Finding top talent is tough. First you have to think about structuring job descriptions and then it’s onto distributing your advert online. And that doesn’t account for the time it takes to find the right job boards to post the position on.
According to the most recent data from DHI Hiring Indicators, an average of 26 working days worth of productivity are lost while a position sits open. Most companies can’t afford to lose that time and need to hire with more urgency.
There are a few ways you can build a hiring pipeline outside of job boards and find even more qualified candidates for your opening. Here are three examples:
1. Source great applicants through your network
According to Geoff Smart in his book Who, the best job candidates come through personal referrals. Before you start soliciting applications far and wide, consider these five ways to tap into your professional network:
- Network referrals – Talented professionals know other talented professionals. Aim to connect with the great people in your network and ask for referrals for possible candidates.
- Staff referrals – Consider an incentive program that motivates current employees to recommend strong candidates from their networks.
- Deputizing friends of the firm – Do you have any partners or consultants who help you grow or manage your business? Offer them incentives for sending good referrals.
- External recruiters – Professional recruiters can be a powerful asset, but to be effective, they need to have a thorough understanding of your business and who you need to hire.
- Recruiting researchers or headhunters – These firms do not interview prospects but they do investigate your target market and generate a list of candidates. The more specific your scorecard is, the more likely you are to get ideal candidates.
2. Industry events
Industry events are the perfect place to look for your next possible hire. They’re often saturated with passionate professionals who want to meet and network with similar sorts of people. For instance, when Kayako hired our customer service team, we met great candidates at Elevate Summit, SupConf and WriteTheDocs.
Consider these tips for making the most of a conference for networking and recruiting:
- Look over the list of attendees in advance and make note of anyone you want to connect with.
- Don’t just collect as many business cards as you can. In the long run, establishing a personal connection is better than speed networking to meet as many people as possible.
- Look for the people who ask engaging questions at presentations. But beware of audience members who brag or reiterate that they’ve already done what the presenter talked about.
- When you get a business card, make a few quick notes about what you and the person talked about so you can remember how to best follow up.
The issue with these kind of events is they only run once a year or every few months. If you’re out of luck with your timing, consider attending weekly or monthly meetup groups. These are easy to find on Meetup and Eventbrite and they’re almost always free to attend.
3. Nurturing interns
Most companies have an internship program or offer college students and recent grads summer placements. If your company doesn’t have one in place, now might the right time to give it a try.
Some of the benefits of having an internship program are:
- Finding future employees at a low cost
- Improve the leadership skills of supervising team members
- Test-drive the talent
Interns can be wonderful job candidates. For example, our Kayako engineer interns have worked on critical development projects, such as building a tool for local languages in Kayako software. Interns on the marketing team create SlideShare presentations, e-books and organize webinars. And the work doesn’t go unnoticed. Those that go above and beyond are offered jobs.
To help your interns be successful, have their supervisor check in often to ensure their goals are being met and they’re learning new things. Also, have regular performance management meetings weekly, fortnightly and monthly.
Try these recruiting methods before posting online
Scouting for talent can be long winded and exhausting. But you can help your company find excellent candidates offline. When you use your network effectively, friends or colleagues can be a great help in your search for an ideal candidate.
Another effective tactic is to turn up at relevant events in your industry, such as conferences or regular local meetups. Finally, don’t forget about the young apprentice that could be sitting across from you. Interns under great leadership and guidance can be a real asset to your company.
Source: Erin Engstrom