Sourcing in Recruiting
Today’s Talent Acquisition (TA) function is fraught with major operational and strategic challenges. Inexperienced recruiters who lack sourcing expertise and cannot effectively manage end-user expectations; no formal TA methodologies; a reactive mode of functioning with minimal workforce planning; not building pipelines for critical roles; ineffective metrics; no feedback mechanisms; over-reliance on costly staffing agencies; lack of knowledge bases that result in loss of productivity as old recruiters walk out with all sourcing knowledge. Of course, the industry continues to be plagued with deeper issues where senior management short circuits the TA function due to low TA visibility and a lack of understanding. Truly baffling considering the fact everyone knows talent is the only real differentiator in today’s world.
Candidate Sourcing Techniques
While we cannot solve the deeper structural challenges we sure can suggest quick, easy fix solutions to alleviate some of the pain. Here are candidate sourcing strategies:
Hire “Stand Up” Recruiters
Recruiters with deep domain knowledge and expertise who can source the right way and manage end-user expectations. Finding great talent is beyond posting jobs and functioning as glorified ATS processors. Recruiters need to communicate and negotiate on what can be delivered realistically. They need to have extensive sourcing domain expertise. Sourcing to recruiting is comparing oranges to apples. They don’t blend!!
If we all accept that talent is an only true differentiator – why is the TA function relegated next to obscurity. We firmly believe TA management is partly to blame for this anomaly. The problem is further compounded as the TA role is buried deep within the HR function. HR and TA need to work in unison to increase visibility within the company.
Easier said than done! Strong leadership is essential to make waves with initiatives like workforce planning.
Workforce planning is the glue that binds top management’s corporate initiatives to the TA function. Anticipated growth and attrition need to be addressed with the hiring of talent. What are the goals for the next 12 to 18 months? What are the critical roles? High attrition recurring roles? The workforce plan serves as the blueprint to execute. It sets and locks in expectations enabling the TA function to deliver with confidence in a proactive mode.
Manage the End User
As discussed above inexperienced recruiters end up over-promising and under-delivering due to lack of domain knowledge and ability to negotiate. The moon cannot be delivered! In these instances, the TA manager needs to step in – understand, analyse, negotiate, and then lock incorrect delivery expectations. A formalized well-defined need gathering and analysis process with regular ongoing communications will ensure project success.
Just as with sales you need a formal methodology to define processes with progressive work deliverables and metrics. This will ensure increased project success; bring down operational costs due to work standardization and efficiencies. As work methods stabilize and mature over time, best practices will ensue. A predicted spike in the quality of hiring within the resource, cost, and time constraints will have the end-user complement you with the widest grin!
In many organizations, sourcing is equated to posting jobs and processing replies from the postings. These are the “glorified processors” who have no clue that sourcing is a proactive process to target and headhunt passive talent from your direct and indirect competitors. Right sourcing techniques need to be introduced, implemented taught, and captured in knowledge bases. Regular updates to the database ensure relevancy & productivity.
Say No to Agencies
Staffing agencies are an expensive “short term” solution that can no longer justify their high pricing points in a social media platform like LinkedIn. While the contingency model can be appealing it does not guarantee the best candidates have been sourced. Besides, agencies do not help the company build pipelines or help implement a sourcing platform for the future. In the long run, it will suit you better to develop in-house expertise.
Dial “Zero” for Customer Support
Make sure you activate your company’s recruiter support line. Do not have one? Well then create one and start manning it. Do not become one of the statistics plaguing the recruiting world where candidates are never responded to, or never on time with an honest reply. Do the right thing and you won’t have chatter in the social media haunting you. Here is a great way to differentiate yourself – a truly great candidate experience!!
As a company, you need to be constantly scouting for great talent. Attrition is but inevitable. If growth is planned then you absolutely need a proactive approach to recruiting talent. Using workforce planning identify and shortlist critical talent needs for the next 12 to 18 months. As your source for your current roles extends the search process for pipeline roles. Flag this talent pool and keep their credentials current with regular keep warm initiatives.
Inspire the Organization
Hire seasoned recruiters. Implement robust processes. Constantly monitor and work to improve. Seek regular feedback from all in the ecosystem – your end-users, candidates, folks in the trenches (recruiters). Stabilize and make processes highly functional. Capture best practices. Become a highly productive learning TA function with regular ongoing training & feedback. The result – top-notch talent recruited in the organization. Organizational bliss!!
Now for some shameless marketing!! Sourcing talent for the now & building pipelines for the future is a manpower resource-intense process. It cannot be automated. For the now, machines cannot read and analyse résumés! Marketing, sourcing, reach out, screening, scheduling takes time and effort. To attract the best out there you need to source the right way with great processes, systems, and resources. Minimize reliance on staffing agencies.
They are expensive and at best a “short term” solution. You need a “sourcing support” solution that is more enduring with attractive price points that enable you to build a lasting sourcing infrastructure with pipelines, knowledge bases, robust processes & best practices at no additional cost.
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