Recruiting Ideas

I have been involved in recruitment since the fall of 2000 having enjoyed recruiting for multiple disciplines. I have supported both corporate and third party; first attracting the best and most qualified Architect, Engineers, Interior Designers, Bankers and now IT folks. I have spent four years recruiting in corporate for one of the top ten banks nationally and four years on the agency side; one of those was supporting the second largest parent agency in the world. I cannot guarantee you an extraordinary amount of success but I am willing to put a wager that if you try to incorporate a few of these techniques into your daily regimen you will increase your bottom line over time.

Let’s look at recruitment from the prospective of the potential applicant. She/he has a lot of choices out there; so what are you doing differently than your competitor in order to distinguish yourself from the herd? No, it’s not the boards- that is low hanging fruit. You can usually eliminate about 50% of the recruiters out there since they usually stop there. But what if you are part of the other 50% group? What are you doing different? How about the phone? Use it before and after the traditional hours.
There are either current clients (do not pull from) or source clients (have at it) out there. If you want for me to stop recruiting from a particular source than become a client! If you happen to identify that one of your source companies puts their phones on overnight answering service or general roll-over into the directory- you are in. Simply write down the names and extensions into a list. This usually goes a little easier over a bowl of ice cream in the evening. Rotate in 5-7 sources for your target calls over the next few days. Use the names as a means to the end till you hit your target PASSIVE recruit. They won’t see it coming…

What if I told you that you could recruit 66% of the folks with whom you have had contact? Sounds too good to be true? Well actually it isn’t. Thirty-three percent of people will say no thank you- ask them for referrals and touch base every other week until you catch them on a bad day and then you might be able to convert them over. Thirty-three percent of people will say yes- duah, that’s the goal; you’re in! Now what about the other 33%? Since you are good at your craft and know your client inside or out, use the art of persuasion and sell yourself as an expert in the industry. Also sell the sizzle of the company AND the manager. Too many people forget that we all work for a manager not a job description! He/she would want to work with you since you are going to take the consultative approach with them until you either place them or they are no longer available.

I see myself as an order taker if they don’t fit my immediate need. Simply use your applicant tracking system or Outlook to stay in touch with that individual on a regular basis. Remember, the people that I connect in this manor are not on the boards, nor are they getting calls from your competition. I tend to stay in touch with someone usually 3-4 months prior to making the placement. During this period I pick up industry knowledge, leads for my sales team for additional business development, and those elusive referrals so that I can take it to the next step with other prospective applicants. Who knows, if you have a successful sales team bringing in orders on a constant flow it’s just a matter of time that you will get the match and THE PLACEMENT.

Please keep in mind that I recruit to a specific profile and industry. This way my sales team knows that I can and will deliver in force in order to help keep the competition out when they bring in the next menu item. They in return also proactively suggest the skill-sets that are in our current inventory. I always ask the candidate’s permission to release a resume to any client. Happy hunting!


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Recruiting candidates is an art that needs to be fine tuned. Each generation has its own personalities, quirks, and desires. The following tips are meant to help foster a greater understanding of Generation X and Y employees, what they may be looking for, ways to gain their commitment and loyalty, and tap into their uniqueness.

1. Mentorship
As an organization leading this generation, you must make a commitment to creating effective mentoring programs. The younger generation is impatient, raised in a fast-paced world dominated by technology and instant gratification – they need guidance.

While the younger generation is screaming for balance in their lives, they are also craving challenging work. They want the challenge and they need the guidance.

2. Coaching – Communicate and Connect
Separate and distinct from mentorship, coaching goes to a much deeper level. While mentoring is about showing the way, sharing experiences and transferring knowledge, coaching is about helping them get to know what they want, who they are and what experiences might serve their needs best.

Providing feedback and support to this generation is essential – they want to grow – AND – they want to know what they can do to contribute to their company and their community.

3. Provide Training and Development
Much like the Baby Boomers, this generation is education focused – they love to learn. In fact, many experts label this group as the most education- oriented generation in history. If we do not provide training and development to this generation, they will quickly lose interest and become disengaged in their work.

4. Design a Plan
With both parents working, this generation was raised by institutions and the media. Institutions told them exactly where to be and when to be there and media told them exactly what to think and who they should be – they were not challenged to think for themselves. Now – they’re out in the working world expected to know how to manage their time, set goals for their future and manage their career and they don’t know how. Helping them to create a plan for their future will help them to be present and motivated in their current role. Without a plan they will not understand why it might be good to stay a few extra hours to complete an assignment – they need to see and be excited about the bigger picture.

5. Be Flexible – Balance
Encourage their values. The younger generation has seen what working 80 hours a week can do to their health and their families. They desire a work place and a work load that will allow them to have the flexibility to balance the many different components of their lives – setting an 8-5 work day may not work for all employees. Truth be told, some people do their best work at mid-night – why not let people work during the times they are at their best? Let them know when they need to be there for meetings and let them figure out the rest – after all, getting the work done is the most important – manage that and let them manage the rest.

6. Opportunities to give back/Volunteer
This generation has an intense desire to make a difference in the world. Allowing them to take paid time away once or twice a month to be of service to their community will make a huge difference for them – not to mention the positive outlook the community will have on your company!

7. Responsibility
This generation seeks freedom and desires responsibility – they want to be a part of the decision making process. Hand them the work, set a deadline, be available for questions/support – then let them figure out how to get it done on time. If they can’t manage to get their work in on time, you might ask how you can help them reach their deadlines – they may need to take a time management course!


Actively Recruiting Candidates

Effective recruiting pursues many different paths. Referrals provide one of the best ways to obtain new talent. Online recruiting brings another alternative for bringing in candidates as well as attending more and more career fairs. Each style helps us find the individuals who will maintain our high standards of excellence.

Candidate referrals work well as part of the process. A referring person to a degree prescreens a candidate and increases the chance that the candidate matches the position and company culture. The talent pool within our company supplies a network full of possibilities as well. Our “up to $500.00 (up to 3K as an SESC employee) Referral Bonus” incentive should have all of us looking for candidates!

Online recruiting allows us to search through a huge resume database and then narrow down based on specific niche criteria. Additionally, well crafted job postings create an effective way to get active and passive candidates to check out our opportunities.

We further develop our quality candidate pool by expanding our recruiting efforts and venturing into the potentially profitable waters of job fairs to uncover some choice resumes and hot candidates. We set up our company display and showcase our company incentives/benefits to tempt professionals to learn more about SESC. Many times, we ask our Account Managers to join us with their technical jargon to help “talk the talk” further forming a strong, conversant team able to engage candidates, many of whom we can qualify or disqualify on the spot!

Overall, I have found the job fairs a fun and efficient way to recruit highly skilled and motivated job seekers. This paired with online recruiting, strong referrals and constant networking through networking events, and already established relationships are the techniques that will help us search just a little further to find the best.

Paulina Willingham


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