As I chat with companies regarding a potential recruitment contract, it has become apparent that many companies follow the same process as candidates.  They post jobs on the Internet and pray they will receive the best replies from candidates.  You see evidence of this on Yahoo Groups and occasionally in various LinkedIn groups when recruiters ask where they may post for different types of candidate.


A couple of months ago a Senior Corporate Recruiter informed me that they “recruit” by posting on LinkedIn.  “It’s expensive but it’s effective!”  In the next sentence she told me that they had blown their recruitment budget for the fiscal year. 


Posting an opening on the Internet is a marketing effort where the poster pays and prays for great results.  It is not a sales effort.  Recruiting is a sales process.  The most successful corporate and third party recruiters realize this and build relationships with candidates.


Recruiting is a dynamic process.  Efforts that are wildly successful today may fail terribly a year from now.  Therefore it is important to be out there from a marketing perspective and make it easy for candidates to apply if you attract their attention.  Requiring candidates to complete an application prior to a conversation is not defined as “easy”.  It benefits a company to have their resume in their database.  It does not benefit a company to lose good candidates because it takes too long to complete the automated 1960’s application.


May I suggest a new recruiting dynamic?  How about “Post and Prey”?  There is a reason for the title “Headhunter”.  These are specialists who know where to find the best candidates in any field and then deliver their “heads” to their clients.  Does this take more time?  It depends on how active a corporate recruiting staff is while building relationships with future candidates.  What is the corporate budget telling them?  When does the company forecast they will need certain talent?  Then begin to identify that talent – not after the position has been opened.


Posting positions where potential candidates hang out virtually or physically is fine – just call it recruitment marketing.  Then use the available tools like LinkedIn or to identify who you want to hunt.  That is the “prey” part of the process.  Then call them not email.  Thus the recruiter is beginning a professional relationship with the potential candidate.

During the conversation, ask if they saw your posting.  If yes, where?  If no, find where they are looking and their peers are probably there also.  Now you are conducting market research at the base level and fine tuning your recruitment marketing.  No need to spend money where the pool has dried up.


Candidates love to be told they are wanted by another company.  Posting and preying is more effective and more fun than posting and praying.

Views: 1173

Comment by Valentino Martinez on February 1, 2012 at 6:03pm

"Posting and preying..." works in recruiting.  

Posting and praying is asking for Divine Intervention.  And in times when ALL HELL breaks loose...PRAYING will become an option as well.

Comment by Bill Humbert on February 1, 2012 at 6:18pm

Just remember that a Divine Being who has been around forever and will be around forever, may have a little different concept of time and its importance than a human who may be around for 80 years!!

Comment by Sandra Anderson on February 3, 2012 at 4:18am

So true Bill.  By approaching applicants directly you gather so much valuable information about their industry and although they might not be interested in the offer you have, they are very happy to tell you where to hunt.  

Treat them like specialists and they share information that would get you into the right pool.  

Beats praying hands down!

Comment by Bob on February 3, 2012 at 6:15am

Great post Bill.  After getting no turnover from the person who previously held my job, I've spent the last 6 months out and about the area meeting people, it takes time to show results, but I know the seeds planted today are in good soil and have good chance of producing fruit.

Comment by Raphael Fang on February 5, 2012 at 12:23pm

Post and Prey approach will attach candidates that are active in the job market.  But how can we sure that that they are the best, if we are not comparing them with the ones that are not working?  I am not suggesting we only hire people that are working, but the passive candidates are good for information gathering.

Comment by Bill Humbert on February 5, 2012 at 12:40pm

Raphael,  All candidates may be good for information gathering.  While I am skilled sourcing passive candidates, and love to do so, they are not better simply because they are passive.  Secondly, there are many very good candidates who are not employed curently.  Why?  Because many companies do not have a stellar record for measuring the positive impacts of employees, and occasionally let top performers go when they are managed by "C" level managers (who feel threatened by them).


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