Big-Scope Sourcing Part 1 : Planning for Mass Candidate Flow

As promised, this week I am going to begin a three part series on how anyone can increase their candidate flow and find success with big-scope sourcing. As with anything you do in your business, the very best place to start is with planning.

You will find that big-scope sourcing effects only how you find the best candidate. I am not suggesting that you change your criteria for what makes a candidate great. I’m going to ask you to cast a net so tight and so wide and so strong that you can catch all of the little mackerel right along with the cod,  yellowfin tuna and even the prize winning marlin. In a future post I’ll be talking about how you can make use of those that you would typically throw back.

Planning for  Big-Scope Sourcing

Create the Perfect Job Order

Prepare a 1-2 page document that includes the criteria you seek and how you would sell it to a potential candidate. How will you sell the company? How will you sell the position? How will you identify the perfect candidate.Get it on to one clean document. You own this document. You won’t send it out to a candidate per se, but you will use pieces of it later to drop in to your job ad template and your referral email template.

I am sort of assuming that creating a job order is already part of your recruiting process, but it is always good to step back and make sure you are covering all of your bases. If you are anything like me, when you’ve worked in one niche for a long time, or with the same employer, you start assuming you know everything you need to know without asking a lot of questions. Trust me, you should ask the questions every time.

Always spend time with your primary contact to create a very detailed job order. Focus on the description of what the hiring manager’s ideal candidate will look like, key selling points for the job and the company, and identify the risks, if any in taking on this job order. ( Risk management is something we will discuss in the future as well.)

Be sure to ask a lot of questions about individuals who have done well in this position in the past every time you take a job order. Where did they find the successful employee?  What skills did that employee excel at before they worked for this employer? Could you talk with that employee directly or is the hiring manager willing to get involved and share that person’s background with you?

Knowing the career history, education and skills that this ideal employee has brought to the table, and what made them excel in the position are critical. An opportunity to speak directly to an employee that is already successful in the position can offer insight that you would never get from even the hiring manager directly.  If you can, I highly recommend that you convince your contact to bring their best employee in on your conversation. When you succeed, ask the successful employee why they took the job at the company. How would they sell their position to others? Why do they love their job? You should also try to get them to tell you what, if anything might keep someone from applying to the position.

There is a reason why employers like employee referrals. Employees working at the same level have insight on the true culture and the intangible necessities of the job. They also help pre-screen the candidates up front by telling them the things that might not be perfect about the job before they refer them. You won’t always have this opportunity, but it will really help with selling the opportunity if you do. It certainly never hurts to try. Be sure to assure the client that risks help you pre-screen candidates for them. If you know this position is in an unfavorable neighborhood for example, you can make sure the candidate is willing to work there before you set the interview.

Define Where Your Message Will Go

Possibly the most significant difference in big-scope sourcing vs. traditional methodologies is that you are going to put the message out about this position to every place you can think of that that could potentially produce a candidate. Notice that I did not say, the best candidate. Your goal is to get as many candidates as possible that believe they meet your requisition criteria. To do that you are going to need to get you message out not only to them, but to anyone that might know them. We’re going to talk about screening the masses later, so trust me on this, THINK BIG! Think of every potential place that someone who knows the candidate you seek might be, and make a list of them. Your list will probably look something like this:

  • your personal database
  • your personal referral sources
  • the competitors company
  • a company that is similar to the employer
  • an alumni group
  • a specific university or group of universities
  • a professional group or organization
  • an online network or discussion group
  • social media like Facebook, Linked in, Twitter or Google+ Circles
  • job boards: niche boards, big boards, free boards, local boards.
  • online media and blogs like Mashable, CNNmoney, or major online newspapers like The Wall Street Journal. INC. or a business publication’s site

Once you have this planning in place, you are ready to get creative and begin implementing big-scope sourcing. Next week I will discuss creating effective templates for referral emails, phone calls, and job posting and some creative tools and methods for sourcing a high volume of candidates. I’m confident that even a recruiter that is a one-man show can implement this type of sourcing with ease. Try these steps with your next job order and we’ll discuss how to do it next week.

Amy McDonald  is the President and CEO at REKUTR. She has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. Amy has worked with hundreds of recruitment professionals throughout her career, training best practices in sourcing candidates and refining the recruitment process. In her spare time, Amy participates as a thought leader in Recruiting for BIZCATALYST360° .

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