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  • Writer's pictureMike Bensi

Go Old School to Find Your Next Candidate

I'm old. So old in fact, I remember a time when my recruiting strategy was typically built around a single source—a newspaper. Fast forward to today and we know times have dramatically changed. Now we can post an ad on the internet and find all the qualified candidates we could ever want. Right? Well...

Just like the old days, you can't just post a Help Wanted ad and hope for the best. Yet, most employers still use this same strategy as what I saw early in my career.

We know we need to change this strategy, but most of us don't know where to start. In a study I found, 93% of CEOs find they need to change their strategy for attracting talent, but a majority of them (61%) don’t know where to begin.

It’s difficult to create a strategy, because we can be easily distracted. The unemployment rate is low, meaning the fight for talent is high. We have an endless supply of technology options to help in this fight, and even new technology coming out on how to search for a job using the GPS on our phones. And now we're told it's OK to text job candidates.

With so much distraction, it can be easy to forget what recruiting is really all about–sales. We need to sell to the candidate. Not only about the job but the company. And not only about the company but the purpose of the company.

If our job is to sell, why would we ever rely on a single job posting to draw in the talent we desire? Instead, we should consider using some of these old school methods:

Always be networking

I'm not talking about how you're using Tinder, but rather how you are networking to find top talent. The best leaders I know are consistently meeting and connecting with talent. One even went as far as to become a part-time Uber driver. If driving isn't your thing, try reaching out to your alma mater to see how you can help connect to their network.

Go after your competition

Some of the best sales people I know are comfortable talking with prospects even when they’re with a competitor. But when it comes to HR and hiring, we shy away from this. Look for organizations who do what you do or within industries that require similar skills and abilities, and then start talking to people there.

Ignite employee referrals

Most organizations I know have an employee referral program. But I find they make it too complex or simply don't talk about it enough. If an employee is willing to take the time to introduce a friend to your company, why do we need to wait six months to a year to reward them?

Tell great stories

External storytelling is specifically tied to brand building. Your brand is made up of your people, culture, and leadership. If you’ve noticed that companies with the strongest brand usually have the best culture, it isn’t by accident. This is incredibly important to job seekers as the company’s career site is ranked typically as an important part of their decision to apply. Thus, storytelling is a big deal.

If you do something special for a customer and they tweet about it, then their friends are more likely to do business with you. Blogs and other social outlets have created a way for organizations to grow their customer base. So why would you not use this same model and tools from an employment perspective?

Get involved in the community

Think about what you do as a company. What events do you host? Company picnics? Community efforts? Find a great photographer or an employee who loves to take pictures to capture them and create stories to support the storytelling. And then share them on social media or your company website.

Before you hit submit on that job posting, try these old school methods to create a more effective hiring strategy.

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