decade. Just over a decade ago the world of e-cruiting was beginning to emerge as classified ads became replaced with online postings and job boards. Here we are a decade later and a new world of social networks like MySpace and Facebook, as well as, professional networks like LinkedIn and Xing are the newest weapons in the talent war. An integral recruiting strategy will encompass the best in online recruiting approaches, a comprehensive college recruiting program and traditional methodologies of direct competitive sourcing though internal or third party recruiters.

Just as a construction company must use different methods to find clients for their services so must they use different methods to find the right candidates for their positions. Different industries, functions, levels, and geographical areas will necessitate different approaches and mediums. The most important point that must never be forgotten, however, is that the ideal candidate is probably not looking for a job. They are happy with and feeling valued by their current company. That said, they are always receptive to considering a potentially career enhancing opportunity. As such, the approach must seek to attract the buyer first and then qualify second. Unfortunately, many approaches tend to do the opposite in their attempt to screen out the undesirables. While they may minimize the number of unqualified candidates they also have an unfortunate and unintended consequence of weeding out the best ones.

For instance, imagine if an ad agency created a marketing ad for Crest toothpaste that first qualifies those who have authority and financial means to purchase then describes to the audience what they want to sell and what they want from their buyers then they sell their product. The ad agency would be fired immediately yet how often have we seen job ads that read like a menu of what the company wants and a tiny blurb on what the company has to offer in order to attract whom they want?

The recruiting landscape is rapidly changing and in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the ongoing battle for the best and brightest, management, human resource departments and recruiters will need to continually look for new and creative ways of targeting and approaching their future talent. The one thing must never change is that companies must always seek to attract the ideal candidate first and screen them second.

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, postulates that 80% of effects comes from 20% of the causes. I believe that in the case of talent, the percentages are perhaps even more divergent. If that is the case and people are a company's most precious asset, then the most important sales and marketing campaign for a company is the one directed at securing their future superstars and hall of famers. Staying abreast of the newest trends and approaches while continuing to develop deeper competencies in the successful methods of the past is critical. Continuing education and ongoing training for every individual in the field of human capital is the greatest weapon in the ongoing war for talent. Don't be fooled by the short-term stories of the softening labor market. Most professional markets are still facing a shortage however, in time, even the soft ones will rebound. This will provide great job security for anyone who understands and can implement effective recruiting strategies!

Jeff Wittenberg is the Chief Leadership Officer of Kaye/Bassman. His firm is the largest single-site search firm in the U.S. and has won national awards for philanthropy and workplace flexibility. His firm has also been named "The #1 Best Place to Work in Dallas/Fort Worth" in 2005, 2007 and 2008, as well as, "The #1 Best Company to Work For in Texas" in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Jeff is considered an industry expert in executive, professional, and technical search and retention and has been featured in international training meetings and videos. Kaye/Bassman's partners have appeared on local and national television including CNN, FOX, Bloomberg and NBC and have been quoted in dozens of publications including USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Fortune.

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