5 Reasons You Can’t Recruit Candidates

You always hear how recruiters can’t find the right candidates, or candidates at all for that matter. They blame it on a plethora of causes from poor candidate quality to a changing workforce. But that is the problem: you can’t blame it on the candidates. With a changing candidate pool, recruiters have to adapt to trending techniques. The game of recruiting has changed, and you need to catch up with the increase in candidate mobility and the idea that you shouldn’t sell to the candidate… let them sell to you.

1. Your URL does say a lot about you.

Your career page URL might make sense to you, but if you’re not seeing the candidates you want – or candidates at all – something isn’t right. Even social sites like LinkedIn and Twitter give users the ability to change the URL to a vanity URL. Only 33% of recruiters have a vanity URL, and that doesn’t bode too well for the career page they sponsor.

2. Social activity, shmocial activity…

You can’t run from social media, and you certainly can’t hide. Millennials are an inevitable addition to the workforce. They are no strangers to smartphones and other tech devices because they grew up in the technology era. So, it stands to reason that 50% of the generation surfs the internet from their smart device more often than they use their computer for internet usage. They spend a (not so) surprising 14.5 hours per week texting, talking, and accessing social media from their phones. So what has your recruitment team done to increase social activity? If the answer is anything less than at least posting regularly, you’re not socially recruiting right.

3. Even if you recruit socially, you’re doing it wrong.

Due to the growth in the Millennial workforce, it’s increasingly important to not just have social media accounts, but to actually use them to the fullest. You can’t simply announce your job openings; it is actually necessary to market them to a specific group of people just as you would a product.

“Stating ‘We’re hiring for job X, with Y responsibilities and salary Z’ on a social networking site is like marching into a coffee shop full of random strangers with a sandwich board bearing the same message.” - Social Talent.

What seems like a simple equation only results in an accurate solution if it is placed in the right situation. Don’t worry; you’re not alone in poor social recruiting habits. Even Fortune 500 companies missed the social opportunity; although 85% of them permit sharing job openings through email, only a few offer the same capabilities socially.

4. Sell, sell, sell… It’s the candidate’s job, not yours.

It has long been expected that recruiters have to decide on their own that they want a particular candidate. In what way does the candidate have participation in the recruitment process then? After all, they are looking for new job opportunities… Recruiters who are persuaded by candidates listen 4 times more than they talk. They gather more candidate information with this method of interviewing, and therefore, make better assessments of potential new hires.

Lou Adler says, “It’s not the job of the recruiter to persuade candidates – no matter how sought after – to consider a position or accept an offer. It’s their job to get candidates to sell them on why they’re the perfect person for the job.”

5. It’s all in the database.

A choice in the right Applicant Tracking System can make a big difference in your recruitment methods. They allow you as a recruiter to pull past and present resumes in an effort to find the best candidate for the right position fitting not only function but culture too Especially for corporate recruiting, it would simply be impossible to recruit at your best without a specialized platform to help with matters. Only 26% of companies use an ATS; what is the other 74% that’s missing? Saving time, money, and energy while finding the perfect candidates for jobs they may not have considered until they discovered they were the right fit, all thanks to the ATS.

The strategies for recruiting have changed because the game is different than it used to be 5, 10, even 15 years ago. The workforce is becoming more connected through social media, creating professional connections on LinkedIn, and even becoming more passive as job seekers are actually currently employed. With the right ATS your company can provide candidates with a seamless hiring process.

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photo credit: Fiona McAllister Photography via photopin cc

Views: 816

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on August 15, 2014 at 4:51pm

I think the main difficulty for people who "can't find candidates" is that they aren't contacting enough people.  As far as an ATS system goes, I use Copernicus Desktop Search which easily finds all the resumes I have on file...  you can even get Copernicus for free.  It's a good product.  Before that, I used Google Desktop, but that's not around as much anymore.

In my opinion, social media (except for LinkedIn) is pretty over-rated as a place to recruit.  I regularly post jobs on Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, but the only responses I get (usually) are from people I have contacted directly (not usually from ad responses).  The idea of recruiting on social media is great, but when you are recruiting PhDs in Science and Engineering, there are usually better ways to find people.  The best candidates don't spend a lot of time on social networks, they are mostly busy inventing new technology.

I do have a few URLs I refer candidates to.  Brandyourself, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and AboutMe are pretty good.  My company's website is pretty old, so I don't emphasize it, but I do list it, and people do click through it, sometimes.

In general, the 'secret' to recruiting candidates is to always recruit for the best jobs out there!  and let people know about it...

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on August 15, 2014 at 5:36pm

...and then there is sometimes another explanation why you can't find candidates:  maybe there aren't any...  for example, I'm working on a search right now for someone with a PhD in Chemistry who works with formulation of inks.  Before I even started the search, I already had 400+ resumes on file of people I'd already recruited (for other positions) who have PhDs and have done work with ink (using Copernicus Search, they are all easy to immediately pull up)...  nonetheless, only one or two of them are suitable for the current position...  sometimes the person/skills being sought after are just extremely rare.  I find it always helps to be able to cite statistics about how many people were contacted, how many such resumes I have on file, etc., etc.  That way, I have a lot more power to convince my client that the one candidate is actually the best one out there, and that he/she should be the hire.  Notwithstanding which, I ALWAYS keep looking for a backup.  It should be a Recruiter Commandment.

Comment by Bert Shimabukuro on August 17, 2014 at 9:22pm

I've found different social media outlets are effective for different jobs.  On Facebook I've never recruited a .Net developer but I've gotten a lot of pharm techs.  

I have to disagree with #4. With hard to fill positions, it is a candidate's market and it is my job to sell.  I try to very quickly determine if the person I'm contacting has interest, the right prerequisite skills, and if I can offer a better work environment.  If I can't, I thank the person for her time, send the posting for her to share with friends, and promise to keep her in mind for something I have in the future.  


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