So how do you find those hard-to-find candidates?
This is something we get asked all the time. ALL the time. I’m going to come right out and say it. There is no magic bullet or secret database of perfect candidates. You can’t sign up to for some special list, and if anyone is selling you something like that, it’s snake oil. Good candidates, the best candidates, are always found the same way. Hard work. Getting on the phones and calling people.
Perhaps I burst your bubble, and if I did, I’m not apologizing for it. Now you can free yourself from looking for the magic bullet or paying for expensive job boards. You can focus on the task at hand. I don’t want to leave you empty-handed though so I’ll share some strategies we use to find exceptional candidates as well as how to approach those candidates to “sell” them on the job. Keep in mind – most great candidates aren’t actively looking and so you WILL have to sell them the job. You may need to dust off those sales techniques you haven’t used in a while.
Here are 7 things that are always a part of finding the needle in the haystack.
1. Know the WHY of the company and the position (see last week’s blog)
2. Know your story. If you don’t have a story behind the job then you won’t be able to communicate the WHY.
3. Don’t offer someone a job. That’s like offering someone a task. No one wants a task to do, they want a vision to be a part of. This goes back to the WHY. Instead, offer someone an opportunity to realize their own goals.
4. Call everyone you know who might know someone with the skills you are looking for. Your network is a powerful tool, and getting an introduction to someone is much better than a cold call.
5. When you call or email a candidate prospect ask them this: “Would you be open to a brief conversation if this opportunity provided you a significant career opportunity?” People won’t say no to this. Most people are open to hypothetical conversations so your job is to get them dreaming about their ideal job first, which will warm them up to to discussing a potential career move.
6. If they aren’t interested in what you are working on right now, then ask them what the perfect opportunity would look like and if you can call them if that opportunity crosses your desk. This will open them up to future conversations, which is how you nurture a strong passive candidate pool.
7. Ask for the referral. This is key. If you have done your job right then you have built a rapport with the candidate prospect and they should feel comfortable enough to get you in touch with one or two of their contacts that might be interested. And you begin the process again until you find that perfect person.