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There’s always been a debate over whether it’s best to hire people who have lots of general skills or one very specific skill. And while there are cases to be made on both sides of the argument, there’s definitely a time and place for specialized talent. Do you know how to find it?

How to recruit specialized candidates

Ongoing specialization has been a decisive factor for the current state of our society, Rufus Franck explains. The effect of specialization is such a broad concept that it touches upon almost everything in our daily life. And our natural urge for specialization is also one of the main reasons why professional services exist. Society and businesses cannot know everything and therefore need specialists with practical experience to help and guide us.

Hiring specialized candidates isn’t as easy as onboarding general candidates. There are some specific things you should look for and oversee in each step of the process. Here are some tips to keep you moving in the right direction:

1. Craft clear job postings

If you want to find specialized candidates, you need very specific job postings. Instead of crafting openings that touch on the general aspects of the job, drill down and use industry-specific language and niche details that will only resonate with people who are qualified for the job. Be upfront about the requirements and specifications. This will result in fewer applications, but you’ll waste less time filtering out unqualified candidates.

2. Use audience targeting

Since many of these candidates are currently employed and not actively searching for jobs, traditional channels that are geared toward active job seekers won’t reach the candidates you are looking for, recruiter Martin Wingate says. Instead, you have to deliver your message on the sites and around the content that they are looking at.

You may need to do some research to find out where your candidates spend the most time – both online and offline. This will allow you to be more targeted in your approach.

3. Nail the evaluation process

Even after narrowing the job posting and pursuing a highly targeted audience, you’ll have to invest in a strict vetting process that allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff. In addition to reviewing credentials and resumes, it’s necessary to actually have a face-to-face interview so that you can better understand the candidate and what they bring to the table.

4. Put your money where your mouth is

 Candidates with general skills are a dime a dozen. All you have to do is put up a job opening for a general position and you’ll get dozens, if not hundreds of applications. But specialized candidates are much harder to come by. It may take weeks just to get a handful of applications.

Because there are fewer candidates with specialized skill sets – and that most of them are currently employed and have to be tempted away – you have to be willing to pay a premium. Instead of lamenting over the fact that you have to spend more, focus on the long-term return that you’ll get from these employees.

Don’t give in

When recruiting for specialized talent, you have to be prepared for challenges. You may have to spend more, take more time, or put forth more effort to get your name in front of the right people. However, the important thing is that you don’t give in. When these challenges emerge, you have to stick with the plan and persevere until you find the right candidate. Once you hire the right person for the job, it will all be worth it.

About the author: Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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