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5 Tips for Mastering the Art of Active Recruiting

04 February 2020

Blog submitted by Robert Half Canada.


Active recruiting is a great way to build a pipeline of solid candidates, but it’s sometimes regarded as a last resort for when you don’t get the right applicants after posting a job listing. Without an active staffing strategy in place, you could be missing out on passive candidates who aren’t necessarily looking for another position but could be persuaded to join your company.

The truth is that the person you want to hire — the one with top-notch skills, years of experience and an in-depth understanding of your industry — probably already has a job. So, posting a job ad and hoping to catch the perfect candidate’s attention might not always work.

Global staffing firm Robert Half surveyed over 400 office workers in Canada, asking them what they would do if a recruiter contacted them with a job offer. Only 36 per cent of respondents said they probably wouldn’t consider it, while 64 per cent said they would likely entertain the opportunity. There appears to be a large, untapped pool of talent potentially ready for a move, so this could be the perfect time to consider active recruiting if you’re not already doing so.

It also may be a great way to get out in front of your competition when it comes to attracting skilled talent. A parallel survey indicated that many companies downplay active recruiting. In fact, 50 per cent of Canadian CFOs Robert Half interviewed said they were more likely to wait for replies to job descriptions than to get out there and court potential candidates.


Five tips for employers

Conventional recruiting methods may be fine in industries with a high unemployment rate. However, if you’re having trouble hiring, you may want to consider a more proactive approach. Here are some ways to put active hiring into practice:


1. Keep in touch with former employees. There are some advantages to so-called boomerangs. They know the people and the workplace culture, thereby minimizing the chances of a bad hire. They also require less training than brand-new staff and can quickly assimilate. Boomerang hires are somewhat uncommon, though. A 2019 Accountemps survey found that while 91 per cent of the HR managers interviewed said they have no problems hiring a former employee who left on good terms, only 33 per cent of the workers would likely come back. A common reason for this sentiment is they feel bridges have been burned. By staying in contact with former staff members, you help ensure they still feel welcome — and stand a better chance of getting them to return for an open position.


2. Attend industry events. Trade shows, conferences, professional organization gatherings — some organizations don’t regard these events as recruiting opportunities because most attendees already have a job. As the Robert Half survey suggests, however, most workers would consider a job offer if the right one came along.


3. Use the right channels. When you have a list of people you’d consider for a job vacancy, don’t spam them with a generic mass email. Instead, contact them individually. A phone call is an effective way to connect immediately, but personalized emails and LinkedIn messages are also good. A publicly visible method like Twitter should rarely be used, especially if the person is currently employed. Whichever way you reach out, explain why you feel they might be a good fit and the reasons they may enjoy the new challenge.


4. Promote your referral bonus program. A referral program — giving bonuses to employees who recommend a candidate who is eventually hired — can help increase the number of quality applications you receive. But do all staff members know the company has such an active staffing strategy? For an employee referral program to work, you need to publicize it regularly. Mention the cash amount, and then remind them to reach out to passive candidates as well as active job seekers.


5. Ask a staffing firm for help. The best specialized staffing firms have large networks and work with passive candidates every day. A recruiter’s network includes people who have approached them about conducting a confidential job search. They’ve told the recruiter to alert them if the right opportunity comes along and they know the recruiter has their best interests at heart.


While most passive candidates haven’t prepared a resume recently, many currently employed people are at least interested in hearing about great opportunities that allow them to move up the ranks, learn new skills or simply earn a bigger paycheque. Keep a competitive edge by implementing an active recruiting strategy that will attract skilled job seekers – whether they’re passively or actively seeking a new challenge.


Blog post submitted by Robert Half Canada. Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm placing accounting and finance professionals on a temporary, full-time and project basis. Visit Robert Half blog here for additional workplace news and management advice.


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