3 Places to Turn When You Need the Best and the Brightest Talent

Today's employment market is tough. Here are three places to turn when you're looking for qualified talent and recruiting has stalled out.

You’ve been posting jobs to your company’s job board, and applicant counts are low, despite the stellar descriptions in your recruiting efforts. Aside from banging a pot on the side of the road while wearing a sandwich board, what else can you do?

Today’s employment market is tough, and even top organizations are having trouble filling high-profile roles. Sometimes, the talent you want is too buried in their current role to discover yours. Other times, you’ve not been presenting your opportunity in the right way to the right people. And more often than not, it’s both.

But you don’t have to be stuck in the talent gap loop forever. Smart organizations know that a creative and strategic approach to recruiting will lead them to find the most qualified talent. Here are three places to turn when you’re looking for qualified talent.

1. Recruiting Firms Aligned With Your Industry

A specialized recruiter may be the secret sauce to add to your talent acquisition model. Especially in high-demand or specialized fields, a recruiter who’s devoted their career to a functional area is priceless. Understanding the nuances of technical fields, personality types commonly seen in specializations, and market trends, these professionals know their stuff.

Firms in technology recruiting often keep an eye on cybersecurity trends, the best in software enhancements, and industry-specific buzz. This in-depth understanding can prove invaluable because they’ll know what to look for and speak the language.

Assess your needs and where your in-house staff has gaps so you know what type of firm to look for. Use a divide and conquer method to be efficient and respectful of each team’s resources and talents.

This understanding can reduce hiring time, identify more qualified candidates, and improve the likelihood of meeting retention goals. An investment in a talented recruiting firm can pay dividends beyond budget. Their engagement can also enhance your current employees’ satisfaction by filling teams with qualified professionals.

2. Your Current Employee Roster, No Matter Their Role

An underlying source of qualified talent may just be an all-employee email away. Your current employees know your business, good and bad. And many of them have worked elsewhere, giving them a broad professional network. Take advantage of their years of experience, pre-vetted contacts, and real-life understanding of your mission.

Make the ask of existing team members to do more than elevate new opportunities with your organization. Equip them with information and empower them to speak on your organization’s needs to their network.

Develop a channel or portal on your collaboration space with graphics, job descriptions, and recommendation forms to share with confidence. Generally, your employees will only refer the best of their network, well aware that their recommendation reflects on them.

Regardless of rank or role, make it clear that all of your colleagues’ input is wanted. Align your request with what’s in it for the employee, even if your budget is limited.

Ideally, you’ll be able to provide a referral bonus to referring employees after a successful hire. If not, strive to correlate the mutual benefit of a solid roster of talented employees. A well-staffed team of qualified and engaged employees can make organizations run more effectively.

3. Professional Social Networks and Affinity Groups Beyond the Usual Suspects

LinkedIn is a no-brainer when it comes to modern recruiting, but you may be missing out on underlying opportunities.

Most stealth job seekers are hesitant to add the “open to work” denotation on their profile. But account activity and engagement can be key indicators for talent that’s open to a no-pressure conversation.

Review those who follow your organization with talent that aligns with your needs. Check out their engagement with recent posts and those relevant to job seeking. Likes and comments on posts with a trendline of work culture, technology, and accomplishments can signal an open door. Use InMail to start a conversation about a relevant opportunity to see if your hunch is right.

Get creative and peruse technology chat sites and groups outside the traditional model. Some Reddit threads are full of die-hard devotees of the latest in tech and security. You’ll be able to review conversations and ideas, and if any resonate, you can step in to connect.

This stealth approach will take a little time, but the untapped resource it can uncover is well worth the effort. Develop a protocol for how to make this pitch, tracking your reach-outs and results to monitor your strategy over time.

Step Away from Antiquated Talent Attraction Models

Draft description, post, and wait doesn’t work anymore, and teams who use this model are missing out on top talent. Take a strategic approach to your recruiting model, partnering with like-minded firms who can help focus your efforts.

Put yourself in your target employees’ position and consider how your opportunity can find them. Beyond just getting to them, assess what your opportunity looks like once they review the details. Include more than duties by identifying goals, career path, and details about the compensation range to ensure alignment and efficiency.

Stretch your imagination and creativity to remain flexible as the market changes to the preferences of top talent. When you do, you’ll attract the right people who can elevate your organization and teams in the first 90 days.