How do you define a qualified candidate? As a Staffing Professional, clients ask for qualified candidates every day; and according to CareerBuilder, 38 percent of employers reported they currently have positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates. However, before you can find the right individual you must first figure out what “qualified” means to them. Many times companies go to staffing agencies because they don’t have time to review countless resumes or aren’t able to find someone on their own. You may stress that those key/niche positions can take time to fill and blame any of the following:
- Unemployment rate
- Candidates don’t have the right skill set
- Not enough qualified candidates live in that area
- Candidates salary requirements are too high
- Can’t pass a drug test
However, at the end of the day that isn’t what the company wants to hear; and depending on the relationship with them, they might just move on to the next staffing agency. So how do you find those “qualified” candidates that others cannot? As many recruiters have experienced, simply posting open positions on job boards is not enough to draw the right candidates. You must first create job titles, descriptions and identify keywords that will increase visibility, and maximum search engine optimization. Once this is complete it’s time to post your ad, but where will it be the most beneficial?
Newspaper: Advertising has traditionally been placed in the classifieds of your local newspapers, and if you are getting qualified applicants, great. Although, if you’re not, why are you wasting money? Why not consider trade journals that are specific to the industry you are trying to fill as a good alternative. Try reaching out to your local job service, or campuses, and ask about career fairs, or see if they can refer candidates. Post on their job boards and on lists that go out to students, as well as alumni. Just remember, in order to post on a careers page of a campus the position you’re recruiting for usually needs to require a degree that the campus offers.
Resume Databases: Instead of searching for new candidates, look in your current database. If you don’t have an existing staffing software solution, learn how one can accelerate your staffing firm success. It will make it easier for you to stay in touch with candidates who stood out during the interview process, but you might not have had the right position for them at the time.
Referral Program: Email the active and inactive associates in your database. Even if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they might know someone that does. Some companies pay a finder’s fee to their employees for successful referrals. For example, if the new applicant works 80 hours, the person who referred them would get $50. Who knows, the referrer might know someone that is looking for work, or maybe an individual who is currently employed that is perfect for the position.
Online Search Engines: Take advantage of the internet. The cost to list your job opportunity on a website is not very expensive. More importantly, you can include more information than in a classified ad. However, before you decide to use an online search engine make sure you use the four A’s of recruitment advertising: Assign, Automate, Analyze and Adjust. Once you are ready to post a job on a search engine also make sure to reference your own website for more information.
Company Website: Ensure your company website has a compelling careers page. It should offer different job search options, benefits info, company info and information that sets your company apart from the competition. Provide a LinkedIn, Facebook or Tweet icon to allow individuals to post it to their followers or to the social media of their choice.
Social Media Sites: Social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have become key components in a successful recruiting strategy. However, advertising openings on job boards sometimes generates a tremendous number of applicants, and they might not even be qualified. Rather than just jumping into the world of Twitter, for example, figure out a strategy. What are your goals going to be? How will using a social media site help you meet your goals and how are you going to figure out your progress? Once these questions are answered, there is work you need to do before you jump right in. Create a jobs tab on Facebook and your LinkedIn company page. Join groups on LinkedIn and run a Twitter campaign to promote your careers section.
Not all of these techniques are required for finding qualified applicants; some positions do take longer to fill than others, but deciding where and how to find qualified applicants may be the most important step. After all, if you had qualified candidates how many of your job orders would already be filled?
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