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To recruit good talent, you may need some help

 |  By: Walt Morgan, General Manager, Staffing Solutions

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Need a new hiring strategy for 2016? You've probably seen the headlines recently — online job postings are at record levels in many states, and Tennessee's average unemployment rate dipped below 6 percent last year for the first time since 2007.

This is great news if you're a job seeker, but not if you are an employer competing for high-impact talent. So what can your company do to gain a competitive advantage in a tight talent market?

First things first — many of the best candidates simply aren't (and never will be) in the job market. These candidates are focused on exceeding expectations for their current employer, so they rarely respond to "passive" recruiting methods such as online job postings. Bottom line — these candidates won't come to you -- you have to go find them. One of the best ways to tap into this candidate pool is to partner with a professional recruiting firm that can serve as a talent scout for your company, especially for hard-to-find skills.

So how do you go about selecting and working successfully with a recruiting firm?

Make sure that your recruiting partner is a search firm, not an employment agency. Strange as it may seem, many "recruiters" rely on the same passive methods to attract candidates that employers do — which probably explains why some firms question the value of working with outside recruiting firms. The best search firms will spend most of their time networking with trusted referral sources and developing relationships with top-performing candidates.

Look for a search firm that will provide the level of focus and attention that your firm needs. Find out how many active searches they typically handle -- a smaller number is usually better. The best search firms typically focus on quality more than quantity, and they may ask for exclusivity or a retainer to ensure that you are as committed to them as you would expect them to be to you.

Be willing to invest some time in letting your recruiting partner get to know you, your company, and its culture. This will be time well spent for both parties, and will allow your recruiting partner to learn the nuances that will help them quickly identify candidates that will be a strong fit for your company.

Finally, use long-term value rather than short-term cost in evaluating the performance of your recruiting partner. Engaging a professional recruiting firm could be your company's best investment in 2015 if you can't afford to make a mistake with a key hire!

Originally printed in the Knoxville News Sentinel

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Posted in: For Employers
Tagged with: Recruiting
To recruit good talent, you may need some help