You certainly wish you could snap your fingers and find the right people for your clients. Unfortunately unlike the classic TV sitcom Bewitched, you can’t just wiggle your nose and wait for talent to appear.
The skills gap has made it harder than ever to find the right people, which explains why a recent Bullhorn survey found 33 percent of staffing professionals cited the lack of qualified candidates as the biggest problem facing their industry.
So how do you jump the skills gap without a little magic? It might be time to hop on your broomstick and point your candidate search for far off locales. By widening your search to include foreign talent and even far-flung domestic candidates, you give your clients a better chance at nabbing the specific skills they need.
But hiring a talented all-star located several states or time zones away isn't always a snap. Here are some ways you can connect with the best talent, whether they’re located in your company’s backyard or across the world:
Use Your Digital Presence To Entice International Candidates
Both your website and your client’s career site are great places to start when it comes to overseas (or overland) recruitment. A recent CareerBuilder survey found candidates overwhelmingly turn to the Web to find out more information about prospective companies when they’re considering starting their job search. In fact, 84 percent of candidates will take to Google to find out more about a company, while 53 percent will visit the company website.
What candidates find on the site therefore is an important factor in whether or not they apply to open positions. As a staffing company, stress on your site that you're open to candidates from all over the map.
You should also suggest your clients add this international flavor to their career sites. Many far-flung candidates might look at the career site and get discouraged, so start prompting them to apply from their first interaction with your client’s brand.
Get Social On Social Media
Social media is becoming an ever more important aspect of our daily lives, and this certainly extends to the recruiting field. In fact, statistics from the Pew Research Center show more than half of all online adults are on some form of social media. So this definitely explains why 98 percent of recruiters are incorporating the social media sphere into their hiring efforts.
When it comes to international talent, it’s not exactly like you can go down to the nearest networking event to connect with great people. Instead, utilize the social media communities which spring up around certain hobbies, skills, and industries.
Become a valuable member of these talent communities wherever they spring up, whether it’s in a LinkedIn group or on Twitter. Connect with the movers and shakers in these communities who are sharing top-notch thought leadership. People all over the country and all over the globe join these communities to share advice and connect with like-minded people.
You can even get proactive and set up your own talent community by starting a discussion group or facilitating a Twitter chat. Embracing the power of social media gives you a wide talent pool from all over the world for your client’s positions.
Use Video Interviews To Connect
Once you have potential talent on the hook, how do you connect if they’re located halfway around the world? Once again we look to new technology, namely the video interview. With a video interview you can connect with the most talented candidates in a more personal fashion, no Bewitched-style witchcraft required. The two main types of video interviews can both help staffing companies connect with far-away talent.
For instance, the one-way video interview can be a great time saver in the early stages of connecting with candidates. In a one-way video interview, candidates answer on video the written questions posed by employers. These video answers can then be viewed any time, even on mobile devices. This helps busy staffing companies avoid wasting hours on inefficient phone screens, especially since a study by Aberdeen showed you can watch 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes to perform one phone screen.
The other type of video interview is great for connecting personally, in real-time, with the best candidates. In a live video interview you can have a face-to-face conversation with the top talent just as if they were on the other side of the desk instead of the webcam. This allows you to see how they react to your questions and to evaluate important nonverbal cues. Without a magical broomstick to fly candidates to you, the video interview saves you a ton of money in airfare and hotel fees.
Ask The Right Questions
During the interview, you should be sure to ask the candidate questions to gauge their sincere passion for the position and industry. Uprooting your life and moving across the country or around the world is not a decision taken lightly.
Here are some questions you might use to gauge how serious they are about pulling up stakes for a great opportunity:
What do you know about this area?
Why are you looking to move?
What makes you so passionate about this opportunity?
Some candidates will back out at the last minute when the theoretical move becomes a reality, wasting your precious time. Other candidates, however, are looking for a change of pace and a new challenge. These are the types of candidates you’re looking for when it comes to international or far-flung talent. Pay close attention to the answers given in the video interview and the nonverbal cues when you ask questions about how willing the candidate is to relocate.
If you find an adventurous candidate with the right skills and experience, you’ve managed to jump the skills gap without any witchcraft or wizardry.
What are some ways you can jump the skills gap by going global? Share in the comments!
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring solution that allows staffing professionals to collaborate with their clients around video interviews. Read Spark Hire’s eBook on video interviewing for staffing firms and connect on Facebook and Twitter.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by NASA Goddard Photo and Video