I will first say that I do see value in job boards, and believe it is a critical tool to become successful as a sourcer/recruiter. It’s like building a house. You can not and would not build a house with just one tool. It takes many tools to build a home that will stand the test of time. As a recruiter/sourcer, you need to take the same approach when finding the perfect candidate. Not only will you be successful, but you will be able to find candidates no one else is working with. Doesn’t it feel good when you get asked how you found a candidate, and you have some great story about the sourcing technique? I believe you can find a lot of value in your internal ATS, while taking advantage of work done by others.
What would you need to start your own staffing company? Answer: Telephone and a subscription to a job board. However, you will soon realize almost every candidate you speak with has 5 other better opportunities he/she is exploring. I have always been a believer in if you live by the jobs boards you will die by the job boards…
Let me explain a little for those of you who do spend a lot of time on these boards. What is the first thing you do when you find a good candidate on the job board? If you are doing your job you most likely put this candidate into your ATS. As time goes on, this candidate more than likely has either found another job, or decided to stick it out with his/her current employer thus making him/her a non-active candidate. Many times these candidates realize they have made a bad choice, and would be interested in listening to potential better job opportunities. BAM! This passive candidate is like gold, and where you want to be spending your time. Chances are they have not been kept in touch with by other agencies, and at times you are the only one they are speaking to about a new position. You will need to be cautious about working with these candidates. This can be a double edged sword, and you will need to dig into why they would want to make a switch so soon, or why they have again decided to leave their employer. Last thing you want or need is a candidate who will again leave your position for another better opportunity.
I know what you are saying at this point….”I dig through the database, and NO ONE is interested” or “I dig through the database and feel like I leave 1000 voice mails.” You will have days like these when working through an internal ATS, but I guarantee if you put into the work you will yield great results. Stick with what you are doing, and the numbers will owe you (I always thought this phrase was a bunch of crock, but for some reason it always rang true).
It is no secret, passive candidates are the candidates we all want to be working with. Working with passive candidates gives us a better opportunity to sell them on the position we have, and gives us a better chance to reduce fall off after an offer has been accepted. Those who succeed in this business, are the ones who can find and sell to these candidates.