Five Methods for Collecting and Marketing To Candidates

A typical recruiter used to have a Rolodex filled with names and telephone numbers of people she had met, already placed in jobs, had lunch with, knew from a referral, or had chatted with on the phone. This was the lifeblood of her professional existence and she may have spent 60-70% of her time updating and adding to this Rolodex. It was something to be proud of and to brag about to your colleagues, and it separated a junior recruiter with a skimpy Rolodex from the pro who had a bulging one. Then came the Internet and job boards. Everything changed. Now having a Rolodex with its rather static content and clumsy lookup interface is a badge of obsolescence and a sure sign that you are an “old school” recruiter–and therefore not as effective. The leading-edge recruiters use technology to build databases on the fly as needs are identified or as requests come to them. Last week I spoke about the confusion that exists in the use of technology for recruiting. As the technology gets more and more diffuse, it is important to have a framework on which to place various services. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> I have created a simple framework of these services made up of seven groups. These services are classified as:

  1. Those that help collect and aggregate candidates
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  3. Those that assist in marketing to candidates, promoting your organization, or attracting candidates
  4. Those that enable you to communicate with candidates or respond to their resumes or applications
  5. Those that screen, test, or background check candidates
  6. Those that track candidates through the internal corporate systems (applicant tracking)
  7. Those that analyze systems or that collect it themselves
  8. Those that help you do workforce planning

This article is an attempt to bring some understanding to the first two levels of this technology: those that are used for collecting or aggregating candidates and those that are for promoting your firm or marketing to candidates. Part of any technology strategy will be to decide which of the various tools and services that exist are right for you. Here are five ways in which this is being done. Method 1: This is the way it all began, way back three or four years ago. If a recruiter needs to find 2 C++ programmers, she just starts an Internet search. This could mean checking out job boards, going to chat rooms or news groups, or employing a “robot” to search across the entire Internet for key words. This requires only a browser and some basic training–the kind that a recruiter can get from AIRS, Barbara Ling, or a similar organization. The job boards that now exist are mind boggling in their diversity and scope and some are very specific to a region or to a profession. Method 2: In this method the recruiter uses a service that helps them post to the job boards, develop attractive job descriptions and capture candidates who come to their corporate web site to look at product or to find information. These services, which are probably best characterized by Hire.com, are getting increasingly sophisticated and allow recruiters to screen candidates, actively “push” recommended jobs to candidates based on the profiles they have created and to keep in touch with these prospective candidates regularly. The candidate screening functions are powerful without being complex. Generally they involve asking the candidate to answer a few (5-15) questions that would be what a recruiter would ask if she were conducting a telephone screen. By having the candidates do this, recruiters can reduce the high volume of often low quality resumes that flow into many organizations. Another firm that offers a similar service is called Recruitsoft.com. Method 3: Method three uses technology to place ads and cross post job descriptions to send out the message about who you are and what kinds of people you are seeking. Smaller and less well-known firms can use these services very effectively because their websites may not attract a high level of potential candidates by themselves. These services allow you to post to many job boards at once or to place other kinds of recruitment ads on the Internet. A few will help you conduct a virtual recruiting campaign. Some of the services are network-like and allow wide distribution of your ads. Some of the many services in this category include JobSearch, CareerCast, CareerBuilder, GOJobs, and RecruitUSA. Method 4: This method allows firms to develop company specific talent pools or to attract specific types of candidates such as college students. This is a new and growing area of interest as it allows organizations to target their efforts on building a group of candidates that are “theirs” and are not shared across a pool of other firms. One of the interesting services in this area is called JobTag. It allows your employees, friends, and even those who work closely with your organization to refer candidates to you who can be aggregated into a private talent pool. Hire.com also encourages the aggregation of screened candidates into a talent pool that you can then further market to and select from. Method 5: Method five lets an organization tell its own story, perhaps augmented with commentary from recent candidates or new hires, to give a potential hire some exposure to the corporate culture and work style. The granddaddy of this type of site is WetFeet.com. WetFeet started life as a publisher of “insider guides” to working for companies–mostly targeted sat college students. Today they offer a much broader array of services to candidates and employers including research into what kinds of advertising work best and which websites are most effective. Other services similar to this include Vault.com and Hoover’s online. By carefully choosing a mix of these services and understanding what each of them can do for your organization you can much more effectively attract candidates and market what you have to offer.

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for ERE.net, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at kwheeler@futureoftalent.org.

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