The Magic of Recruiting

Everywhere we go, people are asking, sometimes begging, for help in their recruiting efforts.  Last week, I was on a flight sitting next to a manager from a major San Francisco based tech company who, despite having a team of recruiters helping him, apparently had no pipeline.  After hearing my top 5 tips, he spent the next 4 hours hunting for people and brainstorming on how he could connect with key prospects when we touched down in Chicago.  He learned that he needed to be intimately involved in the recruiting process if he wanted results, not sit on the sidelines playing a passive role.

Whether you are hiring in a large company packed with recruiting resources--Google, Apple and Facebook the exceptions--or in an early stage start up with no brand recognition, it’s very likely you are simply not seeing enough potential candidates, let alone ‘perfect’ candidates.

Many hiring managers want highly specific, crème de la crème talent but are trapped in a culture of old school recruiting—“post it and they will come”.  If I’m not mistaken, in our 6 years recruiting, only one individual crossed our radar and landed a job by applying for a job post.

Because resources and deadlines remain tight, landing someone who can hit the ground running and make a huge difference is what’s in demand.  Very few of those folks are looking at job postings, trust me.

Recruiting is changing radically, technology has made everyone identifiable, but in the end, it’s a highly time consuming, old school business of matchmaking and networking.  Add to that, the backdrop of ‘information overload’ that everyone is experiencing, and the 24/7 ‘always on’ mentality—it’s darn near impossible to get the attention of promising candidates.

While we know recruiting is changing, it’s quite unclear how it will all shake out.  Zappos recently announced they are forgoing the ‘spray and pray’ approach to job postings, opting for a social network approach cultivating a pool that wants to work for them.

Want to excel in your recruiting efforts?  Here’s five of our top recruiting tips:

Social, networks, personalization—it’s transforming ecommerce and it’s transforming recruiting.  Cultivating networks has never been more important.  And yes, it’s still wildly time consuming to chat with people, lunch and remain connected.

Pitch perfect—to get above the noise and fray, your message and medium are key.  Hint:  that means customized outreach, not Dear John notes, text messaging your closest connections and not relying on email.

Relentless hunting, and yes, we do mean hunting, whether that’s crawling through patent filings or keeping tabs on people, knowing who the players are, where they are and what they do makes all the difference.

Realism helps a great deal.  Knowing how you stack up from a company brand, market opportunity, structure and compensation perspective will bring sanity to your search.  If it’s a needle in a haystack search, odds are it will go unfilled.

Pulling out all the stops is key, that’s why leading execs like Mark Zuckerberg spend so much time and energy lending credibility to their recruiting process, why your first 30 seconds discussing a role is the most important moment in the process and why being creative on scope, compensation and reporting structure will go a long way to landing the top talent everyone wants.

Check out the The Pachera Group Blog.

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