Employers can use 2 key recruitment strategies – direct sourcing and setting traps – to find scarce talent
By Harpaul Sambhi
In past blogs, I’ve taken a look at what not to do when it comes to using social media for recruitment and some of the strategies that work well.
The final piece of the social media recruitment puzzle is “progressive search” — also known as headhunting.
One of the key differentiators for headhunters and agencies — in the era before social networks — was their rosters of candidates. They would pool thousands of contacts, showcasing only a few to potential buyers. Now that networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ are here, that value has diminished.
Employers — instead of waiting (and hoping) for candidates to appreciate the organization’s branding strategy — can take a few recruiters, teach them the art of insourcing and make it their sole responsibility to network with candidates and place them in the organization.
The hunting strategy can be divided into two parts:
•directly going after candidates through networking
Direct sourcing is becoming popular in many progressive organizations. They have dedicated insourcing specialists who research and develop relationships with users they intend to hire in the future. Some use Google Alerts or advanced Boolean searches to find candidates who match specific criteria.
Social media has made it easy for organizations to replace external headhunters with insourcing specialists who can find passive jobseekers with a simple search.
You can try it out for yourself. Just go to a professional network site, type in a few key skills and the name of an organization that employs similar talent. Within seconds, you will have a list of passive candidates with desirable skills and experiences.
The information on the website will give you a good idea of whether or not the candidate is qualified and worth inviting for an interview. Whether or not they want to work for your organization is another matter, which is why insourcing specialists also use social media to build relationships and show these potential recruits the value of working for the organization.
Setting a trap
Setting a trap is a way organizations can quickly identify potential candidates who should be short-listed for recruitment purposes.
You can do this by visiting sites that are geared to the type of candidates you are looking for, such as a wiki, forum, expert blog or Q&A section on a professional network. Post a question only a qualified candidate could answer. Ask the hiring manager to come up with something challenging that can automatically separate the qualified from the unqualified.
You can then connect with the qualified person, talk about the issue, find out if he’s interested in changing jobs and then invite him in for an interview. If you don’t have the knowledge to carry on an intelligent conversation on the subject you’re using to identify qualified candidates, give this task to someone who does — because experts will see through your trap unless you’re as knowledgeable as they are.
While this strategy will also yield responses from service providers and others looking to sell you a solution, they will still help recruiters build stronger networks because these providers will have other contacts in the industry who recruiters can leverage.
Harpaul Sambhi is the CEO of Careerify, a company that develops social recruiting tools focused on employee referral programs with offices in Toronto and San Francisco. He is the author of Social HR, published by Carswell, which sheds insights in how social media is impacting human resources. He can be reached at email@example.com, (416) 840-6216 or visit www.careerify.net for more information.