Sunday, November 13, 2011

Post and Prey Recruitment

As I chat with companies regarding a potential recruitment contract, it has become apparent that many companies follow the same process as candidates. They post jobs on the Internet and pray they will receive the best replies from candidates. You see evidence of this on Yahoo Groups and occasionally in various LinkedIn groups when recruiters ask where they may post for different types of candidate.

A couple of months ago a Senior Corporate Recruiter informed me that they “recruit” by posting on LinkedIn. “It’s expensive but it’s effective!” In the next sentence she told me that they had blown their recruitment budget for the fiscal year.

Posting an opening on the Internet is a marketing effort where the poster pays and prays for great results. It is not a sales effort. Recruiting is a sales process. The most successful corporate and third party recruiters realize this and build relationships with candidates.

Recruiting is a dynamic process. Efforts that are wildly successful today may fail terribly a year from now. Therefore it is important to be out there from a marketing perspective and make it easy for candidates to apply if you attract their attention. Requiring candidates to complete an application prior to a conversation is not defined as “easy”. It benefits a company to have their resume in their database. It does not benefit a company to lose good candidates because it takes too long to complete the automated 1960’s application.

May I suggest a new recruiting dynamic? How about “Post and Prey”? There is a reason for the title “Headhunter”. These are specialists who know where to find the best candidates in any field and then deliver their “heads” to their clients. Does this take more time? It depends on how active a corporate recruiting staff is while building relationships with future candidates. What is the corporate budget telling them? When does the company forecast they will need certain talent? Then begin to identify that talent – not after the position has been opened.

Posting positions where potential candidates hang out virtually or physically is fine – just call it recruitment marketing. Then use the available tools like LinkedIn or Broadlook.com to identify who you want to hunt. That is the “prey” part of the process. Then call them not email. Thus the recruiter is beginning a professional relationship with the potential candidate.

During the conversation, ask if they saw your posting. If yes, where? If no, find where they are looking and their peers are probably there also. Now you are conducting market research at the base level and fine tuning your recruitment marketing. No need to spend money where the pool has dried up.

Candidates love to be told they are wanted by another company. Posting and preying is more effective and more fun than posting and praying.