Finding great candidates is challenging: it takes dedication, innovative-thinking and focus. Use all your avenues to source candidates.
- The best sources of candidates are usually the people that know your company and team the best – current employees and your board of directors.
If your staff is not motivated to recommend their friends and acquaintances, there may be a problem within the team or your company. Do employees think of it as a fun place, or believe in its (your) strategy or (your) management?
- Tap into the personal networks of you and your team. Stay current and active on sites such as LinkedIn – encourage your team members to do the same. Look for people who have worked at your competitors or other target companies you may want to recruit from. See who your sister portfolio companies looked at and passed on or could not attract.
- Understand the difference between professional recruiting sourcers and full-range recruiters. The former focus solely on researching and filling your candidate pipeline; you are responsible for screening, “selling,” and recruiting them. Don’t rely on recruiters to recruit for you. Also, don’t wait to start a search just because you already have a candidate. In my experience, such thinking is false economy for critical roles with long-term impact. You want as much choice as possible. You want to ensure that you are getting the best.
- Contingent or retained recruiters (Contingent you pay only if they find your final candidate, retained you pay up front regardless of whether you hire their candidate – they are focused specifically on your search) are contracted to work specifically on your vacancy. To effectively utilize a recruiter, you must first determine what you are looking for in the position and on which skills and abilities you’re willing to make trade-offs. The more a recruiter understands your specific environment, the better they can match potential candidates. This is a costly resource but if managed effectively can provide leverage and speed to the hiring process.
- As an aside, rates of turnover and web comments by employees are good indicators of morale in a company. I would highly encourage “help us get better” type of exit interviews for every employee who leaves a company.