Targeted Candidates, Better Results

Nov 29, 2001

These days, recruiters are often overwhelmed by the resumes of unqualified candidates. And because there are so many people looking for new positions, the life of the average recruiter has changed. The days of doing whatever was necessary to get a candidate in the door for an interview are over. In today’s market, if you have an open position you are almost guaranteed to be flooded by resumes once word hits the street that your company is hiring. What that means is, as recruiters, we need to become more sophisticated in how and where we are finding our candidates. Below are some ideas on how to use Internet resources to narrow down the candidate pool to get the very best. Real Internet Recruiting If you go onto any large resume database (e.g. HotJobs, Monster, or Headhunter) and post a job, you will almost certainly be overwhelmed by responses to your posting from unqualified candidates. This is when many recruiters become frustrated and discouraged by what they call “Internet recruiting.” But Internet recruiting is about much more than just posting a job. Internet recruiting is searching out the best candidates available and proactively contacting them about your opportunity. The industry is seeing a big swing toward the use of niche sites to better target qualified candidates, for example. By focusing on these niche sites for posting and sourcing, you are going to find candidates with the skills and qualifications necessary to fill your open positions, without being flooded with unqualified candidates. Still, you must be aware that if you only post positions on these niche sites you will leave the door open to candidates to determine if they are qualified for the position rather than you. Making the Most of a Resume Once you find the resume of the ideal candidate for your open position, dissect that resume for information. What school did they attend? What was their major? What professional associations do they belong to? What certifications do they have? These, of course, are the important questions you should be asking yourself. So now you find yourself with all of these answers. But what to do with this information? Take, for example, the college this ideal candidate attended. Well, if this candidate came from XYZ University, then there is probably more where they came from. Go online and look up the university and look under the alumni section. Many universities list information about their alumni, or at the very least have some contact information for the alumni association. You can take it one step further and focus in on the specific school or department they came out of at the university. Professors can be a great resource because many of them either teach graduate classes or have contacts within the industry that may lead you to a network of qualified candidates. Another great resource are professional associations that a candidate may belong to. When conducting an Internet search for a candidate, don’t just use the job title. Search by professional associations. This may lead you to candidates that you may otherwise would have overlooked because they didn’t have the specific words on their resume that you were using to conduct your search. Research Matters Doing research is the key to successful sourcing. The Internet contains a wealth of information, most of which free. I recently came across a site called, for example. At first glance it doesn’t appear to be anything special. But upon further investigation I found valuable information that could be used in my recruiting efforts. This website is broken down by industry, with a lot of information under each subheading (e.g. Telecomm, RF, Power). For example, under the telecommunications section, there is a list of “site features” and under RF Design I found a glossary of RF terms as well as a listing of articles on the industry. The terms in and of themselves are valuable for sourcing, but the articles are chock full of people in the industry who could be useful for networking. I also found a link to the International Wireless Expo that is coming up early next year. This may be an event I would want to attend for networking, or maybe there is a way to get a mailing list of attendees. I could go on and on about the information that you can find on this site but I will leave it up to you to investigate it and determine if it is useful for your recruiting efforts. There are plenty of other sites out there like it that can potentially lead you into existing networks of candidates, and at a bare minimum help you learn more about the industry or position you’re recruiting for. Conclusion Now is the time to start finding more qualified candidates by doing proactive investigative work using the Internet. It may be a matter of using niche sites more frequently or doing more research. In any case, the more work you do before starting a search, the more targeted the results you will get, making your job that much easier. Work smarter, not harder!

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