My client in Part 1, where we talked about streamlining your analysis, was also having trouble finding people. He needed to hire two developers. He just “knew” there was a boom in Boston, and could not hire more people.
Well, considering I had just been at a SPIN meeting the night before and met people who had been looking for work for months, I knew there were people looking for work.
The question always is this: How does the hiring manager find the people who are looking? How do the people who are looking find the hiring managers?
The people who are looking have to target networking. (See Manage Your Job Search.)
But the hiring managers have to vary their recruiting mechanisms. If you rely on the same old mechanisms, you will not get new and different candidates. My client was not seeing a variety of candidates. He was using recruiters, but a small number. Those recruiters had not proved themselves to him. And, he had not left his office to personally recruit for the positions. He had not used Twitter. He had not used LinkedIn.
I made these suggestions:
- If a recruiter does not prove him/herself in the first month by providing quality candidates worthy of hiring, move on. Do not saddle yourself with a recruiter who throws candidates at you who are not worth interviewing, never mind hiring.
- You have to use multiple sourcing mechanisms. You must. You cannot rely on two recruiters to find people. You must go to meetings or job fairs yourself. Candidates who have been unemployed for a while are not going to recruiters, for any number of reasons. You actually want unemployed candidates. Why? They can start tomorrow, or next week. You don’t have to pay a recruiter. But, to find those people you have to go to meetings, mashups, some other community event. Yes, you do. You have to leave the office. You have to—dare I say it—network!
- Use LinkedIn. At least post the job on your LinkedIn company page and change your headline to say you are looking for people. Consider using Twitter. At least, try it. You have not much to lose, and much to gain. You can experiment for a week or two and see what kind of resumes you get.
My client was using a pre-phone screen coding test for everyone. I didn’t like that idea. He claimed that it screened out people who couldn’t program at all, but they still discovered people they hired who couldn’t program. I told them they needed a new audition.
I don’t like pre-interview tests or generic auditions. This guy was a warm guy, and the environment was collaborative. The generic audition/test was not a good assessment for them, and it was an hour long. He thought asking an hour of a candidate was fine. I said, “A candidate has 5 phone screens scheduled in 2 days. Yours requires one hour of coding beforehand. Will a candidate bother? You don’t even know if the candidate will pass your elimination questions.”
“Uh, maybe not.”
I don’t like barriers before you know if the candidate can do the bare minimum. But that’s me. And, since the coding test let through candidates who couldn’t code, that they had to fire later, it’s not a good test.
Stay tuned for the phone screen tips, part 3.