Firms complain that there aren’t enough candidates when a job opening needs to be filled yet many firms aren’t taking the necessary steps to ensure they have candidates in the hopper when a position opens. Do projects just fall out of the sky? Ok, maybe on a rare occasion, but most of the time you must nurture relationships in order to be considered for a project pursuit. Recruiting should be looked at in the same way. A great way to find the best fit for your firm is to identify potential candidates before a position opens and develop these relationships.
Finding Potential Candidates
Recruiting should involve more than just your HR department and executives. Just like marketing and business development, recruiting should be something all staff members do. Some firms have found that having a referral process can be a great way to encourage employees to share the news, but even more important is letting your employees know to keep their eyes out for anyone that might fit the firm’s corporate culture and have skills needed within the company. The best recruiters leverage their staff within the company to help them do their jobs. Here are places employees can find potential new recruits:
- Social and informal connections happen all the time and staff can use these interactions as informal recruiting sessions. Potential recruits can come from current projects, partners, vendors, neighbors, and social events. Asking the right questions can provide you with a plethora of information regarding whether any of the people you deal with would be good matches for your firm.
- Conferences and networking events are also convenient places to meet potential candidates. Conferences and association networking events are specifically geared for your industry. Sometimes individuals you meet might be great teaming partners or they might be just what you are looking for if a position comes available. Collect those business cards and ask some deeper questions about their jobs and you have a talent pool without having to officially recruit.
- Social media is another easy way to recruit for candidates. Whether you tweet or connect with others via LinkedIn, there are a variety of ways to find qualified people that fit with your company culture. Just keep in mind what skills you are looking for on a consistent basis, and you will have plenty of options in the world of social media.
- Job fairs, of course, are also appropriate places to find potential candidates. Even without an open position available at your firm, people at job fairs are looking to find where they fit in so when something does come up with your firm you have options. Simply gather names and resumes and you will get an immediate talent pool, or better yet, send them to your website to upload their information into your Talent system.
Nurture Those Potential Candidates
In the Deltek Clarity report, project-based firms stated that their top challenge was finding qualified talent. I would beg to differ since talent is always around you and most likely available if you nurture the relationships. I suspect your challenge is just not identifying the talent when you come across it.
Once you find potential candidates, it’s important to capture their information so you can pull from a talent pool. Using the Deltek Talent Acquisition system, recruiters and managers can quickly add resumes to talent pools allowing you to access your potential candidates by categories when a position opens. These talent pools allow you to keep lists of candidates with specific requirements or needs.
We know great Project Managers or Marketing Coordinators are hard to find so you could tag potential candidates as you come across them. Instead of waiting until the position needs to be filled to start your search, with talent pools you can quickly send a templated email asking candidates you have met in the past, that have been pre-qualified, to submit for an opening. Imagine how much easier and quicker recruiting can be by taking a more proactive versus reactive approach.
Improve Hiring Efficiency
For project centric businesses, people are your competitive advantage. Ensuring solid talent management best practices within the business means assuring you can find the talent quicker than your competition. See how Deltek Talent can improve your employee hiring process.