Recruitment 101 Series

Dear Hiring Manager – 5 tips to Engage your Recruiters and get the Best Results

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I’ve been working with a number of recruitment teams lately around their recruitment strategy for 2014 and the more I work to sharpen the tip of the strategy the more I realise that the commercial conversations don’t happen as often as I think they should.

I remember sitting around a table many years ago with a leadership team for the business group I was the lead recruiter for and they shared with me the dollar figures of what it cost not to have a specific head sitting in the business.  So it went something like – “So Suzanne we need this person to start on the 4th March, which is 5 weeks away.  For every day that we don’t have that person sitting in the business and becoming a productive head it costs us $2,000 in revenue.”  I’m making that figure up, but they knew exactly how much it was costing them to have that seat vacant.   Therefore as the lead recruiter I was now responsible and very much entwined with the commercial success of the business, because if I couldn’t successfully find that person then the business would suffer, and they could put a figure on how much.

success
image source – http://bit.ly/1lSi0K9

That’s pretty powerful stuff if you ask me.  Having these conversation can empower your recruiter to be a business partner and not having these conversations can potentially disengaging them because they are being treated as recruitment administrators.

1) Bring your recruiter into the conversation

By bringing your recruiter into the conversation regarding what your sales targets are for the year, how many heads you will need to successfully hire to meet those target and what you’re going to do as  team, will change the dynamic of the relationship in a positive way.  When you make someone part of the discussion and the solution you ensure that they become accountable along with the rest of the leadership team to deliver what your business area has committed to.  I always find it interesting when I think about the fact that your business’ success is determined by the people who are hired, yet when a role becomes vacant, many times the hiring manager will just send the job description to the recruiter with little time for a proper job briefing, any conversation about the commercial aspects or impacts that not filling the role will have on the business or what they expect from the recruiter, and I don’t just mean – fill the role.

2) Support their sourcing strategy

I’ve personally found that the more engaged the hiring manager is in supporting the recruiter the faster results are realised.  The quality of the process and eventually the candidates are also of much higher quality.   When a role becomes available in a hiring managers team then spending time with your lead recruiter is essential.  The ‘I don’t have time’ excuse many a time will cost you a lot more time in the long run.  Interviewing the wrong candidates or hiring the wrong person because you didn’t take the time to provide the recruiter with a real understanding of the role is never going to be a great outcome.

3) Provide current information

Sometimes when I look at job specifications I wonder what the purpose of the role is.  Many times the information is old, stale, boring and completely out of date.  If you give your recruiters old job specs with little information about why the role is important to the business, what the person will really be doing on a day-to-day basis as well as where this role could go then you should expect average candidates.

Remember the old saying – rubbish in, rubbish out.  Well if hiring managers put rubbish in re the time they give recruiters and the quality of the information then they will probably get the same in return.

4) Be part of the solution when it comes to creating great talent pools

Talent pools are rarely used to their full potential.   Where I’ve seen it work really well is when managers are happy to meet with great candidates who may not be looking at the moment but who are people who you’d like to have in the business in the future.  Ideally if a hiring manager (depending on how often they recruit) can meet with one exceptional potential applicant a quarter, that can then be courted until there is a position to hire then that’s a great support for the recruiter and will help them provide great people fast.

5) Treat your recruiter as part of your immediate team

If I’ m honest, I always gave more of my time, ideas, effort and energy to the hiring managers that did all of the above.  They made me part of their business, brought me to the table to ensure I understood their business, they met with candidates that I thought would be great for the ACTIVE talent pool I was building, they rewarded my success and they acknowledge my efforts.   Once again, you get out what you put in, and it’s no different when it comes to the relationship you have with your recruiter.  If they are not treated like a valued member of the team then you may get a result but will it be the best?   Even working in agency recruitment, it was always the client that gave me their time and effort that I focused my efforts on, because the likelihood of success was greater.

So whether you’re working with Internal, RPO or agency recruiters and/or teams, ensuring you are successful comes down to the quality of the relationship, the time and effort hiring managers are willing to put in and obviously the skill of the recruiter.  Making sure they are sitting at the table to support your business may be the difference between hiring success or failure in 2014 !

If you write an average job ad, then you’re going to get an average response!

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boredThis is how I feel when I read some job ads today!

I’m actually surprised that you’re still reading when you know I’m going to be talking about writing better job ads!!  Well good for you!

Yes I know it’s one of the more boring topics but the more I look at job ads online (for research purposes only of course), the more I’m astounded by how poorly they are still written.

Copy and paste the job description much?

Even though job boards have decreased in popularity compared to other sourcing channels, they are still a key sourcing channel in most regions, therefore it’s still important to craft ads that increase your chances of finding qualified candidates and that diversify your employee sourcing channels. This means writing better recruitment ads, understanding why some recruitment ads fail and using creativity to set your client’s organization apart.

Write Better Recruitment Ads

There are three types of ads you’ll work with most:

  • Internal ads
  • External ads
  • Mobile ads

Internal ads target employees who already work within an organization. Writing copy for these ads uses different language than external ads, which target candidates seeking employment outside of an organization.

It’s unnecessary to extol the virtues of working for the company since the employee already has an idea of the culture and the work environment. Instead, talk about how the job can further their career within the company. You can still provide them with an overview of what that particular division in the business is doing as that may not be common knowledge in an organisation with 3000 plus people.   Tailor internal ads using familiar language, and speak to your candidates as existing employees.  If internal mobility is a key focus area for your organisation then spend the time to write interesting and tailored content for that audience.

External ads explain the benefits of working with the organization. Build the employee value proposition (EVP), and create an advertisement that attracts potential candidates to the organization.  Now I know that you’re sitting there think….yes Suzanne we know all of this.  Well if you know all of this, then my question is, can you honestly, with hand on heart say that you really think about your ads and whether you’re providing Meaning, Challenge and Reward statements that will attract and engage the best candidates?

Research shows that when deciding to either stay with a company or to join a new organisation, the majority of individuals will focus their decisions making on the three key areas outlined below, therefore messaging should be targeted to communicate role meaning, challenge or reward.

how to write a good job ad

The amazing thing is that job ads, if written in a compelling way can increase sharability.  What do I mean?  Well if I’m an active candidate looking for a job and I see a job ad that is a-maz-ing, but may not be right for me, I may just pass it onto an old colleague or friend of mine that I think may be interest (even though they aren’t looking).

We try to think of all these creative ways to attract candidates..which I’m a huge advocate for, but the quality everyday standard attraction methods are declining.

When writing your job ad think about how you can provide insight about the business in a way that does not come from corporate comms.  Think about something interesting about the business or the division. It’s fine to say what you are looking for but think about writing it in a way that is attractive.

job ad2

So instead of saying “experience leading a team”, think about what the hook is for that person…. “with your extensive team management experience, you’ll be leading a senior group of sales experts who need further support and guidance to deliver across multiple regions and markets” .  This says to me, I’ve got some great sales experience in the team, I’ll need to look at better ways to help them deliver in a variety of regions – and that’s my challenge.

When working with mobile ads, which have grown increasingly relevant over the past few years, become aware of how your ad looks on various mobile devices. Mobile ads made for smartphones can become warped on tablets, muddling your ad and rendering it ineffective.  Is your career site mobile optimised or will I be frustrated as a candidate when I go and try to apply online on my phone or tablet?  Don’t lose great candidates because your technology is 2nd grade!

What Makes a Good Ad?

  • A strong headline
  • Effective use of subheadings
  • An enticing job summary
  • Body copy that sells the role

Strong headlines use language with the potential candidate in mind. Don’t complicate the name of a role or use language the client assumes everyone knows. Instead, use clear, concise language. Subheadings introduce vital information, usually at the top of the ad. Use keywords for subheadings, and talk about job perks: parking, location, flexibility, and so on. Job summaries sell the role to candidates. Try to hold their attention in 150 characters, and utilize keywords candidates are searching for.

Use IDEA for the body copy.

IDEA stands for: Interest, Desire, Enthusiasm, and Action.

Interest: What’s the payoff for the candidate? Highlight the interests that make them read on.
Desire: What’s in it for them? Going back to the idea of EVPs, explain the factors that keep employees in the organization.
Enthusiasm: Differentiate the way you post jobs. Don’t use the same ad for different roles. Diversify your ads, tailor them to the job, and make potential candidates excited about reading it.
Action: Tell the reader to take action; compel them. Ask yourself from their perspective: What do I have to do to make this happen?

Using the aforementioned guide creates successful employee sourcing channels and provides recruitment managers with a step-by-step guide for creating better advertisements. However, the most important concept is understanding your candidates and speaking to them through concise and compelling copy.

We constantly talk about how the market is changing and candidates expect more, yet the quality of what we say and do to attract them doesn’t reflect that.  So the bottom line is, if you want a great candidate to apply for your role online, then make the effort and spend the time creating something worth them reading!

Is your application process shooting you in the foot?

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Finding and hiring top talent is challenging, but finding and applying to a top position isn’t exactly easy either. Trawling the job market can feel like an endless task for recruiters and candidates alike, often frustrating, always time consuming and last but not least, exhausting.

Fortunately as recruiters, we have hundreds of ways to speed our side of the application process up; Online application forms, pre-selection tests, web assessments and application tracking systems make our lives easier and essentially help us find the right people. However what works for us, doesn’t necessarily work for our candidates.

In a bid to find that perfect employee you might end up setting up more hurdles than they’re willing to jump. It might seem like a good idea to stringently filter the wheat from the chaff at the start, but put yourself in your candidate’s shoes: Based on your application process, would you apply to your ad?

Have a closer look and you might just find that your application process is shooting you in the foot.

iStock_000018278455_Large

The Right Start

Target audiences apply to certain companies more than others because they enjoy the experience, and an enjoyable application process begins with a great ad.

A candidate won’t spend 15 minutes reading an essay, they need facts, bullet points and it helps if it’s pretty. Corporate colors, logos, and photographs representing the company are always a winner. Got a coffee machine? Mention it in the ad. Remember, you’re not just advertising a job – you’re selling the experience of working at your company.

With this in mind take it a little step further and include staff testimonials. Got nothing to hide? Link to Glassdoor.com and let your employees do the talking for you. Least of all you want to make sure you include links to your social networking sites. If someone is genuinely interested in applying this will be his or her first stop (alongside your website) to scout out your company brand. Make sure you use this to full advantage with a well-groomed Facebook or Twitter account.

Spot the careers section

If a job seeker has opted to head straight to your website, as opposed to stumbling across you on an online job board, then the chances are that he or she are seriously interested in working for your company. So make the application process easy for them and anyone else that lands on your site. The people who are taking an active interest in your business are the one’s who you want to encourage, so don’t hide the jobs section somewhere down in the footer.

Ideally your careers section will be easy to navigate with a simple search tool to look for jobs in different categories. If there doesn’t happen to be any jobs available in a particular field, then why not suggest an open application? Most people with an interest in your company will relish the opportunity, plus it will boost your talent pool, it’s a win-win situation.

Where do I apply?

When it comes to job boards, most candidates spend about 30 seconds scanning an ad to work out if they’re interested or not. Hopefully, that first 30 seconds will have someone hooked but there’s one foolproof way to ensure they slip the net and that’s by hiding the Apply button.

The Apply button needs to be the shining star of your application process. It’s the first step through the gateway to your company and it sounds obvious, but this happens all the time: Placing the Apply button somewhere at the bottom of the ad will result in you missing out on potential candidates.

As much as you’d like them to, don’t assume that your candidates will read every single little tiny detail of your description. Job seekers scan ads the same way we scan resumes so make sure the Apply button is temptingly lingering nearby at all times.

Question Time

In an ideal world we’d post an ad, sit back and wait for an influx of top talent to apply, the hardest part would be choosing one of the many candidates who fit the bill. In reality, it’s a pretty mixed bag and this is why pre-selection questions play such a vital part of the application process.

The trouble is, as great as it would be to filter out the perfect candidate from the very beginning, the amount of questions and tests it would take would result in a 3 hour long application process. In reality, it needs to be less than 10 minutes (max).

First of all, you want to make sure your candidates can apply with their LinkedIn and Xing profiles, this takes about 2 seconds. Secondly, strip your application form down to the bare essentials. Every extra step a candidate needs to take is an opportunity for them to bail, so put your applicants on the fast track by getting rid of the pointless questions and save others (such as references) for later.

Hello?

It should really go without saying, but some of us still haven’t got around to creating an automated response. The top biggest peeve for job seekers is not being acknowledged, quite rightfully so. We’ve all been there and it’s super frustrating especially after you’ve spent 40 minutes crafting a perfectly written cover letter.

Unfortunately most of us don’t have the time to personally respond to each and every application so the easiest way to at least acknowledge your applicants, is to simply set up an email account specifically for the job ad. Next, write a friendly auto-response to assure your candidates that their application arrived and let them know when they can expect to hear from you next.

We all know that merely cherry picking the candidates we want and ignoring the rest leads to a bad rep, so acknowledgement is crucial. Secondly the auto response is great opportunity to include links to your social media channels and other open vacancies, which will help you fill your pipeline for future positions.

Don’t forget that your application process is just an extension of your employer branding so make sure it doesn’t let you down.

A streamlined application process

Essentially the gist of it all is to make your application process quick and easy. Some may argue that a hard grafter will be willing to go the extra mile, if a 20-minute application process is too long then how will they survive in an office? However, it’s all too easy to forget that the war for talent is just that, we’re all battling for the same candidates.

If your competitor is offering a faster track to getting a foot in the door, can you really blame a candidate for choosing them over you? Even a tech superstar who’s used to spending a fair amount of time in front of the screen isn’t going to want to spend hours filling out yet another application.

Make it attractive, make it quick and make sure your application process isn’t shooting you in the foot.

selina Kerley

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

BIO: Selina Kerley is a blogger living and working in Berlin. She spends her days researching the world of online recruitment, in order to bring the latest news, hints and tips and recruitment strategies to the world. Selina is currently working for recruitment software specialists http://www.softgardenhq.com

Mapping your Way to Sourcing Success

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On any journey a map is always a good idea.  Even if you’re planning on being flexible when you get to certain checkpoints.  The fact that you have a guide to where you need to be, when the best time to arrive is and what it may cost you along the way, always puts you in good stead to have a success, hassle free trip.

The sourcing journey is no different and for the best outcome of finding your target audience; planning and knowing where and when you need to be somewhere can be the difference between success and failure.

So how do you plan your sourcing journey I hear you ask?

Well as I mention a map is always a good start.  A Source Channel Map allows you start mapping out you’re the sourcing channels that you believe will work for your specific role or job family.     So let’s say that you’re looking for a Microsoft Dynamic CRM professional; start by placing that title at the centre of my map so it’s clear what the key focus for this exercise is.  Then I start to think about all the places that I could find these people.

Sourcing channel map

By building your map before you go to market, it means that you’re able to get a clear overview of what may work and what may not as well as if there are specific conference, workshops, meetups that you need to be at to network and find the candidates you’re looking for.

So…… Microsoft Dynamic CRM – where could I find them?

1.    Internal sourcing strategy

  • What will we do to attract these people?
  • Does our career site provide a clear overview and EVP that will attract and speak to these types of candidates once we find them or if they find us first?
  • Do we have videos, images and a clear understanding of what it is we are offering them if they come and work here?
  • Do we know what we can offer them?

2.   Referrals from either within the organisation or from other candidates that I’m speaking with

3.   Publications – either print of online.

  • What do these types of candidates read on a daily basis?
  • Are they subscribed to certain websites or blogs?
  • Are there magazines that focus on Microsoft technology that we could advertise in or need to be aware of?

4.   Competitors/Target organisations

  • Are there specific companies that you know these candidates come from that is a good fit for you organisation?  Don’t be shy – go get ‘em tiger!  And if you can’t then find someone who can.

5.   Associations and groups

  • Is there an accreditation that they need to have?
  • Will knowing this make it easier to search for them?
  • Can you find a list of people that have this accreditation to narrow down the search?

6.    Job Boards

  • Are there specific job boards that specialize in attracting these types of candidates?
  • Do they have a database that you can search?

7.    Conferences and Events

  • Where do they congregate?
  • Know your target audience’s tribal mentality.
  • Do they go to Meetups?
  • Are there online forums that you can check out?
  • If there is a conference that you know these types of candidates will be at, then when is it and how much will it cost to attend?

i.    Knowing this information will help you to plan and budget for the year.

8.    Social Media

  • Which social channels are they are? ~ don’t assume, go and look!
  • Are there groups on Twitter?  Are there candidates on twitter that you can find?
  • What about using Facebook graph search as well as seeing if there are Microsoft Dynamic CRM Facebook pages or groups.
  • LinkedIn searching is an obvious one as well.

9.    Search/Title Terms

  • What else could a person with these skills be called?
  • What other titles do they go by?
  • What are the keywords I need to be searching?

10. Recruitment Agencies

  • If I need to use an agency which agencies are right for these types of roles?
  • Which agencies have delivered what we needed in the past?
  • Who knows this market really well?

These are just a few of the sourcing channels that you could use.  Understanding your candidate market and profile is critical in today’s recruitment landscape.  There are so many platforms and so much information that it’s easy to get lost when searching for the right people.

Doing some of the ground work before you start will help you be targeted in your sourcing approach.  It will mean that you’re exerting your energy and budget in the right places.   Building a clear candidate profile will help you to understanding all of these channel better and will ensure that you have the right channels for the right target audience.

5 Simple Ways to Engage your Candidates

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I’m a big believer in video content {she says as she types away!} and recently there have been two very pertinent videos from Social Talent and TruLondon with Bill Boorman which you can view below.

The content of these video are basically talking about candidate engagement and reflecting a true and accurate Employer Brand and cultural insight when engaging with candidates.

I’ve worked with a number of businesses locally and internationally on their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) ~ the WHY employees work there and WHY potential employees would want to work there, as well as their employer brand.   As technology gives us more and more access points to great talent in the market, whether that be through boolean searching, LinkedIn or any other social network, the game is changing.

I can see who has jobs that I might be interested in, and even when I get approaches about jobs, very rarely do people talk about culture and EVP’s of the organisations they represent.

The question I have is do they know what their EVP is and how to communicate it in an effective way?

The other question is, do recruiters start the discussion about culture fit early or is that left till the last interview?

So lets take a look at 5 ways you can engage candidates both before they become applicants as well as when they are going through the recruitment process.

1) Career site Collateralemployer brand

I love being a little nosey and seeing inside different organisations.  I love it when I have a meeting and walk into a reception area and survey my surroundings.  I’m interested to see how I’ll be greeted, what information may be sitting on the side tables and what branding an organisation has around it’s offices.   I’m sure I’m not the only person.   In todays day and age, we have so many tools at our disposal.

Video, imaging, information that we can share about our organisation in a place where candidates can take a look and see what it’s like to walk through our offices.   I also think that we underestimate the impact that this can have on a candidate’s initial interest and engagement in the organisations.    Your career site should be in the top three sourcing channels for any organisation.  It’s the place where potential applicants will go to check out what you’re doing, what you’re about and make a decision whether they think this organisation is right for them.  So the question is, have you invested anything into ensuring it reflects your organisation in the right way? Or is it just a click-through link with a list of jobs and may the companies values?

2) Case studies and storytellingstory

From the age of one most of us love stories.  We love to understand what happened along the way.  Storytelling can be also be one of your companies strongest assets. Why? because it proves that what you are saying is true.  There are people in your organization that are living out the experiences that you say your organisation offers.   We’ve used stories to show a client’s commitment to career progression, how they support diversity {you can see a truly powerful Deloitte diversity video here}, how the CEO interacts with the business and so much more.

Using stories allows you to humanise your brand in a relatable way ~ use it, don’t ignore amazing stories you could be sharing.  I’ll take a great authentic story of what it’s been like for an individual in your company over corporate marketing lines any day.

3) Talent pool Newsletters newsletter

So you’ve taken the time to identify candidates that you believe are right for your organisation.  They have skills, competencies and experience that you’re looking for.  So you segment them off into a Talent pool and…………… you leave them there for however long until you have the right job or someone remembers that they are sitting there.

The candidate doesn’t know they are in a talent pool, they don’t know that you think they are great for your business and they have no idea about what your organisation is doing 6 months down the track  – Brilliant!

The purpose of CRM strategies for Talent pools is to build the employer branding, share your stories and develop the engagement with candidates that you believe are right for your business.  Also telling them that you think this is key as well.   Let’s imagine for a moment that you’ve either been approached or you’ve applied for a role.    Something happens and the role doesn’t go ahead, but the recruiter says to you –

“Jo, we think that you’re skills, experience and motivations are aligned with what we are looking for in our business.  Now we don’t have a role right now for you but I would love to add you to our Talent pool.  What that means is that we communicate on a quarterly basis with a few select candidates that we want to continue to develop a relationship with.  The information that we email out to you will share information on what the business is up to, it may have videos, project updates, what’s happening around our corporate and social responsibility and we’ll share a bit about our culture.  Hopefully this ensures that we’re kept front of mind with high calibre candidates such as yourself and hopefully when an opportunity comes along you’ll have a much clearer understand of what we are about and it can help you make the decision as to whether this is right place for you in the future. ”

Simple. Easy. Straightforward. Engaging.

Who is going to say no to that?  I’m not spamming you.  I’m not sending you and update every day/week/month.  I’ll communicate with you and you can contact me if you see anything that takes your fancy re opportunities with us and we’ll do the same.  If a recruiter said this to me, I’d be impressed.  Just that gesture alone would set them apart.

4) Talent Communitiesgoogle plus

If you have the resource then talent communities are a great way to spread the net a little wider and share your employer brand and EVP to a bigger audience.  It also means that they can actively share your content with their communities and networks.   A number of 3rd party sites are have been around for the past 1-2 years include TalentCircles, Ascendify and AvatureCRM.  These can be used as an additional tool to your ATS and usually integrate with your existing systems.    One that I’m loving is Google+.  Goolge+ has the ability to build free communities that can be restricted to the candidates and people who you want to have in there, it has video capability as well as the usual social connect sharing capabilities.   Here’s are 2 quick video on setting up Google+ communities general & for Talent communities

5) Networking ~ social and face to face

meetup logoNothing replaces talking to people.  I could write a whole post just on this one heading, but the tip I’m going to give you today is to go to networking events your candidates are at, engage with them on social channels in a real and authentic way…meaning don’t just post links but have conversations!  and if you have recruitment social channels then it’s important to get your recruitment team to let EVERY  SINGLE CANDIDATE THAT THEY SPEAK TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL CHANNELS AND WHAT INFORMATION THEY WILL GET IF THEY FOLLOW IT.   I find it amazing when people say a social channel didn’t work but never actually told anyone about it.

Engagement is 70% of the battle.  You can find candidates, you can present them to your business but if they are not interested in your business it’s all a bit of a waste – so spend time thinking about what your message and engagement strategy in the market will be over the next 6-12 months and measure the impact as you go.

Social Talent – SourceCon Video on candidate engagement

TruDublin video on Candidate Engagement

How to Train your Recruiters to be better Sourcers

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If I went to the gym every single day and worked out, would that make me a personal trainer?

If I told someone how to exercise or ate healthy food…. would that make me a personal trainer?

The answer to all these questions is no of course.

Just because I do something every day doesn’t mean that I’m up to date with the latest information, developments or tactics in my field.   It doesn’t make me proficient in delivering high level capability, understanding the process by which excellence can be achieve and really learning the skills, knowledge and ‘how to’ of doing something well.

The same rules apply to the recruiters and sourcers in your team and your business.   Many recruiters have career long habits that are hard to break, they also work day in and day out doing the same thing and can find it hard to apply the information they are reading or learning to their everyday work!  Getting your recruiters to behave and act in a different way takes a number of key actions.

goals
Image by angietorres

1) Training with context

Training with context is much more powerful than training on it’s own.  I can train you and teach you something new, but unless you apply it to your everyday activity or apply it often enough for it to become habit, then that training will serve little purpose.

Now you may train your staff maybe once or twice a year (hopefully)  in new source techniques then cross your fingers and hope that they take some of what they have learnt back to their desks and use it.   In my experience that doesn’t happen very often unfortunately and it’s not the recruiters fault.    Along with training, needs to be a specific goals as to what you want that training to achieve.

Do you want your recruiters to start searching social platforms for candidates?  If you do then how will you change that behaviour post training?

Do they now have a target of placing 1, 2, 5, candidates through the platforms you want them to start searching?

Explain what the catalyst for change has been.  Is it increasing quality of hire, or decreasing cost?  Is it increasing candidates engagement and employer branding through the way they interact with candidates?

Discussing the application of the training will help recruiters to be more goal orientated in the way they use what they have learnt.

2)  Measurable change

“If I don’t know what you want me to do then it’s hard for me to change my behaviour to do it.”

Understanding where the change needs to happen is key.  This is where data becomes your friend {if you have it and if it isn’t already!}.   I hear clients say, “I want us to be better at sourcing”.  When I ask what that means, very rarely is there the answer clear.   Before you can put change into action you need to know what you want the outcome to look like.  When it comes to sourcing the outcome may look different for different job families.

So for your marketing division, the change that needs to happen is that the recruiter needs to build up a more indepth network in the market of these people therefore they need to do X … whatever having a more indepth network means to your business.

If it’s for another role then maybe you want to reduce your job board reliance and use your talent pools instead.

Whatever it is that needs to happen,  be in a position to tell your recruiters and sourcers what the shift needs to be and what it needs to look like.  This means having a baseline level of  information.  So what it is now  and what do you want it to be? ie: reduce recruitment spend by 10% in the next 6 months; or increase the number of candidates hired from our Talent pools by 3%.

3) Reward and recognition

Reward and recognition shouldn’t just be outcome driven; it should be behaviour driven.   Whether your recruiter made a placement this month through the talent pool or not, the fact that they have grow the talent pool by 10 highly skilled and qualified candidates should be recognised.  If that is the outcome that you wanted then be vocal in acknowledging the change that has occurred and the outcome that was achieve.  Also reinforce why the change is good and what it means for the team.

Allowing your recruiters to own their own data, so that they can track the information you want to change, I’ve found to be a big driver.  If they are being rewarded on source of hire which may then result in reduced recruitment costs then being able to run these reports and check the data themselves provides them with the information they need to see if they are on track or not.    I remember when I was a recruiter in the UK, I knew exactly what my source mix needed to be to hit my targets.  I knew how many direct candidates I need to have, how many from agency, referral, internal etc.   As I was able to pull my own data, I’d know well in advance how to drive my activity to ensure that I was able to meet those target.  It was empowering, encouraging and exactly what I needed to change my behaviours when it came to sourcing tactics.  It also provided me with the data I needed to have proactive conversation with my business groups as to what we could be doing re sourcing more of the right candidates.

snapshot

Key Point Snapshot:  

Give your recruiters the ability to be better at what they do.

1) Train them with purpose and targeted outcomes – what do you want them to do exactly?

2) Measure the changes –  Have a base line so you know your starting point.  Be clear again on what the measure needs to look like at the end of the day/week/month/year.

3) Recognise and Reward – if you know what the outcomes needs to be then reward your recruiters when they start changing their behaviours not just once they have reached the goal.

Building an Active sourcing strategy – Your how to guide!

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I recently shared a number of tips on The Undercover Recruiter and wanted to share some of the key messages from that post plus a few additional ideas with you here!

As Greg Savage pointed out in his blog post “There’s no such thing as a passive candidate”, there are no passive or active candidates…there are just candidates.  The majority of people, if offered the right job opportunity would be open to listening to what you have to say.

With this in mind, does your business have a passive or an active sourcing strategy?  meaning, are you only speaking with candidates that approach you or are you out there chasing the best candidates in the market down?

Don Charlton, the CEO and Founder of The Resumator, outlined some great tips and tricks in a recent webinar about building active sourcing strategies.

Here are some key activities that may mean you have a passive sourcing strategy:

  • You post jobs as standard on job boards or LinkedIn and wait for candidates to apply
  • Your recruiters spending days sifting through hundreds of CV’s with no time to actively source candidates and/or build talent pipelines and communities
  • You may tweet a job once and then if there’s no response do nothing else
  • You allow the candidates in your recruitment database just sit there whilst more and more are added, but have no plan to search you database or build a CRM strategy to develop your employer brand with them

If this sounds familiar, then yes you may very well have a passive sourcing strategy!

Being a passive organisation when it comes to sourcing great talent, is never going to provide you with the best outcome or hit the mark at hiring the best candidates in the market.  You’ll always be hiring the best candidates out the talent that saw your ad but not the best talent in the market.

In order to drive change in your sourcing and recruiting function, here are 6 activities that can help you develop an active sourcing strategy:

1) Develop your Employer Brand and market it to your audience

Think of your company a little bit like a product.  You have something great that you want to ‘sell’ (the job opportunity) and communicate with the right people who will be your buyers.  The candidates they you seek are your buyers and you need to show them why your company is the right place for them to be!   A company that is proactive understands that it’s about promoting the organisation.  Give people a reason to be engaged in what you’re doing.

They can see why you do what you do (thanks Simon Sineak), they think that it’s the right environment for them through whichever multimedia you’ve shared and now they want to find a way to get into your company! I call these candidates ‘the identifiers’ – they identify with your goals, environment, culture and vision and now they want a piece of the action.

2) People don’t work for jobs they work for companies

People want to be proud, passionate and positive about their employer.  They want a brand that they feel is aligned with their values and that will provide them with the type of work and workplace that is right for them.

Promote what’s great about the company, the manager, the opportunity in a way that will appeal to your audience.   This may mean that if you are looking for engineers then the types of messaging you put out there needs to appeal to them.  If you’re looking for sales and marketing people then you may have a different approach.   I’ve been really impressed with some of the creative job ads I’ve seen around today.  You can check out some on theSocialrecruiter Pinterest page.

When I was a recruiter, one of the first things I learnt was ‘tell them what’s in it for them in the first line’.  It’s very rare to click into any job board or website ad today (trust me I just looked!) and see any unique candidate benefits outlined. It’s still full of bullet pointed must have skills and that’s about it.

intresting job ads

3) Make your employees fanatical referrers of your jobs within their networks.

I’ve written before about empowering your employees to be brand ambassadors or advocates for you here and here. Find out about what they think of your business; ~ would they refer or recommend it to a friend? If it’s not, then why not, and if it is, then how can you sell those opportunities more internally in order to tap into those great networks and communities? Always remember…top talent, know other top talent, it’s an oldie but a goodie.

4) Get social!

Entertain and educate your talent pools and communities. Give them a reason to come back to your website, blog, and social platforms so that you can not only communicate on topics of interest, but you can tell them about your business and the roles that you have available.   If you’re not interesting then how will you attract the best people?  I’ve debated this with colleagues in the past – do you spend time communicating with your Talent pools?  To me it’s a no brainer – out of sight, out of mind!

If I applied to you a year ago and you haven’t contact me about a role and you’ve communicated with me since then, how am I supposed know what’s going on in your business.  Some people might say, well if the candidate was really interested then they would keep up with what we are doing…..but that goes back to the old school thinking that you’re more important than the candidate.

Share, share, share…..and then share a little more!

5) Be creative

Companies that are using infographicsjobgrams, social sites, photography, video, gamification, etc, they’re the ones being proactive with their sourcing strategies and making an effort to stand out from the crowd. Give something new a try. I loved the line in a recent article about Starbucks that stated:

“If you wait for innovation to be perfect you’ll never try”

Have fun with it as well.  Even the biggest companies in the world have a sense of humour.   I personally love this video from Vend!

6) Socialize

Social networking is nothing without socializing. You can be on every platform available, but if you’re not engaging, meeting, talking to, questioning and answering people then your sourcing strategy will have little impact in meeting your hiring needs.

A community manager once told me: “everything you post online should have a link”.  My immediate thought was, if everything I post online has a link (i.e. I’m sharing something) then when do I just talk to people, respond to their questions or be part of their conversation? Remember that it’s not all about you!

And those are my 6 tips on how to build an active, creative and attractive sourcing strategy.  Don’t just be complacent in communicating with those who are external to your business.  Build a sourcing strategy with energy, creativity, passion and purpose and who knows, you may attract people with similar qualities!