Social Recruiting consulting

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!

Social Recruiting ~ Easy Content Curation

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One of the many fears of getting online that I hear from HR, Marketing and recruitment professionals when speaking to them about their Social Recruiting strategy and activity is  “What will I share and what will I say”.   This question seems to perplex people and is one of the many reasons why companies are not engaging online, for fear of running out of things to say.

The task seems daunting to some when there is so much information available. Social Recruitment MelbourneSocial Recruitment Melbourne

This may be because you don’t feel you have time or maybe you’re not sure where to look.

Here is one key tip on curating your online content to make life a little easier.  

Google, obviously being the all-knowing site, is a great place to start. Using tools such as Google Alert and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, can make your daily search for content so much easier, as well as provide all the information you need in one easy to read place!

Simply put, Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new results based on the searches that you’ve asked it to conduct.  This could include web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs that match your search term. You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web. For example, you can use Google Alerts to:

  • find out what is being said about your company or product.
  • monitor a developing news story.
  • keep up to date on a competitor or industry.
  • get the lastest information on a particular skill or industry

How does it work I hear you ask?

  1. You enter a query that you’re interested in like “Social Recruiting”
  2. Google Alerts checks regularly to see if there are new results for your query.
  3. If there are new results, Google Alerts sends them to you in an email.

If you choose to have an update once a day then Google alerts will send it to you at the time of the day that you originally set the query up at.

Here are a few other search queries that you can set up:

This is just for monitoring what is being said in the market, which is always useful information to have about your organisation –

  • Enter your company name in quotes to receive a daily email with the latest news, blogs and web results about your organisation.  Example: [ “Hudson RPO” ]
  • If you get a lot of results from a site that you aren’t interested in, you can exclude results from that site. For example, if you don’t want results from, add [ ] to your query. Example: [ “Hudson RPO” ].

Other content to pass onto followers or candidates

  • Any great articles about your organisation that you’ve found.
  • Tweet or Retweet great things other people say about your organisation
  • Share information on a particular industry or technology then your search queries could cover these topics.  i.e. find and share information on  ‘Ruby on Rails’ (RoR) technology. Set up a search query for this and then share any articles, discussions etc. that include thiscontent with your followers.
  • You can also follow blogs and news sites that are of interest.  For recruitment I personally follow The Undercover Recruiter, and a number of other blogs that I have added to my RSS feed so that I can see what’s new every morning.   If it’s worth sharing and I think my followers would enjoy the content I then share this on my Twitter and LinkedIn feed.

Having regular and interesting (the optimal word being interesting) content, will help grow your following.  If you are using this for recruitment, then it’s a great way to provide candidates that you’re searching for with information about things that are of interest to them.  It’s just another reason for them to engage with you.

Remember that you can curate your own content as well.  

If you have specific information you want to share from your corporate communication department, including media releases or there is content within the business that can be shared externally, then you may have some great information already available to you.

If you have a full social recruiting plan that includes things like Facebook, Instagram and or Pinterest then there will be many other forms of information and content that will be at your disposal, so remember that there is easy access to information that is available to you and then there is tailored information you can create yourself to show what your business is all about.

It’s about finding the balance of sharing information you find, engaging in conversation and creating your own personal content.

A step by step guide to setting up your Google Alerts

How to Manage your Twitter split personalities

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The Social recruiter1

Having multiple accounts these day for so many different things can be confusing.

You have to remember whether you used your personal email address or your business one.  Which password, which profile and keeping up with your online self can be a challenging task!

Twitter is no different.  Many people have multiple accounts for their different personal and business lives, so managing your Twitter split personalities can at time be a little exhausting.   If you have a very clear message for that channel then life become oh so much easier.

The first question I always ask is, ‘what is your objective for engaging on this platform?’ 

Once you’ve outlined your objectives then it’s clearer to see what the strategy needs to be.  For example if your objectives are to promote your business, network with individuals with similar business interests and share information specific to your line of work, then you can have one Twitter account with a clear overview of what you want to tweet, when you want to tweet it, what conversations you can get involved in as well as what tone and guidelines you will use for your business account.

If you want to engage with different audiences then the second option is to have two Twitter accounts where you discuss different topics and engage with different followers.  When you start to mix the two streams of conversations it can be confusing for your followers to know what your primary focus is and therefore may discourage them from engaging with you encase they feel they are getting it wrong.

Building your professional profile and personal profile accurately is very important as the conversations that you have will only be relevant to a specific audience.

Personally I have two Twitter handles ~ one is @Styliseme which talks about all things Fashion, Food, trends, social media, craft and Lifestyle.  It supports my personal blog STYLISE which covers all of these topics and my followers on that Twitter account have similar interests.

If I started to talk to them about HR, Talent Management, Innovation, candidate sourcing and recruitment then I’m guessing they would switch off quite quickly and get bored, as this is not an area of interest for them, therefore I tweet to my @SuzChadwick followers about all things HR & Innovation as that is where my audience for these subjects engage on these topics.  Speaking to people about what is of interest to them will help build your audience a lot quicker because they are more likely to share your content with others that they are connected to.

Technology enabler

As the mobile and tablet Twitter apps easily allow you to toggle between your multiple accounts, keeping up with your different handles is not difficult, and as many tweeters will tell you, it’s not always about making time for your social platforms but rather incorporating your activity on them into your everyday working life.  If you work out how to share content on a regular basis through these communication channels. then the conversation will grow and you’ll find it easier and easier to share, respond, engage, ask questions etc.  You’ve just got to throw yourself into it to really get the most out of it.  As I always say, if you went to a networking event and sat in the corner and didn’t speak to anyone, then walked away and said ” that was a really rubbish event, I didn’t meet anyone, no one spoke to me”, then I’d have to say; who fault is that?  Find your voice and you’ll see that people are keen to engage with your on whatever topics you want and that is where the gold is and where our online success can be found.

image source

Social Recruiting Twitter Basics – How to get your business online and get started!

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Social media for an individual or small business starting out can be a daunting task.

Who is going to talk to ME?

What will I say?

Will anyone follow me?

The questions and the fear can paralyse people into inaction, which is understandable! it’s like the first day of high school all over again.

But just like school, you will end up meeting someone you connect with and you’ll grow your candidate base from there.

If you’re a HR and/or recruitment professional looking to use Twitter as part of your recruitment efforts this year then here is a basic ‘how to’ on getting started.

One thing I would say before you do get online is have a conversation with others in your business or with a social recruiting consultant to help you map out some ideas out of what your direction, content, tone and risk mitigation plan will be.  It’s best to know this before you start so that you’re prepared for the long haul and not just for the first 3 weeks.

General tips for any newbies:

  • If you’re creating your account to engage in social recruiting, then it’s best to have a company based account so that staff turnover doesn’t impact your communication with a candidate base that you’ve built.
  • Once you’ve created your account and handle {otherwise known as your twitter name} then it’s time to add a picture. Whether it be your company logo, an image that you like or your own head shot, it just shows you’re not a total newbie and that you’ve taken the time to update your profile.
  • Include your bio.  I personally don’t follow anyone who doesn’t have a bio because I don’t know what their interests are or what they want to talk about.  If you’re a business you can say what your business does and your bio is also searchable for keywords, so think about the types of keywords the candidates you are trying to attract may be using ~ #job #career #technology #youcompanyname.   Remember that you can change this on a regular basis if you like as well so that you come up in different searches.

So you’ve got your picture all good to go, you’ve written your bio {which you can change again at any time}, it’s time to get involved!

On a personal note…..

  • 1st and foremost, don’t be shy, just say hi! – be human, after all the person behind the typing is human!
  • Ask questions and answer questions if you know the answer – do a quick search to see what people are saying about your business. I always find this interesting.  If they are talking about you, what are they saying?  if they aren’t talking about you.. well that speaks volumes as well.
  • Tweevsdrop {listen in on conversations} then jump in!  no body minds if it’s just general chit-chat, we welcome new members to a conversation and we love to add new perspectives to the conversation.
  • # hashtag and search topics that are of particular interest to you and then you’ll probably feel more comfortable engaging with people on topics that you know something about.
  • Use #hashtags to find people to follow as well. If you #hashtag Finance, specific technologies you’re looking for, HR, etc then it will show you both people and tweets that have that particular word in either their tweets or their bio.
  • Share, share, share.  If you write a blog then share it with a link, if you have a company website share it, if you love a picture on Pinterest or you’ve taken a photo with your phone ~ share it! people love to see what you love and what you’re up to so share the things that you love and you’ll be amazed how many people find these things funny, interesting or just want to add their comments.
  • If you love something that someone else has tweeted then Retweet it and share it with the people who follow you.  This is also a great way to build a following; by sharing great information.  If the quality of your tweets is good then people will know that it’s worth clicking on your links because it’ll be funny, interesting or useful to them.
  • If it’s part of your twitter strategy to share images, then think about what you would like to see if you were a candidate… the work environment? office surroundings? people? anything fun that is going on or talk about the projects that may already be common knowledge but that you can share with candidates.  Build the conversation then share value.
  • Know your candidates.  If you’re on Twitter for business as well as pleasure then make sure you understand what your candidates wants.  What is it that they will find interesting?  If you don’t know then ask them.
  • Ask questions –   Use your current staff and current applicant and candidate network for market research.  By getting them involved in the journey you’re already building your brand, your followers and you’re engaging your audience.  This will most likely make them more engaged before they’ve even applied for a role or come in for an interview! How great would that be??!

On a business note…..

  • Think about your social integration strategy from day one.   What does this mean?  If you’ve decided to be on Facebook and Twitter for example, then update everything that you do when it comes to candidate interaction to include letting your candidates know that you’re now on these platforms. 
  • Let them know what information you’re going to share – i.e.

“Thanks for your time on the phone Bill, we’ll let you know about any other jobs that may be coming up that will be suitable for you.  Just to also let you know that you can follow-up on Twitter @YOURCOMPANYNAME and on Facebook at ‘Your company name’ .  We share current jobs; job hunting, interviewing and other career advise tips as well as sharing insights into our business, the work we do and the people who work here.” 

  • Integrate it into your recruitment stats as well.  Understand what your current source mix is so that you can start to see/track any changes to it as your social recruiting efforts grow.  This is your first stage of ROI (Return on Investment).  
  • Once you’ve built a bit of a candidate following, be adventurous, what else could you do that’s fun and engaging?  host life chats with hiring managers answering questions about jobs that they are recruiting, get someone to do a live chat about their job and what’s like ~ ‘a day in the life of’.  Think about referral competitions so that you’re using your social networks for referrals as well as your employee referral network.  There are a lot of different ways to engage with you audience.
  • If  all you do is pump out links and information then your engagement levels will be mediocre at best.  As well as sharing content, jobs, etc talk to people, that’s what this tool is there for – engaging with them and talking to them about the things that matter to them when it comes to your business.
  • When planning content, I always think about what I would want to know about a business if I were one of the candidates following them.  There are companies that I would not usually have any interest in, but because they’ve given me a such a great insight into the businesses online I’ve actually thought – “I’d love to work for you!” and this is the objective, show them what they wouldn’t usually see that is so great about your business.

Well that’s probably enough to get you going… there is so much more to do and say but if you’re a newbie I think this should get your Twitter feet off the ground and heading in the right direction.

For more content ideas, check out the Social Platforms page.

If you’ve got any questions just let me know and leave a comment or drop me an email in the comments section.

Social Recruiting ~ 4 Ways to Engage your candidates

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Many organisation jump into Social recruiting with little idea of who their target audience will be, how they will build their community and what content is going to be of value, then wonder why they struggle to keep the momentum up.number 4

The old saying; ‘Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” will always ring true, and there is little difference when it comes to social media and social recruiting and the art of candidate attraction, connection, engagement and community build. There are activities that you can undertake to ensure that you focus your attentions in the right areas for the best results.

If social recruitment is on your organisation’s hits list in 2013, then its time to make a plan and have an open discussion about who is going to champion the change and what your objectives and success measures are going to be.  The first practical course of action is to create your organisation’s user name so that when you’re ready, it hopefully hasn’t been taken by another business or person.

1) Research (Attract)

Conducting preliminary research as to whether your candidates are on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn is key. There is little point building an amazing profile on Facebook with great imagery, competitions, recruitment videos and polls etc., only to find that the candidates you are trying to attract are all on LinkedIn, Twitter or neither.

There are many ways to find this information. One of the easiest ways is to ask your employees who work in this discipline which networks they are in, if any; how they use technology for professional purposes, what information they may be interested in hearing about and even more so, what topics they would engage in conversation about. You can also research social media platforms to assess the content and connection activity by using hash tags in Twitter, general searches for key words in Facebook and LinkedIn. This should give you a general idea of the activity around these topics.

Researching your competitors’ online brands and profiles is also imperative; in order to appreciate what the competition is doing and therefore give you time to build your ZAG. In other words, build your differentiator so that candidates know what they will get from you if they engage in conversation and social online activity.

2) Innovation (Connect)

Creating innovative content and understanding your audience are two key focuses for message to market. Getting to know your audience will provide you with the knowledge to engage them in conversation.

When building your online sourcing strategy, spend the majority of your time focusing on topics of interest, trends in the market, information that you want to share about your organisation and what the key words are that you want to use on an on-going basis that relates directly to the type of candidates you want to attract.  For the basics on what content is best to share on each of the social platforms check out the Social Platform page.

Innovative content will be shared again and again through social media channels if it’s original, creative and unique. Using the research that you have and thinking like your candidates will help you create the type of content that will interest them.

3) Participate (Engage)


There are many of them on Social Media channels. I hear people say to me all the time when discussing Twitter, “Oh I don’t say anything, I just watch what other people say and do”. As I’ve said to friends who want to try social media out in general, it’s only when you join the conversation that you’ll get anything back. Once you start talking to people, engaging in conversation, answering questions, sharing information; that is when you start to see the returns of your interactions. If all you ever say is where you are and just retweet without any original content or personality then the majority of people will most likely leave you to it.

For example I’m always amazed that when people connect with me on LinkedIn and don’t actually use my name or bother writing anything personal in the message box. So they’ve taken the time to search for someone with my experience and/or company details, they want to connect for one reason or another, but don’t think it’s important to address me.

If you want to be remembered, engage.

Be personal.

Use your personality, and people will most likely remember you the next time.

This goes for your candidates, use their names when you engage with them, speak directly to them. Brand engagement comes from a positive personal experience which leads to earned media. Earned media is the free publicity and exposure gained from loyal brand advocates and their discretionary efforts that lead to more people engaging with you and your brand through trusted association.

Never underestimate the power of engaging with your audience directly.

4) Commit (Build)

Bolting at the gate is what many organisations do. Jumping on the Social recruiting band wagon without being prepared, because it’s what everyone else is doing. Accounts are set up and away they go. They start building their audience, have a few conversations and then… nothing… radio silence. There are several reasons why this happens.

1) A failure to plan message to market and what you want to say and therefore quickly run out of ideas and give up

2) Getting excited at the beginning is great, but then when it takes a bit of work and interaction to build your audience, you get bored.

3) You receive negative feedback and don’t know what to do, so choose to do nothing

4) You want to engage in conversations with customers but are unsure how to do it on an on-going basis.

The commitment to build your audience, have a plan of action when it comes to message, timing, and response etc. is critical to online success. Even if your audience aren’t interacting with you to start with, you still need to be present and show that you’re there, talking, engaging, discussing and listening to what they have to say.

This can take time to increase the engagement of your audience. Some social recruiting platforms will work better than others, and once again understanding where your candidates are will be key to your ability to build the community around your brand.

When looking to engage candidates within the specialised field that you’re target takes thought, research and targeted messaging:

• Understanding the challenges of the candidates that you’re targeting. What is going on in their world, field, and industry specifically and what are the topics of interest to them?

• Surveying, speak with those in your organisation in the same field or researching for white paper or market information will assist with content focus.

• Once you’ve identified the key topics of interest, concern and/or discussion then research what it is within your organisation that will be the key attraction for these types of hard to find candidates. There is little point finding a great individual if you don’t have a compelling story to share with them and engage them to actually move from where they are to your organisation. Building and Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is one of the easier and clearer ways to articulate your organisations differentiators. Don’t try and be everything to everyone, be specific, speak to a need and drive the message home.

The process to use Social Media to recruit can take time. Outlining your key message comes first, targeting your audience and communicating that message and then following through to build community, brand advocates and candidate loyalty.

If you’re really lucky and do it well, then the candidates you’re looking for will be knocking on your door.

Social Recruitment ~ if you’re not using it already, it’s time!

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Now that we’re into 2013, it seems like we should already be heading into the next stage of social recruiting , but I can’t help but feel the resistance from so many organisations as they ask me ….  WHY do we need to use Social Media for recruitment?


The simple answer is; Social Media is where your candidates are and it’s where they expect you to be.

They want to see you, they want to ask you questions, they want you to respond and they want to know as much about you before even considering applying for your job vacancy!

The Benefits of doing Social well

Organisations that are successfully engaging candidates through social media, find that candidate’s buy into the brand, culture, work environment and values of the organisation in a much stronger way, because the candidate has a clearer understanding of what the organisation is like before they join.

  • Building Employer Brand

Employers can not only use social media platforms as a valuable tool for sourcing, attracting, engaging and recruiting prospective candidates, but it allows the organisation to build its employer brand.   Showing candidates what your organisation is about, where they could be working on a day-to-day basis, as well as who they would be working for can be your pulling power to finding top talent in the market.

  • Connecting with potential future employees

Social media is not the answer to all your recruitment woes but it’s a tool that can set you apart from your competitors and allow you to engage and communicate with candidates in a way that you have never been able to before.  Gone are the days of businesses sitting back and waiting for the best talent to come their way, candidates are now looking to build on their personal networks and speak with businesses first.

  • Increase the engagement & job satisfaction of candidates

A study conducted by the A-list showed a number of interesting statistics directly related to how candidates are finding their new jobs and turnover based on source of hire.   Candidates that were hired through connections and referral (including social media) had a turnover of 12.8% whilst candidates that were hired through tradition means such as job board had a turnover of 19.3%.

As the report also showed, people who find jobs through connections and referrals are more satisfied with their decisions, than those who found their jobs through other channels. Over 60% of respondents that found their jobs through connections reported being extremely or very satisfied with the jobs they accepted, compared with about 42% who did so through other channels, with over 45% of those reporting that they were not very satisfied or extremely dissatisfied with the new job.

As we know, a candidate who comes through a referral, whether it be an existing employee in the organisation or external contacts that are involved in your business, are more engaged in the process and the business because someone who they know and trust has recommended them for the position.

  • Communicate a clear picture of your organisation

Now let’s say that you build up a crystal clear picture of your organisation’s brand online.  You provide videos that show the managers talking about what they are looking for, why they love working in the organisation, you share information on projects that you’re working on, talk about ‘Why’ your business does what it does and not just about the job that they may be interested in.  This allows for candidates to self-select out if it’s not right for them, therefore giving much better quality of candidates that are

1) Bought into your business

2) Have a clear understanding of what it’s all about

3) Are already engaging with you and your brand before they’ve even joined.

So now that you know  the benefits of Social recruiting, what is your next step?

It’s time to get on-board.

Start talking to the people you’re trying to attract.  It’s no longer a one way street out there.  If you want them, you have to show them what your business has to offer.

If you’re not networking in the right circles and with the right people and putting your best foot forward, the candidate’s your seeking will head to the organisations that are a head of the curve and understand that it’s all about connection and engagement.