Have you ever wondered how recruiters find their candidates or where recruiters look to find talent? Recruiters use many different methods to find, recruit, and keep talent, yet most businesses are completely unaware of their techniques. Today we are going to shed some light on this mystery and reveal the secrets used by recruiters in their hiring and recruiting methods. For organizations, especially small businesses, getting some insider tips on how professional recruiters do their job can provide that missing link to effective and successful hiring practices.
1. Hire for Attitude and Train for Skills
A valuable employee is one with the right attitude for your organization. By attitude we are referring to a person’s thought, manner, and general disposition towards another person, idea, activity, object, or thing. Their attitude will be reflected in their behavior, which can either be positive or negative. Someone with a positive attitude has a tendency to react positively in most situations, whereas someone with a negative attitude has a tendency to react negatively in most situations. Most people will fall somewhere in between positive and negative attitudes. The key is to find someone who is more positive than negative. Asking behavior-based questions during the interview will give you a good idea of a candidate’s attitude.
Smart recruiters look for attitude over skills because most skills can often be gained, while attitude is harder to change. A perfect candidate would have both the desired attitude and the necessary skills; but as you likely know, a perfect candidate is difficult to find. Candidates that are less than perfect should be judged more for attitude than skills — some professionals suggest a 70/30 split: 70 percent right attitude and 30 percent skills.
If you have two candidates — one who has the right skills ready for the position, but displays a less than desirable attitude towards the position and organization, and one who has a great attitude, but lacks the skills to be job-ready — think ahead for the future. The candidate with a better attitude will more likely fit well into the organization, as training on the job to build skills is often not that difficult and it doesn’t take that much time. In just a few weeks or months you will be able to bring that employee up to speed.
2. Thinking Outside the Box
Recruiters are starting to redefine the hiring process and the future thinkers are now beginning to really question the actual usefulness of the resume. How can two pages where candidates simply list their skills and experience (tailored to what you as an employer want to see) really tell us about the candidate’s fit and attitude? Candidates post these standard two page outlines of themselves to job boards and attach them to emails just hoping for a response. While is does tell us the basics of a candidate’s qualifications, we miss out on learning about the true depth of an applicant.
Both companies and recruiters have started getting more innovative with their hiring process. Utilizing the web 2.0 for recruiting is getting more and more popular. Sites such as LinkedIn and other niche professional networking sites are absolutely teeming with talent just waiting to be approached.
IGN Entertainment Inc., a gaming and media organization, shows us one very unique example of creative hiring. In order to find programmers, they set up a program called Code Foo that taught programming skills to inexperienced gamers; they didn’t ask for a resume, but used a series of challenges that would assess an applicant’s thought process. Now that is truly thinking outside the box!
All organizations are capable of this type of innovation and creativity when it comes to hiring. Don’t believe that it is just a domain for a gaming and media firm to do so. It just means thinking of exactly what you are looking for in a candidate and what method is the best way of truly assessing these attributes.
3. Go Where They Go
If you want to get in touch with your ideal candidates, then you should go where they go, do what they do, and read what they read. To find your ideal chef, read up on their industry, use professional magazines or publications, and visit industry events. You could even find out where they like to socialize. Invest your time and thought into finding that hidden talent pool.
4. Employee Referral Programs
An organization’s current employees are great sources of knowledge for recruitment. Employees will most likely have friends or acquaintances that are in the same field. Employee referral programs can therefore be effective means for recruitment. Design policies that will allow employees to refer suitable candidates — you can always screen for unsuitable leads or employees that are only referring to get the bonus. Current employees also understand an organization’s workplace better than anyone else; get their opinions on issues surrounding turnover and how to improve retention. For a more detailed discussion and analysis on this topic, see our blog on Employee Referral Programs from earlier this month.
Recruiters collect and retain applications from all past job postings. Even if a candidate wasn’t chosen for a given position, chances are they will still have their details on file thanks to CRM software. When recruiters create a job advertisement, most will disclose to applicants that they will keep their resume and application on file in case of future positions. Keeping this information can be really useful as you can check back on this to review possible candidates.
Hiring and Recruiting — The Five Best Methods Used By Recruiters That Your Business Should Know: The Wrap up
This post has only begun to scratch the surface of the innovative methods out there to help reinvigorate your approach to hiring. Whatever you do, the best rule of thumb is to ensure that you look for a good “fit” between the candidate and your organization and not just at the numbers; that way, you’ll be far more likely to hire the right candidate for the job.