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  • Writer's pictureEdwin and George

“SEEK and Ye Shall FIND” – Possibly…Well Maybe…Actually, I’m not sure…

“SEEK and Ye Shall FIND” My old music teacher Martin Singleton used to get us to repeat this in class out loud when someone had misplaced something (homework, recorder, saxophone etc.). It never meant anything to me then and I never chased it’s origins. Mr Singleton (I still can’t call him Martin) referred to the 8 year old “me” in my school reports from Orley Farm School as a “cheeky, lovable rogue mainly due to my tongue-in-cheek humour….typical English sarcasm. So ironically I eventually found a use for the saying, albeit tongue-in-cheek.

I have never seen so many “direct hires” not work out. I’m not sure if it’s because of an increase in direct hires or a turbulent market. Some recruiters are getting it wrong too which makes me question the process people rely on.

I’ve been talking about the importance of Value Add recently and having a bit of a rant. I’m really passionate about recruitment and truly believe my customers get great value from working with me and my team. One thing that really confuses me however is how people think they can successfully fill a role via online job boards or press advertising alone.

We use a variety of media to attract candidates. A huge variety, but we can;t rely on them alone. Things like LinkedIn, Linkme, Seek, Career One, WordPress, Twitter and facebook are great tools that anyone can use.Greg Savage wrote at the RCSA conference in Fiji that they are “useful sourcing tools”.

They are, indeed, good “tools” but little more and only contribute to about 5% of how we source candidates. Not discounting that they are useful, but to rely on them alone would be naive.

I saw Greg in October 2013 and he said that:

“today, candidates are more reluctant to apply to online or print advertisements. They prefer people: networks and relationships. Candidates are losing trust in an application process”.

It comes from never hearing back but most importantly – not knowing who sees your CV.

Our Top 3 methods to attract candidates:

  1. Our Candidate Pools – Regularly Maintained Relationships with candidates who we know extremely well.

  2. Word of Mouth Referrals – Our customers refer us to other people as a first point of call when looking for roles because…you guessed it – we’re a recruitment business!

  3. Our Professional Events –We regularly host Professional Networking events in our office and sponsor industry bodies. Our South Australian Business Leaders’ Forum bring together the top leaders in the state – under our roof.

The issue with candidate sourcing via job boards is that you’ll only hear from people who are looking at that precise time – you won’t have an existing relationship with them either so approaching people via LinkedIn or headhunt calls is fruitless (and that’s if the information on LinkedIn is even accurate). This goes for all recruiters – internal and external. Facebook revealed that it has over 83 million fake accounts. This problem with integrity of data is surely reflected in LinkedIn too (they even tell you how to spot it on their website so admit to having the problem) and will put off users…especially the best candidates who won’t want to be contacted – these are the ones that really add value to companies.

Advertisements in a newspaper are expensive and only reach out to people who are reading that paper, that week on that day. Most people I know don’t have time to sit with a paper – they are too busy. We use twitter or News Apps while we are “on the go”.

Have you put an advert online recently? How was the response (quality and quantity)? I’m guessing “Poor” and “Huge” in that order. You’ll get the same people applying each time. The best candidates (who are often in roles) aren’t looking on job boards and don’t want to be one of 300 in an inbox.

If a candidate is actively looking, I can guarantee they will tell you and every other person they meet with that your role is the ideal role for them – we look at motivating factors to make sure we know what will fit before the roles are put in front of them.

It’s definitely possible to recruit a role, especially in today’s market with an abundance of people willing to accept anything. You can get lucky sometimes and do it successfully where they stay in the role.

The bad recruiters operate heavily in this way and you can spot them a mile off – they usually rely heavily on advertising to fill jobs and source candidates. You’ll see the same ad repeated online or in a newspaper ad nausea. If you are an expert in your field you don’t need to rely on advertising. To put it bluntly: poor recruiters rely on advertising to fill their jobs.

The only way you can successfully recruit a role is if you minimise risk by doing as much as possible (a robust process) – not simply by advertising a role and sourcing though the people who see it and apply. I guess it comes down to how important the role is to you and whether you can afford for things to go wrong. It is well documented that the cost of a bad hire is huge (The New York Times approximated $40,000 – $200,000!) so you need to ask yourself… “do you trust yourself with getting it right?”.

It’s possible, if you put enough resources into recruitment, to do it well consistently…but only if you put enough resources in.

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