March 28, 2017 1:38 PM

Prepared Recruiting: 4 Ways to Beat Luck With Preparation

You don’t need luck to be a better recruiter. In fact, it may seem that the harder you work, the more luck you have. This is no coincidence. Recruiters are expert strategists by nature - and the more prepared you are for any hiring situation, the better the outcome will be. Here are 4 ways to prepare for better recruiting.

Look at the long-term view

It’s March - you’ve got requisitions piling up that every manager claims they needed filled yesterday. It’s hard to think about next month right now, never mind later in the year. But preparing for the future will make your life easier down the road, and it doesn’t have to be a distraction now. Whether you are a corporate or agency recruiter, a number of short conversations this month can help you evaluate what new roles are coming. Schedule meetings with some of your key hiring managers or clients, letting them know that you are interested in learning about their future projects. Rather than a general check-up conversation, set an agenda for this meeting with the questions you would like answered:

  • Are there any specific projects that they have planned or are seeking funding for? What roles will they be seeking to fill for these projects? Explain that you don’t need specific details at this point, but that you would like to be prepared. Most hiring managers will appreciate the foresight and know that you are on their side.
  • Are any members in their team up for promotion or planning to make a career move in the near future? Have they considered any succession planning that you can help with?
  • Can they give you a description of their current core team members? This can help you to build a talent pipeline in case any unexpected changes occur. Often times the perfect candidate can come along before the role does. Let the hiring manager know that you are preparing a talent pipeline that could be to their benefit.

Clean up your Candidate Database

When was the last time you cleared out your old, out-of-date contacts? Do you know if your contact from three years ago is at the same company? Do they have the same email address? As a recruiter, your candidate database is your lifeline, so keeping it maintained is essential. In the digital age, finding candidates on LinkedIn or social media can inform your profiles. This might seem like a mammoth of a job, but if you start now you will see more and more of your candidate profiles becoming up to date as you need them. Spend an hour or two each week researching candidates that are already in your database - starting with the oldest which are more likely to need updating. Your candidate database can be worth its weight in gold, so it’s important to start maintaining your candidate information. If you’re struggling to find the time - or the information - you need to do this, speak to us at vsource about our Data Integrity offerings.

Review the Competition

It might be a while since the last time you really looked at the competitors taking candidates out of your pool. In the past many specialized skills led to one career path - maybe two. However we are now seeing a definite shift in this trend. Organizations are now extending their talent pools by adapting to candidates with non-traditional backgrounds - candidates that may be sitting in your talent pool. Spending a small amount of time reviewing where your recruiting competition lies will prepare you for changes in recruitment trends as time goes by. This is also an opportunity to view how direct competitors are using alternative skills and backgrounds to meet their workforce needs - showing you how to get creative in your hiring.

Build a Talent Community

I am a big advocate for the concept of a talent community and I mention it often. It is an informative and efficient way to keep your talent pipeline engaged without spending hours at meetings or on calls to each individual candidate. If you are struggling to build an initial candidate pipeline, save time and allow vsource to help. There are a number of ways to create a collaborative community, depending on your level of engagement and the geographic profile of your pipeline:

  • Build an online network. This could be in the form of a forum hosted directly on your company’s website, a closed LinkedIn group, or depending on how formal your connections are even a closed Facebook group. Building an online network gives back to your candidates by allowing them to network with similar people in their field. It is a small step to take, but when a candidate feels that they are getting something from your relationship with them, they are more likely to remain engaged and interested. You can control the conversation in these networks with a small amount of monitoring, helping you to reach tens or hundreds of candidates with only a couple of hours a week. To add value to your network you may wish to periodically publish important or useful information within your platform.
  • Host networking events. Hosting networking drinks or having an industry leader come and speak to your candidate pipeline each quarter nurtures your relationship by again adding value for each candidate. Over a two or three hour networking event you can speak to up to fifty candidates - and meet some more by asking your pipeline to invite their colleagues. The trick for efficiently hosting events for your candidate pipeline is not to let the event planning eclipse your everyday recruiting - you are not making a career change to event planner. Find a venue that will accommodate a decent number of your candidates, and that will provide audio-visual equipment if you are having a speaker. Let the venue take care of the details. Keep these details simple, and either mention the event on your online network or schedule one or two emails inviting candidates to the event. If you happen to be speaking to some of these candidates before the event mention it, but again keep it simple.

You don’t need luck to be the best recruiter you can be, but I’m sure it doesn’t hurt. If you are interested in learning more about better recruitment, contact vsource today.

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