We have examined candidate sourcing techniques in the past in this blog. But the real effectiveness of the recruiting activity depends on the process one uses, little tips and tricks to identify good candidates and the diligence one shows in the activity.
At Pragna, we have been training our team on all these aspects – the process, tips & tricks and the being diligent. Below is a list of best practices from our training guide:
Call it 7 keys to effective candidate sourcing :-).
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Many organizations identify “Passion” as a very critical component in the candidate hiring process. No doubt I have had personal experiences of my own performance as well as others that I have seen vary based on their passion and the inherent drive towards a given task.
This becomes even more critical in leadership roles where one has to constantly define and pursue a mission. Last week I heard Dr. Vivek Mansingh (currently R&D head of Dell in India) speak at the Leadership summit on a topic – Leadership begins where Logic ends. He says that majority of our brain area is the emotional part and very small portion is actually the logical part (for which I could find some scientific evidence online). Regarding the assertion that Einstein used only 4% of the brain, how much do we use? I couldn’t locate any real evidence and most articles I read on this topic seem to suggest that the 4% number is more a myth. However one thing was clear from his experience as well as mine that normally individuals use a small portion of the brain and the rest requires some emotional thrust to put to use.
So what happens with finding individuals who have passion for a certain task or job is that it triggers their emotional part of the brain and channels all the energies to the specific task or goal. That’s how seemingly normal people start achieving great things that once seem impossible. It’s the constant drive, hunger, energy, commitment that “Passion” brings in to achieve greater results.
That provides some logic around the need to identify “Passion” for the mission/task/project however hazily one can gauge become as critical as the skill evaluation in the hiring process for key people in a company.
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Candidate sourcing is starting point of the Recruiting Process. In a series of blogs I will try to capture some of the nuances that I have learnt.
In the first part, lets look at maximizing the results from job boards like Monster, Dice, Hotjobs etc. They are a great resource for finding active job seekers. But the common complaint from every client is that they have either seen the candidate profile already or they do not have the ideal skills/competence etc. Why so?
The reason is that every recruiter looks there and looks at the top few pages of results. No doubt that one should look for low hanging fruit and quickly pounce on new candidates. But good recruiting also means looking beyond the most obvious and easy to find candidates. That’s where your IMAGINATION comes in to play to hunt down the right kinds of profiles in the vast repository of millions of profiles. Here are some ways to do imaginative searches to look for such candidate profiles:
- Competence search – This is the most basic searches where you are trying to match competency/expertise requirements of the job. For example, if you are looking for C# and .Net developers with Networking experience, you will use those keywords in your search. Here again looking for alternative representation / expressions of the technologies, tools etc. will certainly help (for example look for “protocol development” or “TCP/IP” while looking for Networking since they are similar)
- Company / Competitor search – Look for companies that are similar to the company you are looking to hire for – they could be competing companies or complementary to the business. So add a bunch of company names in addition to some technical competency for example (“Intel” or “Honeywell” or “Yahoo” or “HP”) and (“.Networking” or “Protocol development” or “VOIP” or “TCP/IP”). That way you will likely located people who worked in these companies before or worked on projects for these companies
- Ethnicity and locale search – Certain pockets of people / ethnic groups or universities have made a name for themselves and become specialized. For example I have seen many Russians are extremely good at Maths. So for positions that require good analytical skills, they are a good ethnic group to look at. So your search terms can include special groups in addition to some competencies like (“Russian” or “Russia” or “Poland”) and (“.NET” and “Networking”) so you are looking for specific pockets / ethnic groups that are normally successful.
One word of advice is that when you are adding specialized keywords like university or ethnicity, then expand your search to include candidates who have updated resumes in past 6 months or 1 year as well. That way you could dig deep into great candidates who might be dormant for a while.
Next up, lets look at Social Networking.
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Many folks have asked me – How does one determine if a resume is suited for Full-time (FTE) vs. Contract positions? The fundamental difference is in the intent for the Contract position is a specific short-term skill need whereas FTE is a hire for company for a specific skill with long term horizon where the employee could perform different roles/jobs in the company over time. There is no fool proof method, but below are certain characteristics that hold good most of the times, if not always:
Full-time or FTE hiring:
- Average tenure in previous jobs (atleast 3 yrs or more in US; so candidates have longer term horizon)
- More emphasis on academic qualifications
- Look for professional growth (has the candidate grown in skill/level of performance over time)
- Focus on overall candidate strengths especially in core fundamentals / concepts and Analytical skills vs. only specified skills (this is an important aspect since specific skills can be learnt over time and may become less important once a specific project is completed)
- Check if candidate has experience in a similar type of company (size, functional area etc.)
- Emphasis on soft skills like team management, program management etc.
- Focus on good matching of required skills and experience wrt to job requirements
- Look for breadth of project experience and types of projects and compare against current project they are going to work on; match the two as much as possible
- # of years of experience as a contract or consultant
- Ability to adapt quickly (e.g., flexible with process; deliverables etc. vs. having own strong views on them)
- Look for special attributes identified by hiring manager (for example, Analytical skills maybe important for a particular manager but generally less important for contract positions)
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