The Pro’s and Con’s of Recruiting Tools

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Navigating Your Way Through the Options for Hiring New Employees

The information and digital age has brought us a plethora of new tools and tactics that we can now use to streamline our processes to hire new employees.

If your goal is to create systems by which you can most quickly, efficiently and effectively bring new employee candidates to the table, then having an understanding of the tools available to help you is important to the mission.

Let’s lay out a few of the options for tools that can assist you in the hiring process and navigating hiring tools to find the right employeesdiscuss the pro’s and con’s of each:

Hiring Web Sites – There are a number of different web sites offering job recruitment services for both the employee and the employer.  Sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder the ability to screen through millions of candidates to hone in on those who fit your specifications.  If you’d like to get into hybrid screening systems, we have also used (and strongly recommend) Accolo, a firm that combines the screening and filtering of a recruiting web site with the power of social media in the cloud.

Referrals – Never underestimate the power of a referral. Referrals can provide perhaps the most effective means of locating talent that is exactly suited to your needs, because they are being referred by someone who you already know and trust.  But keep in mind that your colleagues and business associates aren’t sitting around thinking of how to send you employee referrals — you’ll probably have to ask.  One powerful question to remember is:  “Who do you know…?”  Ask around in your business network and be specific:  “Who do you know who [fits these specific qualifications] and might be looking for work or to upgrade their position?”  This question kicks in the “search engine” in the brain of the person you’re asking and even potentially allows them to step up themselves (consider asking people you know who already have the qualifications you’re seeking).  Even your current employees can be a great resource for new employees of the same caliber.  People tend to hang out with people who are like themselves.

Headhunters / Placement Services – “Headhunters” and placement services are essentially in the business of luring employees from other companies by offering them something bigger, better, faster…whether that’s more money, better benefits or retirement packages, a better work environment or cooler perks.  Headhunters can be a great way of drawing solid employees into your business, but there is a big potential downside.  Think about it:  How did the headhunter find your employee?  Exactly!  People acquired through headhunting services tend to be less loyal and after building your company culture, the last thing you need is a revolving door of employees seeking out the “next big thing.”

Social Media / Social Networking – Social media and social networking have taken over the world.  Not only can you find potential candidates through the vast interconnected web of social media networks, but sites like LinkedIn and Facebook even allow for screening of specific individuals either before or after an interview.  Posting in LinkedIn can not only get others helping you to find the right personnel but also spread the word in standard social media style…in a more “viral” way…so you get connected deeper into multiple levels of business (and personal) associates.

Job Fairs – Job fairs can be an excellent and very efficient method to allow employers to come into contact with a large number and variety of potential hires in a focused and time-managed way.  This is also a great way to enhance brand awareness, the company profile and network with potential clients at the same time.  For a relatively small expense, an employer can arrange to have a booth at the fair and have representatives from your hiring team on hand to answer questions, take resumes and even have impromptu interviews.

Advertising – There used to be a time that we would simply put an advertisement in the classified section of the local newspaper and simply review the applicants that responded.  Welcome to the 21st Century!  Not only are newsletter classified ads nearly obsolete (going the way of the dinosaur like the papers they are printed on), but they are also not nearly your best bet when it comes to finding talent.  New media classifieds like Craigslist are the new “classifieds” and have all but completely eliminated their print competitors.  The upside of Craigslist is that it is fast and easy to get an ad up and running and it’s very inexpensive – as little as $25 in some cities and $75 in the Bay Area.  You also have no limitations on how specific you want to get about your applicant’s qualifications, because there is no limit to the size of your ad.  The con’s are that you will likely receive an onslaught of unqualified applicants (even if you are specific about qualifications) and you’ll likely be dipping into a shallow talent pool.

There are numerous tools you can use to streamline your hiring process.  Before you use any of them, make you have your hiring systems and procedures in place and then use the tools wisely, so you can find (and retain) those top employees!