How To Unearth Top Talent Effectively, Efficiently And Economically

You may not know it, but a recruitment revolution is underway.

It’s not because the world has changed dramatically since a once-in-a-century health crisis. Rather, it’s because finding top talent – during good times and bad – is one of the biggest challenges facing today’s leaders.

It is no longer enough to hire people with the skills to do the job. Companies want team members who align with their corporate missions and values, too. They know the effects of hiring a bad candidate and the benefits of being good stewards of the companies or clients’ money.
Recruitment Research Defined
An offshoot of the executive search industry, recruitment research is a multistep methodology that targets desired candidates and connects them with employers using a flexible pricing model. This is a collaborative approach that gives hiring leaders and line managers a partner in the recruitment process. And from a search perspective, recruitment research looks beyond traditional sources for job candidates to find someone who will bring the kind of innovation that will help an organization grow.

But great recruitment is not just about hiring people. The recruitment research model is much more than that. It’s about building more effective teams, identifying the strongest leader for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities, and reconfiguring groups to advance a mission or achieve a specific goal.

In short, recruitment research equips hiring leaders to identify and hire the right people, respond to immediate hiring needs while building a pipeline of talent, build data about a business to inform hiring decisions, and save as much as 50% off traditional hiring fees.
A Legitimate Third Approach to Recruitment
So how did this recruitment revolution get started?

It has been a slow process, to be sure. As companies continue to evolve their operations, there has been a shift in the strategies candidates use to identify new opportunities. Yet amid these changes, traditional search practices have not evolved in the same way.

Historically, there have been two models of recruitment, and they tend to use a one-size-fits-all approach in finding candidates. Retained search is a model in which the recruiter charges an advance and hefty fee (usually 30%-50% of the candidate’s first-year total compensation) to fill a position and usually with an exclusive agreement. The client receives a short list (3-10) of qualified candidates. Contingent search involves paying a recruiter when a recommended candidate accepts the client’s offer of employment.

Each of these approaches can be effective, but there is an opportunity for a third approach to recruitment, too. Specifically, there is a demand for recruiters and hiring leaders to uncover “passive” candidates – individuals who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job, but who might be interested if approached with the right opportunity.
Five Key Steps
Recruitment research is equal parts detective and skilled salesperson. It begins with taking a deep dive into the company and its business and ends with a list of interested, qualified candidates.

The foundation of the process is a sourcing strategy, which includes an in-depth situation analysis to understand the culture and personality of the hiring company, along with the job’s requirements, responsibilities and specific skill set needed. Using a comprehensive intake form, the recruitment team collects data about its client’s recruiting targets, geographic preferences, salary and compensation levels, communication expectations and industry-specific vernacular.

Armed with this information, recruiters then begin the next step – name generation – to identify candidates whose backgrounds, education and experiences dovetail with their needs. This is where creative outreach tactics come in. Recruiters can identify those looking for new careers or someone who may not be looking at all.

List in hand, it is now time to contact and pre-qualify potential hires as part of the recruitment candidate vetting. Because getting people to return calls may be difficult, it is important to create a sizzle around why potential hires should consider the opportunity. In addition to courting these individuals, this is the time to ask some all-important questions, including if they are interested in relocating to a particular area, if they have the right education and experience, and if they have a genuine interest in the job the client is trying to fill.

At Duffy Group, we may search as many as 100 candidates for one position and then present the top three to five most qualified and fully screened candidates for interviews. These individuals are typically seen within 15 days of the start of the search. That’s important, given that recruitment research’s model is based on billable hours, much like a CPA or an attorney. Clients choose from a menu of services that can result in cost savings of up to 50 percent per project compared with traditional recruitment practices.

The final step of the process is presentation and reporting. This is when the recruitment team shares the database and comprehensive profiles of all candidates for hiring managers to consider if other positions become available.
Remembering the Three Es
Recruitment research is as much of an art as a science, but the rewards are evident in the form of qualified candidates who can hit the ground running on Day 1.

If there is something you should remember about recruitment research, it is that the approach is effective, enabling company hiring managers and recruiters to work together to find niche and hidden talent; efficient in unearthing candidates with the skills, abilities and personalities needed for the position and company while building a talent pipeline for future recruitment efforts; and economical, with a flexible pricing plan that lets hiring managers pick and choose parts of the process they will handle while outsourcing others to their recruitment partners. The result: companies can save up to 50% of traditional hiring fees.


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