Finding Those Elusive Creatures: Top Talent

Non-news flash: the best talent is incredibly hard to find today. With the unemployment rate at its lowest in 17 years, most people who want to work more than likely have found it

This low unemployment rate means that employers are willing to look the other way in regards to less-than-stellar job histories, felonies on their record and more, leaving recruiters and hiring managers scrambling and almost coming to fisticuffs when it comes to attracting and snagging candidates with in-demand skills.

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All employers want to hire the best employees they can afford. And while it’s a candidate’s market – and then some! – out there, we’ve found four strategies that can help you find the hard-to-find candidate with the skills, attitude, background, and solid work history you seek.

Take a look below.

  1. Good people know other good people: work your current employees for referrals. And work them hard!

The great ones know other great ones: they tend to hang out with them, live near them, go to/went to school with them, once worked with them, and so on. So it’s time to put together a robust referral program. No more: “refer a friend to us and get a Starbucks card,” or “If someone you refer to us is hired and stays for six months, you get $100.” No. Too weak.

Instead, make it extremely worth your current employees’ while to refer their friends to you. Hire a referral and give the referee $200 immediately; give the person giving you the referral $500 if the new-hire stays six months and then another $500 if the newbie becomes a yearling.

In addition, help your applicant tracking system help you with referrals: some ATS platforms have plugins that allow anyone in a company to notify HR or another designated individual when one of your employees finds someone online who looks pretty darn good.

  1. Reconsider the resume.

We know: blasphemy! But hear us out. Many people would be great employees but a) they don’t know how to write a resume that showcases how they can help you or b) they hire someone else who doesn’t know how to do this! Many people – as you well know – refuse to tweak a resume to highlight the skills they possess that you need. And so because those skills are hidden, you never see them and thus lose out on a potentially terrific candidate.

Some work history/skill assessment alternatives? If the job is skill-heavy (such as for IT and engineering), why not offer challenges/competitions open to anyone? Participants must give you their name, phone number and e-mail address in order to play and if you find they play well, you can contact them.

  1. Move away from that job board!

You already know LinkedIn is lousy with recruiters (87 percent of your fellow recruiting pros use the site for sourcing and contacting candidates.). Jobs posted on Monster, Indeed, Careerbuilder, et al do result in lots of applicants but the screening/culling process can be a killer. Instead, take a look at the job sites your candidate prospects frequent: Dice for tech, AngelList for startups, Dribbble for designers, and so on.

  1. Create a standalone website geared to the type of talent you seek and offer advice, news, job openings (your openings only).

The site should be more of an informational site than merely a recruiting site. Post blogs that discuss trends in the industry, news about movers and shakers, how to find work in the industry as a whole, salary information, etc. Offer forums/advice where professionals can ask questions from experts and their peers. And then provide links to job openings at your company.

(If this site truly takes off and receives a lot of traffic from talented individuals, make a bit of money by offering industry competitors to advertise on your site; create your own job board!)

When you’re having a hard time finding the perfect person, don’t go it alone: partner with the highly skilled recruiters here at Helpmates. Whether you need someone in the HR, healthcare, finance, administrative, or warehouse/distribution sectors, we can help. Contact the Helpmates office nearest you today.

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