Finding good people to work at your company is a challenge. It’s time consuming and takes a lot of effort and for most business people hiring is just one of their job responsibilities, and not always a core competency. This is why companies turn to external partners to help. You always want to ensure you’re getting the best and talent management is so critical you really want a successful partnership with your staffing supplier. We asked our “experts,” our IT recruiters and others on our staff, for their advice on how to do it.
“Be detailed about your requirements”
This is the first, most basic and arguably the most important thing you can do in the process. Your job description should be detailed and tailored specifically to the position. The clearer the role and responsibilities are, the better the sourcing can be, leading to the most qualified candidates for you to choose from. Matthew Smith told us “this is especially important when it comes to the technology your team uses.” We understand that you’re busy and using templates and boilerplate job descriptions is a time saver but as Technical Recruiter Dan Friedland points out “the more specific the information you provide early on, the fewer questions there will be later on.”
Don’t just tell us about the hard skills the candidate will need, soft skills matter too, sometimes even more! What’s the personality of a successful candidate for you? What’s the culture of your firm or department? Lucille Aviles explains, “knowing this upfront is critical to a recruiter and will absolutely help ensure that the candidate resumes that are sent to you will be a pool of good potential matches, not just a lot of resumes.” Talent sourer Megan Connolly says, “Details, details, details for the job descriptions. Every little piece counts towards finding that perfect candidate.” The more nuance you can communicate, the better. It really pays off. Caution though: be specific but not superfluous. Don’t load it with nice-to-have but not necessary skills that weed out qualified candidates needlessly.
This is especially important in niche areas like IT and Engineering where you’re looking for highly skilled people and have very specific requirements. Account Executive Janice Yoshimoto advised that “working with knowledgeable industry recruiters is the first step, but giving us the most detail regarding the prospective job is the best way to ensure a better fit with our applicants.”
“Be prompt and specific with feedback”
Simply put – timely feedback on submittals and interviews is incredibly valuable. Everyone we asked expressed this view. Mansi Shukla explains “prompt feedback on a candidate’s resume speeds up the recruiting process and helps the recruiters to find the best talent.” Account Executive Fran Garfinkel reminds clients “as your account manager it is my personal responsibility to make sure your needs are being met. Please take advantage of that!” The more knowledge we accumulate about your company and your needs specifically, the better we’ll be able to do our job. Dana Cheifer adds “it’s important for hiring managers to spend time with us to explain why they have the need and give more details about the position than what’s in the job description.”
It’s an upfront investment that pays off over the long term and as Anju Batra pointed out, “providing feedback on candidates quickly is critical because the market is moving fast and good candidates don’t last long!”
Provide as much support and feedback to the recruiters working for you as possible. Sourcing candidates for positions is much harder when you don’t really know what you’re supposed to be looking for. Be honest and clear. Concrete feedback on resumes and after interviews helps your recruiters understand more about what you want and don’t want. Van Nguyen told Staffing 360 that “knowing what was missing from a candidate’s repertoire will help you get better, more on target candidates in the future.” It really can be as simple as that.
“Be open to the possibilities”
“Know what you are looking for but keep an open mind” said Technical Recruiter Jaymeson Zarling and others echoed this sentiment. Krista Jensen hopes clients will “have a healthy balance between knowing exactly what you are looking for and being open minded to potentially unexpected opportunities.” The longer you’ve been in the business, the more you know this is true. Skills and experience matter up to a point but other qualities are often better predictors of success.
Beethoven Sabar says to “look for candidates who are creative, passionate and hardworking.” Our recruiters also think that attitude is one of the most important skills. You can teach someone to code or how to a programmer, but it’s nearly impossible to teach a good attitude – and as Lynn Bautista tells us, “a good attitude is what separates a star from the pack. With a good attitude comes respect for others, discipline, loyalty, and other behaviors that make good performers.”
Ben Brown tells clients “don’t judge harshly or hastily purely based on work history, consider giving a promising enthusiastic candidate the chance to learn and grow in a new industry/career” and other recruiters agreed. Giving candidates a chance, Ben added, “can lead to some of the best and most long lasting employment relationships.” Francesca Opulencia explains “someone might not completely qualify for a job position but look for a candidate’s potential, consider their ability to learn. With a little training, they might just be amazing!”
Technical recruiter Dana Cookson reminds clients that “nothing in life is perfect” and passes along this advice from Confucius, “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” Adriana Pegueros adds “flexibility and realistic thinking will provide you the best opportunities to find the perfect addition to your team.”
“Be ready to act”
“Jump on great candidates immediately! They do not last in the job market long and hesitating will result in losing out on a solid employee.”
Michele Olech said it but this was a common sentiment among our team. Whatever feelings may linger from the recession need to be set aside for good. It’s over, and for the most part finding good candidates in our market is a challenge. Laurence Friedman also points out that “money does matter! A good candidate deserves a good rate.” Of course as Kerrey Perham says, “you should never hire someone simply to fill a space. Be picky and make sure they are the right fit.” But remember Anila Isaly’s advice as well; “make sure the person is a good fit but when you see quality IT talent and personality in front of you, make your decision and move on to your next project!” Finding good people is hard enough, don’t make it harder on yourself by inaction.