Is the skills gap getting wider? Or is it just us? More than half of 3,000 employers studied report having plans to increase their workplace headcount in 2018. 92% of these employers are being affected by skills shortages during their attempt to expand.
As dedicated sourcers, we have to find talent, regardless of how large or small the skills gap is, so it’s time to think creatively and not let the growing gap hamper our jobs. This brings us new opportunities to question what we’re doing wrong and consider what sourcing and hiring initiatives can bend around the skills gap. What traditional recruitment methods need to kick the can?
If we’re being honest with ourselves, traditional sourcing and recruiting just isn’t enough anymore. We’re changing the rules and technology is coming with us. Let’s take a look at how AI and unique sourcing habits can surface and land those truly quality hires.
*This blog post is compiled of a series of stories and experiences we’ve had as sourcing and recruiting experts as told by Chris Murdock, IQTalent Partners’ Co-Founder and Senior Partner.
"This is a story that started out as what looked like bad press, but actually ended up being a huge success. We were working to engage with Twitter engineers via email at the request of our client. We had all the contact information and were just working on capturing their attention to start the conversation. It started out like any other “Hi, hello, my name is…” until we started noticing our Twitter account ‘blowing up’ if you will.
What was happening was, these Twitter engineers screenshotted our emails we had sent them, name, addresses, and company titles all exposed, and started tantalising our outreach, publically. Initially,our client called with terror in his voice because we were being called out for doing our jobs on Twitter with the candidates we were trying to attract. What started happening after the Tweets were sent was the magical part. Their followers started emailing us for job opportunities. We received twice as many qualified, interested candidates out of the “free” promotions these engineers were sending out."
Just because you get flamed on social media doesn’t mean you can’t glean some serious coverage from it. Influencers have serious referral power, so consider setting up a referral program or finder’s fee for qualified referrals!
"They weren’t impressed by our traditional outreach method, fine, so be it. What they did offer us was free recruitment marketing without having to sail the open, lonely seas that are job boards."
This particular scenario also proved meeting candidates where they hang out is more effective than trying to get their attention. 50.5% of recruiters have admitted social media is a game changer when integrated into the recruitment process correctly.
Many studies by organizations including (but not limited to) Glassdoor and CareerBuilder have already proven candidates in many industries not only spend personal leisure time scrolling through social but increasingly conduct career research on these platforms. In fact, 79% of job candidates use social media in their job search.
This isn’t only a highly trafficked and preferred method of research for candidates either. Using social media as a brand, company and employer can greatly increase your chances of being a more probable choice of employment to candidates; three-quarters of U.S. respondents said companies whose C-Suite executives and leaders use social to communicate company brand values, missions and purpose are more trustworthy.
"Look, email is great, but it’s just not producing the same results it did before in candidate reach methods. Starting to sound like a bad breakup? Maybe you’re not ready, but your candidates sure are. Here’s a story about a candidate that proved this to us.
We were working on sourcing candidates for an automotive retailer and we had found the perfect candidate; we sent several email and call attempts to get ahold of this candidate with no luck. In a last ditch effort, we sent out a goofy tweet with him mentioned in it. Guess who responded near immediately?"
Why does this work? In many cases, highly-desired candidates are considered “passive talent,” or professionals that aren’t actively searching for a new job opportunity. Passive candidates account for 70% of the global workforce. This leaves our odds feeling slim, yet 87% of both active and passive candidates are willing to hear about new job opportunities if the right one surfaces (here’s our window!)
Passive candidates, while satisfied with their current roles and not actively searching for a new gig, can be swayed by compensation increases (49%), professional development opportunities (33%) or a better work/life balance (29%). While they’re less likely to be enticed by your average job offer via email or job board posting, there’s room for hope… if you catch them off guard. The same applies to platforms like LinkedIn. A near 15-year-old platform that was built specifically to change the way we network online isn’t bringing us that unique talent we’re looking for. Why? Because that’s where we want them to come.
"We were able to successfully get his attention, because this particular candidate was a ‘Twitter guy’."
Finding quality talent isn’t one of those “build it and they will come” situations. It’s one of those put yourself in their shoes situations; you have to really get in the role of how these candidates carry about their days to best target where they’re hanging out and when.
Not all of our greatest sourcing successes come from surprising luck on Twitter. Here comes the “science-y” aspect to new age hiring. The AI, yes… the AI. Machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms bring us the people data we’ve been waiting for. From these technologies, we can find trends like how often the average candidate in any given industry will likely change jobs, and search for candidates who are likely due for a career change accordingly. Once we narrow down our odds, AI can then match job criteria to job experience based on online candidate data.
Of course, technology can only help us as much as we help it; things like poor job descriptions can greatly hinder our ability to source those candidates (did you know, simple changes to job descriptions like the inclusion of proper keywords in the job title increases candidate views by 116%?).
Implementing new technology is not your hiring processes “big fix.” When was the last time you really sat down and looked at the decade-old laundry list of job requirements for any given position you’re hiring for? Does it apply to your company’s changing landscape, mission, and evolving roles?
Take the time to really evaluate your job descriptions for accuracy to help feed AI algorithms with data they can really work with. With the proper data entries, your technology can learn to search for new talent based on those descriptions you plug.
About Chris Murdock:
Chris Murdock is the Co-Founder and Senior Partner of IQTalent Partners. Chris has over 12 years of executive recruiting experience and leads search execution and client relationships along with supporting searches across the firm. Prior to Founding IQTalent Partners, Chris was a sourcer with Yahoo!’s internal Executive Recruiting team in the corporate offices in Sunnyvale, California.
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