From time to time I have had the opportunity to teach my client the power of ‘fishing’ vs. the one time benefit of handing them ‘fish.’ The power and extensibility of creating a repeatable process has many benefits which include having ownership of a passive pool of candidates, creating a branding strategy to build credibility in high potential candidate eyes and the maximum benefit of identifying true ‘A’ players. Contrasted with hiring one talented employee per requisition, and the benefits become glaring.
Typically the request arrives benignly. An old candidate or client will call, they have an urgent need to hire six to eight unique engineers to fill key roles with a government client or private sector client, and I being a professional, begins to walk through my S.P.I.N. questions to truly understand the situation, problems, implications and need-payoffs. By stripping away the layers, I begin to understand their true situation and with that, I now can clearly develop powerful recruiting strategies to provide a cutting edge consulting recruiting solution that will provide massive ROI.
The challenge the client has is significant. How can they have available talent to plug into multiple openings without increasing their staff size? If they do not have access to talent they cannot scale their business, and if they hire prior to their need being critical, they risk having to needlessly invest resources without return. Essentially their newly hired engineer will be on the bench and not billing.
The solution is simple. Begin to view the recruiting function as a lead generation function. Initially I must educate my client on the benefit of creating an internal recruiting strategy that includes subscriptions to Monster, DICE, Career Builder and other such resources. Once subscribed, simply tighten the search requirements and have a boot handle the day to day sourcing.
Second, I find enviable results derived from a competent branding strategy. Branding strategy in recruiting employees is often overlooked but quite effective. There are two avenues that are critical in recruiting employees.
The first is traditional. Simply begin to email market and post card market your company to a very select set of talented employees. Learn their worthiness first before investing by minimally having a conversation with your target. The key is to execute consistently.
The second technique is web 2.0 which is more complex, a bit more time consuming, but once in motion becomes overwhelmingly effective. Focus your effort in four core areas; Article submission, social networking, blogs and your website. The key is duplication. Have multiple article submission sites, multiple social networking sites and several blogs. The mission in Web 2.0 is generate content, so simply have each stakeholder create an article per week and one blog entry per week, and easily you will generate meaty content. On your web site keep your job postings active. Consider a free offer to drive traffic to your site. Once traffic arrives and it will, it is imperative to incorporate a name and email capture space for your email marketing effort. Once a candidate enters their name and email for their free gift, their contact details have been captured and this creates an ability to cheaply and effectively market your future openings, earnings, new clients and other compelling company information which establishes branding.
In parallel, it becomes essential to understand what to say, when to say it and how to enter into dialogues with desirable candidates to quickly build leverage able relationships, which inevitably lead to validated referrals. The marketing effort alone is not sufficient. Building relationships will drive results, which means it is critical your recruiter, either external or internal, has professional grade skills.