Why You Should Be Sourcing Candidates with Engagement Strategies

By Chris Murdock

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The Diamond Recruiting Process is about finding imperfections in your recruiting and sourcing process and fixing them. It’s taking the Four C’s (Collaboration, Calibration, Candidates, and Culture) and applying them in a way that enables recruiters and sourcers to start their searches narrow, expand them to fit their target talent pools and weave their nets back into a more refined point. This process is made possible with the help of candidate engagement because recruiters and sourcers are focusing more on establishing and building relationships with candidates to keep them through their talent pipelines longer.

Here are 3 recruiting and sourcing strategies that are sure to improve your process:

Collaborate to Attract Candidates Where They Are

Candidates are everywhere these days. The increasingly social and mobile-facing workforce requires recruiting and sourcing strategies to adapt if you want to pique candidate interest and get them to respond to your emails and messages. Heck, the recruiting and sourcing world is leagues beyond what it used to be, and tech-savvy skills and marketing backgrounds are now becoming synonymous with recruiting and sourcing strategies, but we prefer to call them “engagement” because, when you boil it down, you’re building a relationship with these people.

It’s hard to deny the influence of major candidate-hub platforms like LinkedIn, but they aren’t the only place you should be looking to acquire talent. A common pitfall for a lot of companies trying to recruit in today’s tighter talent markets is over-indexing — searching for candidates only on LinkedIn, Monster.com or Indeed.

The truth is not every great candidate is on LinkedIn, but in the same note not all LinkedIn candidates are passive. Candidates aren’t out in the world like Lionel Richie saying “Hello…Is it me you’re looking for?” It’s our job as recruiters and sourcers to make sure we avoid assuming things about them and uncover the real characteristics and traits that qualify them for a position. Show them that you’re invested in more than just the person painted in their LinkedIn profile.

Calibrate to Kindle Candidate Interest

In the Diamond Recruiting Process, “Diamond Candidates” are people that meet 90–95% of search criteria or more. As you can imagine, finding these candidates takes time, but that doesn’t mean candidates are just declared diamond from the start. Any candidate can become a diamond candidate with enough time, engagement and relationship nurturing in your talent pipeline. On the recruitment side of the coin, this means re-evaluating your candidate engagement strategies every so often to calibrate your goals and plans to achieve them.

While this sounds great on paper, recruiters and sourcers still run into plenty of issues trying to manage these strategies. Here are some of the biggest roadblocks to sourcing candidates with engagement strategies:

  • Most recruiters don’t have the time to perform 20+ hours of research on candidates.
  • Candidates and clients hate spam, and sometimes recruiter messages can come across that way.
  • Miscommunication happens on both sides of the recruiter/client/candidate coin

That’s where calibration profiles come into play. These candidate personas enable recruiters and sourcers to learn what candidates and clients like, what their concerns are, and how you can help them. To put it in simple terms, these profiles are your collection of candidate data but positioned like a requisite that shows how well the candidate fits the client needs/search criteria.

Expand your search

The key to Diamond Recruiting is to always keep modifying your search to source additional candidates, whether online, through referrals or another source. Broaden your search terms, boolean strings and semantics to uncover the diamonds in the rough.

Having calibration profiles enables your team to take a pause, talk through challenges to the recruiting process, and discuss how to overcome them. Calibration profiles also help recruiters and sourcers get to know candidate personalities and their humor to help break down the perceived “professionalism screen” to see the candidate’s true potential.

Culture to Build Candidate Trust

Your process focus shouldn’t be picking out candidate info like a vulture. One of your main objectives is to find out how the candidate fits into the company culture. So ask questions that fit their experience to uncover their mindset and interest. These questions and scenarios are key to gauging culture fit. Work with hiring managers, talent acquisition leaders, and your fellow recruiters to collect the culture fit questions your sourcing process needs. Here are some example questions based that help gauge culture fit:

  • When was the last time you made a mistake and how did you overcome it?
  • When was the last time you worked as a part of a team and how did you contribute to the overall success of the group?
  • Do you read the Economist?
  • Were you a boy scout/girl scout?

The last two culture fit questions are very specific to a single client, but you can profile the existing employees to find questions around hobbies, interests, and non-professional experiences past or present. You can have all the questions, but remember each candidate has their own unique personality and experiences. In recruiting and sourcing, opposites do attract. It’s always a good idea to bring in different opinions so you don’t get too caught up in culture fit. In other words, don’t allow culture fit questions to create physical or implicit biases in your recruiting and sourcing strategies. This is where working as an augmented recruiting team comes into play because you’re working with hiring managers and employees on your client’s team to fit these areas of interest.

These types of questions uncover more than just candidate personality — they identify the key elements of the candidate’s background that indicate their culture fit. Getting to know them on a personal level with the goal of placing them in the right position that matches personality and interests with client needs and job fit shows them you’re on their side. In other words, it builds trust that’s vital to the candidate relationship that continues to the onboarding process and beyond.

Recruiting and sourcing success stems directly from your ability to broaden and narrow your searches. This is what the Diamond Recruiting Process is all about — engaging candidates to find what’s missing in their online profiles.

This article was originally published on the IQTalent Partners Blog.

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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