Recruiting top talent was always a challenge but it’s gotten noticeably more difficult in the last year, particularly in technology. And there’s no sign of things getting better anytime soon.
Most companies are simply not evolving their talent acquisition techniques quickly enough to stay competitive and land enough great people to meet their business needs. If you haven’t already radically revamped how you recruit, how you think about recruiting, you will very shortly.
The tightening talent market and economic recovery means candidates are offered a lot of opportunity. In some cases, a new opportunity is presented several times a week to any given person.
Being competitive today means going after talent. The ‘Post and Pray’ method of saturating every job board with your position, unless you are a top tier brand that people aspire to work for, yields poor results.
But how you ‘go after’ talent matters more than ever. Linkedin, with it’s 300+ million members used to be the holy grail of finding and approaching candidates. It’s become so easy to send form letters, Linkedin inboxes are full of irrelevant inmails, candidates often don’t actively use the system.
When I think about what I respond to in other areas of my life, it’s my network above all, the customized message, the compelling proposition pitched to me with an aura of exclusivity. It’s Marketing 101.
Here’s what our most successful clients are doing:
Use one great recruiter, whether it’s an in-house expert or a firm you’ve engaged with, and only them to approach people. Earlier this year, Wells Fargo Bank had no less than 5 people call our company selling their product. The right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing, and made the company look bad, desperate and low end. Don’t mimic that experience in your recruiting.
Go after tons and tons of potential candidates because you can be sure the obvious candidates are the same ones your competition is also approaching. We build recruiting pools of many hundreds of people for some individual contributor roles in tech. If it works within budget and timeframes, relocations can be a successful way to bring on talent. Same goes for visa sponsorship and other accommodations that might differentiate your brand.
Customize messages for candidates, projecting a sense that only they could do the role. This is perhaps the most difficult to accomplish given the volume of candidates you need to reach out to today and probably one of the biggest changes to your recruiting efforts.
Create a connection with candidates—meet in person, break bread, bond. Above all, don’t grill and test before they express interest. Transactional recruiting is dead.
Operate with an intense sense of urgency because your competitors are. Meeting face to face with candidates within 5 days of them expressing interest creates momentum. The faster you can get to ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the less competition you’ll have. Once someone becomes open to a new role, no surprise, they start answering all the ‘calls’ they are getting.
Exceed candidates expectations just like you would in any deal that you want to win. That may be on their compensation requests but often there’s some other aspects to the role, scope, environment, or perks that you might be able to leverage to land who you want.
There simply isn’t enough qualified talent particularly in technology which means many of the best are not looking. You have to find them. And then you have to execute in a way that’s very contemporary, on top of the market trends, and execute well.