The skills gap is very real, and it’s increasingly driving recruiters to look outside their comfort zone for great people. A new report released by the OECD helps contextualize this skills gap for American employers. For instance, consider 43 percent of new jobs require a bachelor’s degree, while only 32 percent of Americans over 25 years old possess one.
According to another survey, this time by Bullhorn Reach, a lack of skilled candidates was the biggest challenge faced by recruiters and staffing professionals. Meanwhile, more than 47 percent of recruiters saw their companies expanding into new geographies in 2013, a jump from even the 44 percent reported one year ago
It’s obvious now is the time to start expanding your recruiting horizons. You need to expand not just how you recruit great people, but where you find these talented candidates. The right talent for your open positions might not be located in your company’s backyard, and it’s time to let go of the idea out-of-town talent is inherently more risky than local candidates.
Opening up your search to include candidates around the country or around the world means giving yourself a better chance at jumping the skills gap. The person with the perfect skill set for the job might not be located within driving distance, but by opening up the candidate pool, you increase the odds you’ll find the right talent.
So how do you find and recruit the best people? Here are four tips for recruiting without borders:
1) Get Social On Social Media:
Social media is a great way to open your organization up to a much larger candidate pool and yet still connect with those candidates personally. This is probably why 94 percent of recruiters are using social media in their recruiting process. On social media, you can see what your candidates are all about, including their passion for the industry and their level of professionalism. If a great-on-paper candidate has a social channel littered with obscenities, for instance, this might not be the right person for your company.
To find great out-of-town talent, you should be using social media to follow your best candidates. This means getting active in talent communities, which are the places top talent gathers to give advice, share thought leadership, and discuss the issues of the day.
Don’t dominate the conversation in a talent community and never be too pushy or promotional with your openings. Instead, follow the 80/20 rule of content sharing, making sure at least 80 percent of your contributions are relevant to what your talent pool is discussing. This way, you’re able to see which candidates are sharing interesting insights and top-notch ideas, even if they’re located across the globe.
2) Connect In The Video Interview:
Once you’ve found a great far-away candidate, connecting in the interview process can seem like a huge hassle. Especially in the preliminary stages, you don’t want to fly out a candidate unless you’re fairly sure this person is a strong contender. There’s a misconception that recruiting far-flung talent is expensive, since the cost of travel can make these candidates look like large dollar signs instead of the right people for the job.
So what’s the solution? The video interview is a great way to cut down on your traditional recruiting process, get more personal with candidates, and do away with costly travel expenses. Using a live video interview, you can connect with candidates in real-time — the same way you would if they were on the other side of the desk (instead of the other side of the monitor). Best of all, these interviews are recorded, so you can share great candidates with your whole team.
In the earlier stages of the hiring process, video interviews can actually help you get a more personal feel for candidates sooner. In a one-way video interview, candidates answer your written questions on video. This means instead of spending up to 30 minutes on a phone screen with a candidate you understand is all wrong for the job immediately, you can merely move on to the next one-way video screen. Video interviewing makes connecting with far-flung talent simple, and can save companies as much as 67 percent of the travel costs associated with interviewing.
3) Offer Great Perks:
Finding and interviewing great talent is important, but convincing someone to make the move for your company is a bit more difficult. This is why many companies can be gun-shy to interview out-of-state (or out-of-country) talent. However, if you develop a great company culture with amazing perks, candidates will be more enthusiastic about the prospect of pulling up their roots.
To do this, you must know what workers crave in a workplace. For instance, a study found 70 percent of workers want to work from home. Offering the perks for better work-life balance like telecommuting and on-site childcare can help sway a candidate to take a great opportunity away from home.
4) Help With The Particulars:
Relocating isn’t easy, and it can become even more complicated if your dream candidate is coming from another country. Help ease the relocation process for your top talent by becoming a source of information and assistance. Know the rules for work visas inside and out if you plan to recruit outside your country code.
Consider offering a relocation allowance to help the top talent your company needs with moving costs. And consider setting your new hire up with a mentor to not only help them through the company, but also to help acclimate to their new geographical surroundings.
Jumping the skills gap and finding the best people sometimes means leaving your comfort zone. If you explore new geography for great talent, you might just find the perfect person for your open position. Thanks to new technology like social media and video interviews, you can connect with these candidates, no passport required!
What do you think? Have you hired any far-flung candidates? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.