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5 Tips For Sourcing Great Candidates In A Competitive Market

Adrian Dixon

April 24, 2018

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With an unemployment rate of 4.1% in the U.S. and thousands of jobs being added, it’s clear that we are in a candidate’s market.

sourcing great candidatesBut when there’s high demand for employees, especially employees with specialized skills, sourcing and placing candidates can be difficult. According to a recent recruiting industry report conducted by Top Echelon, LLC, 40% of recruiters’ clients told them there weren’t enough candidates to pick from.

Using recent industry trends, I detail which industries have the most difficult time placing candidates and where you can look to solve sourcing problems.

In which industries are candidates sparse?

In general, it’s more difficult to find qualified candidates for industries requiring highly specialized and skilled workers.

Recruiters report that the top 50% of placements were made in four STEM-related industries in 2017. These industries are manufacturing (24%), healthcare (11%), engineering (8%), and information technology (7%).  

The industries candidates are most sparse in are the same industries that have the highest hiring rates. Recruiters said that they had the most trouble making placements in engineering (19%), information technology (13%), healthcare (10%), and manufacturing (7%).

So, why is it so difficult to find candidates to fill positions in the most popular industries?

Since 2012, IT jobs have increased by over 470,000, and healthcare jobs have increased by over 600,000. Plus, many of the qualified candidates you need already have jobs.

Tips for finding top talent 

Placing top talent starts with your ability to attract top talent.

You might have a few go-to platforms you use to advertise job postings, but it’s important to switch things up and test the results.

Many of the best candidates either have jobs already or are being actively pursued by your clients’ competitors. So, you will need to source passive candidates along with active ones.

Here are some tips to help you find highly sought-after talent.  

1. Let candidates find you

Before you can find top candidates, verify that the job description is straightforward and attractive to potential candidates. After all, the job description is basically your client’s sales pitch to get people to work for them.

Next, make sure candidates can find you by posting the job description on job boards. You can simplify this step by using an applicant tracking system (ATS) that pairs with job boards. If your ATS is compatible with the job board, resumes will automatically upload in your ATS.

Branding is another important part of getting candidates to find you. You want potential candidates to recognize your recruiting business as well as your client’s company.

Help promote your client’s employer brand. If they have a strong reputation for treating their employees well and promoting their development, candidates will seek you out.

2. Scour social media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are especially useful for tracking passive candidates, building relationships with them, and eventually getting them to apply for open positions. Passive candidates probably don’t look on job boards, but they may actively use social media.

You can search specific details about candidates you are interested in finding. For example, you can conduct searches based on locations, industries, job titles, and skills. These searches can lead you to top talent.

If you’re still unconvinced about the effects of social media recruiting, keep in mind that 39% of recruiters said they found their highest quality candidates on LinkedIn.

Once you search people on social media, connect with them.

Post and share jobs from your social media pages so all your contacts can see. Or, you can personally send job postings to potential candidates through the messaging systems.  

3. Reference your database

You might also find the candidates you need by looking in your recruiting database. Search for candidates by location, skills, education, experience, etc. Then, you can reach out to them directly to tell them about the open position. You can even use email marketing to send out mass alerts to qualified people in your candidate pool, saving you time.

Because these candidates are in your database, you already have a relationship with them, which will further encourage them to apply.   

4. Ask for referrals

Using referrals is another great way to find passive and active candidates. You can ask your current candidates to refer you to their peers. Or, you can gather referrals from fellow recruiters.

Nearly 25% of recruiters reported that referrals were how they found their best candidates.

If you want, you can do split placements with other recruiters. That way, you bring the job order and the other recruiter provides the candidates. Your split placement partner can refer you to qualified candidates and help you expand your database.

5. Communicate continuously with candidates

Finding qualified candidates requires you to actively recruit them even after you’ve sourced them. Don’t miss out on candidates because you don’t follow up with them during the hiring process.

After you’ve found great candidates, let them know where they’re at in the hiring process, do everything in your power to keep the process short, and continue to sell your client’s employer brand.

Rachel Gray is a content writer at the Patriot Software Company, the parent company of Top Echelon, LLC and Patriot Software, LLC. Top Echelon offers recruiting software with both an applicant tracking system and recruiting CRM to help recruiters make more job placements.