In The Walking Dead, the main characters go through times of hope (making it to the Safe Zone) and anxiety (threats from other survivors) as they fight off zombies. Sound like a day in recruiting?
There’s some optimism in the staffing industry thanks to a strong economy and the increasing utilization of contingent workers. But increasing competition and a lack of niche talent is daunting. Like the characters struggling to survive in The Walking Dead, recruiters today may need to try new strategies. From tools to fresh tactics, here are killer recruiting strategies you can utilize to survive – and even thrive.
Determine Zombie Fighting Readiness
The first killer recruiting strategy is to pinpoint a potential candidate’s stage in their job search. Recruiters must understand the process that candidates undergo as they decide whether or not to leave their current employers. Know what stage of the process the candidate is in now. Clarify the specific benefits a potential candidate will gain by working with you as they navigate their next career move.
“Candidates have economic and emotional reasons for staying with or leaving an employer,” says Mary Ann McLaughlin, a managing partner at Butler Street LLC. “Being able to uncover the candidate’s current state and describe a better future state requires effective questioning, active listening and a true desire to put their needs first and improve their life.”
Learn New Fighting Moves
The next killer strategy is to recruit for a new niche industry, which as you know is easier said than done! Mike Lejeune, recruiting strategist, says that entering into a new niche can be daunting, so start with research. “If I’m trying to break into a new niche, I’d first try to identify trade associations in that area. Target in on who the potential key movers and shakers are. Key in on the pulse points that people deal with from a problem standpoint.”
Lejeune says that trade associations can be a great resource for recruiters. If they’re able to share their list of members, you can use that as a starting point for researching companies. Hone in on businesses that are adding staff or having difficulties and determine how recruiting can help. For example, if you’re working with a successful business growth strategist, perhaps she would be a good fit for a local retailer that’s expanding nationally.
Foster Future Fighters
In a LinkedIn survey, 60 percent of the organizations responding reported that they recruit passive talent – leaving another 40 percent that do not. It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of recruiting to fill orders. But it’s crucial to develop a passive talent database – our next recruiting strategy.
“The stage of your candidate’s decision process is always in motion,” says McLaughlin. “This network could potentially become your next placement, your next client, and most certainly your next referral source. Everyone wants to be wanted. A good recruiter understands that they need to be thought of first when a passive talent recognizes a need to make a change.”
Rely on your Zombie-Fighting Alliances
Finally, focus on referrals. Referrals allow recruiters to reach an audience that is unavailable through other avenues, such as search engine optimization or a trade association member list.
“I recently read that the ‘6 degrees of separation, is now 3.74,’” says McLaughlin. “Think of how quickly you can reach niche skills by utilizing a strong network and winning referral strategy.”
A referral strategy might include pinpointing the top 20 percent of your successful placements. Be sure to follow up with them regularly about their position and job satisfaction. After 12 weeks, send an email requesting an introduction or referral with someone in their network. Finally, be sure to thank them for the referral and follow up with the outcome. Staffing software functions will allow you to schedule, track and complete referral activities.
Succeed in the Zombie-Filled Battle
In The Walking Dead, characters have a number of strategies as they fight to survive. They join with new groups, use rifles and crossbows to fight off the “walkers” and have fences for protection. Although recruiters aren’t in life-and-death situations, the competitiveness is intense. By using strategies, including targeting candidate stages, developing a passive talent database and utilizing referrals, despite the daunting competition, you can survive and thrive.
Read more expert tips in our whitepaper, “7 Ways to Survive Recruiting in 2015.”