Finding The Right Employee;
The Search For Talent

This is a continuation of our series on the “Lifecycle of an Employee”. In the last issue we discussed the need for a complete and well thought out job description in order to attract the best candidates for your job. In this article we will continue down the path of finding the right employee by addressing the issue of sourcing. Sourcing can also be thought of as finding or recruiting talent. Recruitment is undeniably a key issue on most company’s agendas. The majority of staff turnover occurs within the first 6 months of employment. This can be damaging to productivity, detrimental to morale and expensive in terms of recruitment costs. That is why it is so important to fill your jobs with the best candidates in the market. The job market is very competitive making it difficult to attract the best candidates without some thought and premeditation on how and where you will be searching for these individuals. You must know how to sell your company and where to find talented individuals that will add to your efficiency and help you increase your bottom line. In today’s market there are many options for sourcing talent. It is important to analyze your company and its recruiting needs in order to determine which sourcing options will work best for you. Your goal should be to find tools and/or resources that will be efficient, cost effective, and able to meet your company’s needs in a timely manner. To begin analyzing your company’s recruitment needs it is important to keep the following in mind:

What are your resources internally? Do you have an HR Department that handles or assists in recruiting and hiring already in place, or is someone in your organization responsible for this service?

  • If you have an internal HR Department it is important to meet with them to determine what type of recruiting resources they already have in place and how they be will work with you. They may have specific websites or papers they advertise in or external recruiters they work with.

What are your budget constraints? How much can you spend on recruitment?

  • Recruiting resources can vary in cost from about $25 to place an ad in a paper to a larger fee for an external recruiter to help you find talent.

What resources will capture my ideal candidate profile? Where would the type of candidate I am looking for frequent and or look for employment? Think outside the box.

  • Are they high tech people that hang out on the Internet and are looking for a career change? Are they recent college grads that will be looking for the opportunity to work in a hip environment or is my ideal candidate someone who has been in the workforce for awhile and will be looking to make a long-term commitment to a company that is stable and has a good 401K plan? Is the role you are looking to fill specialized and are there any papers or websites that cater to that specialty?

Thinking about these things will help you determine the best plan of attack on the candidate pool. Below is a detailed list of recruiting resources that may be available to you.

Job Boards: Job Boards are online job posting sites that enable employers to post jobs and make those postings available to prospective employees who also have access to the online Job Boards. There are several large job boards that many companies utilize I.e.; Monster, Dice, CareerBuilder, Craigslist. Most of these job boards will post your job for a nominal fee. This is a great way to advertise your job to candidates who utilize the computer. The time commitment will be small in the beginning once you have your job description developed and then the time commitment will vary based on how many candidates respond to your online posting.

Career Website for internal and external candidates: Having your own career site is a great advantage for internal employees looking to make a move and external employees searching for jobs within a specific company. If you have a website in existence adding a Career Site should be fairly simple. You can enable applicants to apply to your jobs online or you can provide them with the contact information for whom to send their resume to.

External Recruiters: This can be a good but more expensive option. External Recruiters can often find candidates for jobs that are hard to fill using the typical resources. They may have an ability to call on your competitors to recruit top talent. They can also save you time by handling the recruitment and screening of your candidates and only presenting you with the top, interview worthy candidates.

Internal Recruiters: If you have an Internal Recruiter already in place it is important to utilize them to help in your sourcing needs. Make sure you communicate exactly what you are looking for so that they can be successful in their search.

Employee Referrals: This is a low cost, high yield recruiting resource. Ask your star employees for referrals. Most likely they know people that would be great at your company. You can offer a small incentive for Employee Referrals that turn into interviews or hires, such as $10 for every candidate they refer that is granted an interview and then $40 for every candidate they refer that is offered the job and stays for 90 days. Soliciting employee referrals is a great motivator for your employees. It gives them the opportunity to help the team and feel empowered by being part of the hiring process.

Newspaper Ads (hardcopy and online): This is another good way to capture certain candidate pools. Keep in mind that many people now read the paper online so it would be worthwhile to post your ad in the hardcopy paper as well as the online version. You should also keep in mind any trade journals and/or other publications that may capture your ideal candidate’s attention.

Once your sourcing plan is in place and you begin receiving resumes you will need to have a plan on reviewing those resumes in a timely manner. It is critical that you set aside time in your schedule to review incoming resumes within one week of receiving them. The job market is competitive and good candidates often apply for multiple jobs at once. If you wait too long to contact candidates and let them know you are interested in them you may lose out to your competitors.

Here are some tips on reviewing resumes:

  • Read the objective line on the resume-does it match the objective you are looking for?
  • Look at years of experience and past jobs.
  • Look at educational background.
  • Review the tenure at each company.
  • Weed out as many applicants as you can so that you are left with a small pool of seemingly qualified candidates.

Your next step will be to prescreen your candidates with a brief phone interview and then granting the top candidates in person interviews with your company. In the next article we will be discussing how to pre-screen and interview candidates.

Published Monday, February 27, 2006

Bryon Peterson is the President of Human Resources Group International. HRGI is a group of human resources consultants with over 25 years of experience in the field. HRGI provides comprehensive human resources products and services to businesses throughout the United States, and Canada. Its mission is to provide an integrated and highly effective working environment for companies and their employees.

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