Talent Acquisition

How to Really Source Talented Applicants

It can be tough attracting quality applicants. When you find skilled professionals you need to move decisively. Business is changing all the time and HR professionals need to be horizon-scanning and considering the talent pipeline needed to negotiate current challenges and address disruptive technologies.

The effective organisation needs to recruit not simply on technical skills but for learning agility and leadership potential. When finding good candidates is hard the first thing an organisation needs to address is the issue of developing talent so as to make internal appointments where possible. Developing the talent pool potential by committing to providing development opportunities is imperative for innovation and productivity; one of the key drivers for employee engagement is the provision of opportunities for development – so improving the employability of an employee is an all-round win.

Advocacy at work

Recruitment via agency or advertising is expensive so a primary source should be via recommendation. It’s an indication of the health of your corporate culture when existing employees are happy to advocate on behalf of the organisation. If your own people recommend a candidate it is a highly efficient recruitment method. When it comes to hiring decisions that result from an employee referral, those new hires have longer tenures and higher job performance than those hired via any other channel.

Recruiting via those you already employ is often faster than and usually yields better quality candidates than using an advert or online job board. Think about referral bonuses for successful hires via advocacy!

Another line of sourcing is to look at competitors. The smart organisation is keenly aware of what their competitors do and who they hire. Use social media to track their recruitment, their talent, and their star players and be alert to the possibility that good candidates may become available. Poaching is a delicate issue and HR need to be alive to the pitfalls of breaching any non-compete agreement.

Social sourcing

Exploit the possibilities of social media sourcing via LinkedIn and other platforms. Good candidates use social media to find and research jobs. According to Pew research on social media users’ job-seeking habits:

  • More than one-third use social media to look for or research jobs;
  • one in five applied for a job they first found out about on social media;
  • 13% say information they posted on their social profiles helped them get a job.

Using social media is inexpensive and provide a good opportunity to boost your employment brand and build a candidate pool. This is also an excellent route to reach out to a diverse range of candidates; roles advertised via social media have greater reach and improve your visibility in the marketplace. Pay attention to your employment brand as social media provides the tools to promote organisational culture and showcase current employees.

Don’t ignore the potential of networking events, conferences and conventions and professional associations. Where the recruitment team and engaged employees identify talent via networking the organisation is able to throw the net wider and reach out to passive candidates who are probably not actively seeking a move.

Connect with candidates

In essence, the starting point for recruitment is to make connections with high potential candidates and influencers who may be able to recommend star performers. Develop relationships with potential recruits before you need them, cultivate a talent pool, and tap into the networks of your staff, board, stakeholders and professional network.

Finally, make the corporate website a source of information about the organisation, your work, vacancies and workplace culture that is attractive to potential employees. Showcase your work environment and team culture and make it easy for interested candidates to apply. Reply to all applicants and nurture high-potential prospects even if there is no immediate opening.

Don’t think the best candidates are beating a path to your door, good people are able to make choices about where and when they work, so be sure you offer an attractive employment proposition with personal and professional development as a key part of your offer.

By Liz Sebag-Montefiore

Liz Sebag-Montefiore is a Co-Founder and Director of 10Eighty. With over 10yrs of business experience, I have an extensive and impressive blue chip client base. I have worked with numerous firms working in partnership with the client to understand their needs.

My current role involves managing relationships with clients, developing new business, and coaching individuals in their career. I really enjoy meeting new people and have strong client relationship and networking skills.