Ask Barb: Tough-To-Find Talent

Article main image
May 2, 2012

Dear Barb:

It is getting more difficult to find the talent our clients want to hire. Even though the market is changing, my clients are as demanding as ever and haven’t reduced their hiring standards or demands. Is there a resource that you find reliable that you’re willing to share with me?

Joe C, Wilkesboro, PA

Dear Joe:

Why should your clients reduce their standards or demands, especially if you expect to earn full fees or high margins? Most clients don’t provide us with easy positions to fill. They want us to find the top talent they can’t find through their own resources and often give us their hard to fill positions.

I’m going to provide you with a resource that will double or triple your candidate flow starting tomorrow. Take out the applications forms of individuals you have interviewed since the first of the year. Call their last place of employment (not their most current) and ask for them. You will then be transferred to their replacement – someone who has similar skills and credentials. If you want to triple your candidate flow, go back two jobs and again ask to speak to your candidate.

If you are told the person you have asked for is no longer there, provide them with the name of their supervisor, department and title. Ask them to transfer you to the department in case someone stayed in touch with your candidate. You are now transferred to a department where you can recruit similar talent. This is one of the easiest techniques to surface top talent!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!