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Direct Talent Sourcing vs Job Posts
Looking back at my days of filling reqs, I realized one detail that was very striking. Whether working on assignments for clients or as an internal recruiter, I’ve stopped advertising on job boards since Apr 2016!
For start-up founders, this might be shocking! How do candidates apply? What talent pools does this recruiter use? Or are recruitment agencies the safe way forward?
Targeted searches on LinkedIn, GitHub, Facebook and other social media sites where talent pools exist is the faster, cheaper, better way to do recruitment. This direct outreach allows the start-up to take a proactive approach and the engagement level is more personal as well. It’s akin to a sales job when interacting with candidates; understanding the benefits of the job and knowing how to deal with objections. Social media sites have lowered the playing field by allowing organizations to be their own recruitment agency rather than using one.
On the other hand, job posts, are what professional recruiters call “hope and pray”. When a job ad is posted, you are hoping and praying that the right candidates apply to your ad. It is reactive. Start-ups are not using the power of social media sites like LinkedIn to shorten the time-to-hire. Having said this, I’ve seen founders publishing their jobs by “creating a post” on their personal LinkedIn profile. It’s a good start but still a very reactive approach.
One can argue that a direct, proactive approach to “head-hunting” candidates is very time-consuming. And it is! But, as a start-up, there are several ways you can deploy such a strategy.
Hire an Internal Recruiter. The current market is flushed with many experienced recruiters who are out of work and looking for their next gig. Hire a recruiter for a 6-month contract if you are unsure about hiring needs for the long term. Keep in a mind that a recruiter would need the right tools to do the job well. This may include a LinkedIn Recruiter license that costs an average of USD1,000 a month. There are cheaper sourcing tools such as Lusha, Hiretual, SeekOut etc. which you can consider. You may also need an applicant tracking system (ATS) to be a central database repository for CVs. There are some free options but they lack the bells and whistles especially if you scale up recruitment. You also need to consider that a recruiter needs time to get up to speed about learning the business. It may take up to 40 days into the job, before this recruiter becomes productive.
Hiring Managers as Recruiters. Given that hiring managers know the business best, some start-ups have given managers the responsibility to recruit their own staff. But recruitment is a highly specialized task and requires, among other things, the ability to source candidates from different online sources, screen (interview) candidates (can amount to 50 to 100 applicants) for any one job, schedule interviews, read CVs (very painful!) and other administrative tasks. Not the best way to make use of your hiring managers whose main job are in other areas such as software engineering, product development, marketing etc.
Talent Sourcing Vendors. Probably the fastest, and best way to grow your team is the use of a specialized talent sourcing vendor. These firms have teams that specialize in understanding your job requirements. They have teams and technology that can go out to databases and social media sites to source, screen and qualify the right candidates for you. In essence, doing all the heavy-lifting before presenting a shortlist of candidates that are primed for interviews. As these vendors work in teams rather than individuals, the speed of delivery is faster. In the Asia Pacific, talent sourcing providers are still a fairly new concept. TechBridge Market is set to play a leading role in this area of recruitment. With a plug and play service, it can help start-ups scale up quickly across the Asia Pacific.
In a nutshell, direct sourcing is a recruitment strategy that start-ups need to start deploying if they wish to scale-up; whether it’s just hiring 10 digital marketing consultants or 500 engineers.