Companies hire staffing agencies for a multitude of reasons, but it boils down to two main objectives; to hire qualified candidates for specific job positions, and to manage the administration of these hires. This allows the client company the flexibility to focus on their core business and scale up or down their workforce as required. Of these two objectives, hiring qualified staff is the primary duty and the most difficult to conduct. It requires an effective recruitment process to hire quality employees with the right skillsets to meet the requirements of the position.
This is the age of advanced technology and big data, both of which need to be utilized to source, screen and evaluate new candidates. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are software programs used to assist with the recruitment process and hiring of human resources. ATS is primarily used to help collect and organize large volumes of applicant resumes. To source new candidates, recruiters need to implement a varied approach to seek out the best applicants for clients.
Active vs Passive Candidates
There are two kinds of people the recruitment process needs to target – active and passive candidates.
Active candidates are people looking for new job opportunities and are immediately available. The first step in the recruitment process on LinkedIn or job boards is to determine if your potential candidates are members of the platform, if so go ahead and post the job position on these platforms. Think about who you are targeting, how best to reach them and what is the best message to attract the most qualified. Sell your opportunity in a unique and engaging way to have it stand out from the thousands of boring job descriptions posted on job boards daily. Follow these tips for how to write a great job posting.
Passive candidates are generally people already employed and not actively seeking a new job position – they are harder to attract for this reason. The recruitment process needs to include direct messaging, the recommended best practice to engage with passive candidates. Use the information they have on their profile to help personalize your message. Explain why their resume stood out for you (the recruiter) and the opportunities the job can present to them. Another good tactic in the recruitment process is to post job opportunities on the jobs page of specific groups and associations your target audience is likely to belong to.
How to Find the Best Candidates
According to LinkedIn, 90% of people are receptive to learning about new job opportunities, but only 36% are actively searching for a career change. That means the largest demographic are passive candidates. Engaging passive candidates is an effective strategy in the recruitment process – it allows you to connect with proven talent with a high likelihood that they won’t be interviewing elsewhere. This is the richest audience for top talent that you should concentrate on. Use all the tools at your disposal to source and reach out to this group.
LinkedIn Recruiter is the industry’s top sourcing tool – recruiters are able to search through the entire LinkedIn network using filters such as Job Title or Location to find the right candidate. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 756 million members worldwide. Recruiters can search the platform’s vast database using Boolean search to narrow results to qualified candidates only.
- Job boards and career sites
Job boards and career sites are essential tools in the recruitment process. These platforms are a gold mine for seeking the ideal candidate for job positions. Sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor and Indeed are platforms for active job seekers to post their resumes for free, while recruiters are charged a usage fee to access millions of resumes found on these databanks. Recruiters hunt for qualified candidates by performing keyword searches to match qualifications against job requirements. The success of these searches are based on the candidate uploading an organized resume with well-defined searchable data, and the recruiter conducting searches with relevant keywords.
- Leverage your industry contacts
If you are struggling to find the talent you need, you will have to dig deeper in the recruitment process. Above and beyond the above listed sourcing strategies, there remains the additional alternative approach to seeking out talent – reach out to your industry contacts and colleagues. Tapping into the resources of other agencies to find candidates will require you to split the fee, but half of something is more than drawing a blank, failing a client and getting no fee at all.
Once the sourcing of talent has accumulated potential candidates for the job opportunity, it’s time to conduct interviews and narrow the field. Ensure that the interviewer is acquainted with the client’s company culture, the details of the job requirements and has become familiar with the candidates’ qualifications. A poorly prepared interviewer will certainly conduct a poor interview. Follow these practical tips on how to effectively interview job candidates.
No matter the circumstance, it is best not to rush through the interview or cut it short, even if the candidate is obviously not a good fit. A staffing agency needs to build and maintain a solid reputation. The last thing your staffing agency needs is to have a candidate talk poorly about how they were handled in their interview. A frustrated or disgruntled candidate can post damaging remarks or negative reviews on social media channels that could adversely affect your reputation.
When staffing agencies are hiring top candidates for clients, a second interview is recommended if there are several promising candidates. This should not be compromised due to time constraints – the client may need to fill a job position quickly, but taking extra time to provide the very best candidate will have a longer lasting boost to your reputation.
The second interview is an important step in the recruitment process, make sure to ask questions that are tailored to the actual position. This way you can get a feel for how they would perform in the job setting and should give you a clearer reading on which candidate is best suited for the job.
The best candidate for the job will not only possess the right skillset and experience, but will also express an affinity for the company culture they are about to join – ensure the interviewer has read up on the company you are hiring for so they can relay a positive impression to the candidates. Take note of the candidate’s attitude toward the company culture and gauge if it would be a good fit for them. It is a definite red flag and probable reason to disqualify the candidate if they seem to have a negative opinion towards how the company is run.
The Recruitment Process is a Sales Job
Congratulations! You have sourced good talent for your client but the job is not over until you have successfully placed the candidate. The interview process is a two-way street at which time the interviewer is assessing the candidate’s qualifications, and the candidate is assessing the job opportunity. A recruiter is a sales person, always promoting the benefits of the job opportunity to earn the candidate’s commitment to make a career move.
- Always be closing throughout the entire recruitment process. Act as if it’s a no brainer and that the candidate is going to accept the job offer. Your self-assurance helps to motivate the candidate, making it harder for them to turn down the offer.
- Focus on the candidate and continuously portray what’s in it for them – emphasize the increased benefits the opportunity will add, not only to their career development, but also to their lifestyle and sell, sell, sell. Always remember that they will only make a move if that opportunity is better than the one they already have.
A key component of improved benefits is a reliable paycheck. Having successfully placed a candidate in a new job position, the staffing agency’s next priority is to reliably make payroll on behalf of your clients to keep that talent in place. This is when cash flow management becomes a critical necessity to assure your staffing agency has the financial stability to meet payroll – regularly, on time and accurately. Staffing agencies rely on the many benefits of payroll funding to meet this responsibility and grow their business.
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