Successful Talent Search via Proactive Recruitment

Just a few years back, when jobs were scarce and applicant numbers overwhelming, a recruiter’s focus was primarily on sorting the hordes of job-seeker wheat from the chaff. Now, with 4 percent unemployment rate, candidates take far more time studying possible career opportunities and company culture, to choose their best fit.  Now, a recruiter’s focus must more stringently be on talent searching – that is, on being the first to find those ideal candidates.

In this traditionally reactive recruitment world, a recruiter who proactively recruits is a successful standout.

Proactive recruitment, at its simplest, is the creation of relationships with prospective job candidates prior to the hiring need.

Proactive Talent Search Methods:

  • Social media is perhaps the most crucial ingredient in proactive talent searching. As with social media, proactive recruiting should be subtle in its self-serving intent, however. A real estate agent who spends most of her Facebook time telling her social friends about the great homes she has for sale is a poor social marketer.  A recruiter who fails to share the video of his dancing cat, or direct his Twitter friends to a free guide on writing great cover letters, but instead posts only about the career opportunities of his myriad clients, is a poor social recruiter. Whether selling cars, offering plumbing services, or finding the right candidates for a client’s vacant position, the social-media rule of thumb is simple: be a friend, give free advice, entertain, and reveal something about yourself 80 percent of the time. Push your product the other 20 percent.
  • Don’t forget the passive candidates. Employed people job search, too – even happily employed people. In fact, the average person has 12 different jobs in a lifetime. Business networking is the perfect opportunity to meet these passive candidates, often prior to their having an interest other than curiosity about what else might be out there. Meetup groups, Toastmasters, business workshops, seminars and conferences, are all excellent places to meet accomplished, experienced prospective candidates.
  • Teach. Community colleges, Lifelong Learning Centers, online training platforms such as Udemy and YouTube, are all great opportunities to contact job seekers. Teaching a Udemy course about using social media to job hunt, posting a YouTube video on interviewing skills, or teaching a community college class about the best careers for the coming decade, can help you bond with career changers and job candidates. In each case, you’ll gather contact information by way of online or in-person registration or subscription. In each case you’ll as well promote your services.

Proactive talent searching, despite its appeal to job seekers, is still not widely accepted by recruiters.  Thus, those who proactively recruit are standouts, and far more likely to succeed.


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