Who is in Charge of your Recruiting Process?

May 17, 2001

With the recent shift in the economy, many things have changed in the job market, but the most evident change we’ve seen is who is in control. Last year, it was the job seekers who could just about write their own ticket and choose from multiple offers as to their next career move. As the economy changed, so did the balance of power. Recently laid-off job seekers are now scrambling to find a new home. The power has now shifted to the employers. It sounds like a recruiter’s dream, but many recruiters have found this type of market to be just as difficult to manage — if for different reasons. Nowadays, it’s being inundated with a flood of resumes that’s causing problems for recruiters. So how do you cope in this new job market? Below are some suggestions on how to keep order on your desk during these chaotic times: Review Your Postings Job postings are a staple of a recruiter’s recruiting plan. Postings can yield great results, but if you are not careful, you can be overrun by a flood of unqualified resumes. When writing a posting, it is more important than ever to be very specific in terms of the skills and experience that is required for your position. If you are vague and list intangible skills as opposed to hard skills, you will probably become the latest victim of resume overload. Clarify Needs There is nothing worse than working your tail off to find candidates for a specific opening only to find out that the position is being put on hold. Meet with your hiring managers to determine which positions are “mission critical” for the success of the company and which positions are not as high on the priority list. The positions with less priority will most likely be the next ones to be put on hold if hiring is scaled back. By focusing most of your energy on the high priority positions, you will most likely have more success in filling them, which will in turn increase your value to your company. We all know that Recruiting and Human Resources is usually the first place companies cut in slower economic times. By making critical hires, you are not only filling an important opening but at the same time you are solidifying your standing with your company as an asset as opposed to overhead. Source Candidates Now is not the time to get lazy and have the attitude that candidates will be beating down your doors to come work for your company. Candidates may be beating down your doors, but they may not be the right candidates. If your recruiting strategy is more reactive (postings, job fairs, newspapers ads, etc.) then you are probably one of the recruiters who are getting overwhelmed by resumes. If you are allowing candidates to determine if they are qualified for a position or not, the control over quality and quantity has now been turned over to the candidates, and you have no control over who is applying. I recently spoke with a company that only uses job postings, and they now have over 25,000 resumes that are sitting in an email box that no one has looked at. Sound like a waste of money? By taking a proactive approach, such as sourcing, you will ensure more quality and less quantity. Sourcing takes back the control and allows you, the expert, to decide who is qualified for a position and who is not. Since there are more job seekers today than in the last five years, you are more than likely to find the “quality candidates” that eight months ago you would have died to find. Also, these candidates have much more realistic expectations in terms of compensation, relocation, stock options and benefits. Build Relationships In an employer’s market, like what we are experiencing today, it is a great opportunity to capitalize on building future candidate relationships. With so many candidates looking for work, now is a great time to implement a candidate relationship program. If you set up an automated monthly newsletter about your company to candidates that applied for positions at your company, you will be building a pipeline for the future. Not all of the candidates will be qualified for a position at your company today, but if you maintain contact with them during slower economic times, when things turn around, who do you think these candidates are going to remember when they start getting calls from recruiters? The recruiter from a company that sent them a “thanks for applying letter,” or the recruiter that acknowledged them for applying and then kept in contact with them via e-mail? You be the judge. Conclusion As you can see, there are many things that you can do to ensure success during these times. Take a look at how you are recruiting and think outside the box. If you are able to, then when the market heats up again, you will be sitting pretty with a full pipeline of candidates ready to go! <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

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