However, if we want the competitive edge in 2018, we need creative ways of using these resources to our advantage. By digitizing the recruitment process, social media platforms may eliminate much of the personal connection that used to play a significant role in building trust and respect between recruiters, employers, and prospective talent.
Resumes, curriculum vitae, and portfolios are of course important, but equally important are the conversations, the stories, and the experiences. We have to get back to building relationships while still taking advantage of digital solutions. So here are five innovative sourcing strategies for recruitment.
1. Use LinkedIn to connect with industry leaders.
Approach industry leaders as a colleague who is interested in their field and their particular expertise. Learning from their experiences can really help you refine your recruitment strategies.
Request a phone call to discuss their position and the current challenges they face. If they feel that you are genuinely invested in learning from them and establishing a mutually beneficial partnership, they will be far more receptive to you as a recruiter.
If you can snag a few moments of their time, you will find their insight invaluable. Keep a notebook and jot down as much as you can while on the phone with them. Understanding the challenges that are occurring within an industry is a creative way to source a valuable candidate for that field.
In addition, industry leaders may be aware of a potential candidate on the inside that hasn’t even made their availability public yet. This innovative strategy can put you ahead of your competition. The fact that you have now secured a very valuable contact on the inside is an added bonus! Nurture these relationships because they are critical to your success!
2. Accept communications from potential candidates even if they aren’t what you’re currently sourcing.
We have to get out of the mindset of a head-hunter, with a bottom-line and think in more innovative terms. Again, it’s about building relationships with people, more than it is about immediately filling a vacancy. If you make yourself available to what appears to be a talented individual and hear them out, you may just find you’ve discovered a gem and this is a very creative strategy to source candidates for future placements.
Another innovative recruitment strategy is to take notes during your conversations with candidates.
When you start speaking to a lot of people in a related field you will start to see different personality types emerge so be sure to jot down the things you notice (i.e. She’s a perfectionist and frequently chooses to work long hours. He believes that good health is key to good work, etc).
One of the most creative ways to source candidates is to select one with a personality that is concentric to a client’s corporate culture. The bottom line is, you won’t be able to do that unless you are routinely talking to a lot of people, so be open to everyone that comes your way!
3. Join professional communities on social media and use them to start a conversation.
Facebook is a great way to source candidates because it has plenty of public groups aimed at professionals in a certain field. Usually, it is as simple as requesting permission to join the group! Once there, you can ask a question that will get people talking.
Use Twitter as another recruitment strategy. By using hash-tags in your post, you can be sure that anyone, who routinely searches that hash-tag, will see it and likely have a comment to add to the mix.
LinkedIn, as well, has become more than just a place to post your resume and connect with candidates in your industry. You can now make public posts using keywords or hash-tags that will catch the eye of candidates who you are looking for. This is a great, creative way to recruit!
Not only can these conversations spawn new candidates for you, but you will likely start to see recurring or related answers to questions.
Perhaps it’s a particular issue that seems to be very prevalent in the industry or there is a very specific skill that is highly sought after and difficult to find. It’s a way to multi-task research with networking and an innovative way to provide you with a nugget of information that could be an ace up your sleeve during the recruitment process.
Starting these group conversations is also a creative way to source candidates and open the door to communication with someone that piqued your interest. Had you not been an active member of the dialogue, they might not have been as receptive to you.
4. Use Social Media to find local networking events where you can recruit candidates.
Of course, you can source online and it may be your only option if you are recruiting internationally, but you also need to be a recognizable figure at a local level and that involves getting out of the office every so often.
People want to put a face with a name, it makes you more human and therefore more trustworthy. Again, Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to find listings for local networking events that you can go to.
Meet people. Introduce someone you know to someone they don’t know. That’s what recruitment is really all about: understanding who would make a good connection and building relationships!
You’ve heard us mention this before but be sure to bring a small notepad to these functions. Taking notes after conversations is a creative recruitment strategy. You can even use your phone if that makes you more comfortable.
After talking to someone, get their business card and find a quiet spot where you can jot a quick note down about them or type it into your phone. What stood out to you about them? What really impressed you? Is there anything that stood out to you based on your conversation? This information can make all the difference when sourcing candidates.
A final note about non-local recruitment strategies: It never hurts to hop on Skype or another video chat service once in a while. When a contact is crucial, it helps to have them see you. It’s the closest they can get to meeting you in person. Make sure you look professional, have a non-distracting background and that your sound and microphone are functional- you don’t want to waste their time!
5. Invest in a good CRM program to keep track of candidates and notes.
Not only are these software programs a digital Rolodex for all your contact information, but it’s a an innovative way to streamline notes you’ve taken from your conversations and be able to quickly review them before speaking with candidates you’re sourcing.
Use keywords so you can cross-reference and search on the fly and that way you can mention things you’ve discussed in the past. It is a creative way to gain the trust of candidates when you can recall things they’ve told you from a previous conversation. And when approaching someone who might hire you to recruit a candidate for them, ten times out of ten they are going to go with the person that they feel went the extra mile for them.
Click here to read about Reflik’s built-in CRM feature.
Conclusion: Build relationships online
So remember, the path to innovative candidate sourcing in 2018 is cultivating the relationships that got lost in the digital revolution.
Technology is key to our success but the truly creative and effective way to recruit candidates is to bring back the personal side of recruiting. Instead of approaching prospects like a number in a candidate pool or a potentially lucrative contract, build and implement a strategy to make them feel heard! Be genuinely interested in their skills and their story. Don’t think in terms of a narrow, short-term goal, look at the bigger picture.
Everyone you meet, everyone you talk to, everyone you connect with, is another potential candidate for you. If you want to position yourself as a leader in recruiting, you have to make an earnest effort to engage with people. You will hit far fewer brick walls and dead ends this way. Good luck and happy sourcing!