Part 2 (for HR Managers): How to Become Less Dependent on Recruiting Firms

Honest tips from a 3rd party recruiter on how to use us LESS….

1.  Build Your Brand

When you are in a specific market segment (medical, automotive, chemical, plastics..etc), it is easy to assume that the companies you are most familiar with are known to everyone just the same.    However, most factories and even corporate sites go far too unnoticed to the collection of professionals they’d like to attract.

While not everyone can afford a full size / multimedia blitz-style campaign (and I am no expert there anyway….), almost everyone could be doing more and there are always a few ways to spread the word on the cheap…

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do new grads from regional schools in our target degree areas know who we are? (it’s usually cheaper and easier to advertise to college kids via on-campus career fairs and distributing info via career centers such as free give away items that tell a story, etc). Are we partnered with vocational schools?
  • If our target candidate was unhappy in their role, how would / could they find out about us? Do we have an active enough social media presence?   Billboard?   Commercial?   Sponsorships? Blog? Community involvement?  Are you ‘out there’ enough (beyond just press releases).
  • What’s your relationship with the top 3-4 local news outlets/papers?  They’ll often be willing to distribute positive press releases/news if you’ll share it.
  • What’s your relationship with local politicians? (Mayors and local government will almost always make time for a local business – take advantage!!!).
  • Are your marketing folks involved in local, candidate-intentioned branding? Marketing (for good reason) is mostly pointed at the customer.   Have them adjust their aim toward candidates 4-5 times a year.   Collaborate and make good use of the pros you already have in-house.
  • Does your product / company / location have a story and mission?   Plastic component, metal fabricated parts, filling engineering positions…alone, not super inspiring.   But what does your company help create for the customer?  What type of experience will people have?   What can an employee become?    What is your company or location committed to?   Get people interested in your unique story and mission.

2.   Become a better farmer (and sourcer)…

Something we experience all the time is the joy of sending a candidate who applied to the client 6-7 months ago (with no response) and making the subsequent placement.   Whether it’s a cutting edge ATS or just a simple database, with 99% certainty, I can promise you there is a candidate in there that your company would hire if they were only aware…commit to finding more of them.

Make time each week to quick-scan your applicants (all of them).   Hire someone to go through the applications.    Create a system where you instantly forward any applicant that’s ‘interesting’ to the hiring manager for a quick review…so you don’t lose track.   Whatever it is, take action in some form to review more people that come to you.   Lots of payoff potential here for the pain.

Source back 6-18 months.   This is a tactic the 3rd party side uses very successfully.   We would kill for your database of quality candidates and I would venture to say those 6 month+ old applicants are never tapped into.   Are they hot leads?  No.  Are 10-30% still looking around?  Yes.  Send emails, something of a quick-touch to pre-qualify if they’re still interested.  If you send 100, I’ll promise at least 10-15 will respond.  The beauty is that most everyone else has given up on them also so there’s less competition.

Create a “call later” group/folder/database and proactively send ‘A’ candidates to hiring managers.  Don’t fall victim to having a great candidate but no opening.   If a position cannot be ‘created’, at least have a system for quickly accessing great candidates who had bad timing.

There are dozens of things you can do to ensure you don’t pay $17,000 for a candidate who was sitting in your database.  The first step is recognizing how ‘worth it’ it is to commit some extra time.

3.  Create a Farm System (another “farm” analogy….Indiana!!!)

Having an internship program and hiring new grads isn’t uncommon.   But does your company have a Leadership Development rotational program?   Do you over-hire new grads?   Are you cross-training?  What can you do now to save on recruiter fees next year?

This especially applies to Skilled Trades.  More and more we’re recruiting on these types of roles and it’s a valuable service in the market right now.    Make a goal to ‘grow’ 2 skilled trades employees between now and next April.   There’s an hourly employee that’s willing to learn or an applicant who meets your cultural / character standards who just needs some training.    Don’t force yourself to settle for bad employees who happen to be the most skilled.

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~ 15 year vet of the recruiting industry. Passionate about my family, company and helping people reach their full potential.

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