July 22, 2009

Q&A: Where should recruiters look for candidates?

Filed under: Q&A, Recruiting

A recruiter from a consulting firm asks whether I really shun job boards, and where to find good candidates really fast…

Question
I caught you on NPR last week and thought you were a breath of fresh air! I am in the process of letting our CareerBuilder job posting account loose. First, because it costs a lot and secondly, because you are absolutely right, most of the jobs we post are bogus after the first 24 hours. Okay, I promise I’m getting to my question…

Are you saying don’t use any job boards? And if so, what’s the best way to find talent FAST if you don’t have someone in your database or pipeline when a requirement comes in? Especially when in some cases you have a little as fifteen minutes to get to that great candidate before a flurry of other firms do. I’m avidly learning LinkedIn but that seems to be better for making client connections than ones with candidates.

Nick’s Reply
Thanks for the kind words.

I don’t think your clients pay you to race your competition. They pay you to find the best people. What you’re doing is competing with other recruiters for a limited pool of people whose resumes are on job boards.

Anyone whose resume is on a job board is already “used up” and picked over. Your odds of closing a deal are way diminshed even before you contact them… so that 15 minutes doesn’t matter much. It’s already too late.

Where are the people who are not on the boards? They’re among your network. I just don’t see the point of pulling some resume off a board and sending it to a client who probably already has it from some other firm or agency… It’s a waste of time. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather poll my contacts and scratch my head… and go look where the competition doesn’t.

Why the focus on finding people in data bases? Try investing half that time in meeting new people in the industry you recruit from. When you call those people later on about an assignment you’re working on, they won’t be on the other line with your competitors…

I know it’s a hard business. But step back and ask yourself, what are you doing? And, what should you be doing? Do you have a line in the data base pool, waiting for a nibble? Or do you have good relationships with great people in the community you recruit from — who can reliably refer you to the people your clients need?

My compliments on cutting CareerBuilder loose. Invest the money instead in taking a shining light in your industry to lunch!

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2 Comments on “Q&A: Where should recruiters look for candidates?”
By James
July 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Networking. Try going to various networking groups. In my space it would be .NET, Oracle, Java, SCRUM, etc type user groups. These “user groups” usually like to have someone sponsor their meetings. You’ll find that most techies want someone to notice them and open the conversation. Techies are a shy bunch, but they are always interested in hearing about opportunities to do something new.

By Teresa
October 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Coming from a job-seeker perspective I completely agree with the networking comment above from James. I also agree that it’s expensive and competitive to stay on top of the job boards. I use social media to connect and that seems to get me a lot of responses and I also found a free job site that connects me to recruiters as soon as a match comes along. It’s somewhat like The Ladders or Execunet except recruiters search based on the job and skills needed while my privacy is maintained. I think it’s new – exactjobmatch.com. It should work well for recruiters too.

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