At the ERE conference a couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of discussion around Web 2.0 sourcing tools and even “beyond” (cloud recruiting!). While it is truly exciting to discover how we can use emerging technologies to find and recruit talent regardless of generation, at some point – the conversation comes back to the start.
That is, at some point – no matter how you find and “connect” with a potential candidate for your search (text message, Boolean search string, Facebook, etc.), in order for them to get hired . . . you have to reach out and talk to them.
At one of the ERE break out sessions on emerging technologies, someone made the point; “…don’t forget about that piece of technology called the phone…!” The point being that while discussions around “pre-web 1.0″ tactics might not be “in-vogue,” there are still time-tested, no-cost, highly effective sourcing techniques that should be front and center within each recruiters “tool kit”.
For example, one simple, but powerful, technique to identify the organizational structure (and talent) of your competition (or any organization for that matter) is to engage in a little investigative conversation with each and every candidate you interview.
No matter how you find candidates, at some point (if the candidate seems qualified) you will interview them. Whether they are active or passive, they are prepared to provide you information about themselves during an interview. In your interview/pre-screen, it is very easy (and necessary) to engage them in discussion about themselves, their work history, their accomplishments, etc. and it is natural to ask questions regarding organizational structure, their centers of influence, etc. This line of questioning can provide you with a tremendous amount of information about them, their department, and how many people in that company do what they do.
One possible conversation/interview (and good Investigative Questions (IQ’s)) might go like this:
“So, Jim, please walk me through your work history, from your first job out of school to present…?”
“So now you are at XYZ Company, what is your current role and responsibilities…?”
“So I get a better understanding of how you fit within the organizations, briefly describe your organizational structure…?”
“Who do you report to? How many peers do you have? What do they do? Who reports to you? Who else do you interface with? What are their titles…?”
Having this information is invaluable!
First off, if the candidate gets hired, you can use this data to ask more specific, effective IQ’s like:
“You mentioned you had 5 other peers. As you know, we have 2 more positions, of those 5 folks who would you like to bring over? If you could pick your “dream team,” who would you pick?”
“You mentioned that you interfaced with the business analysts; we currently have a position in that area. Who would you recommend I contact that might be interested and/or well connected that can help me with my search?”
If you find out the candidate is not right for the position, you now know exactly how many other folks exist within that organization that you can target/recruit! This is very important. For most recruiters, they usually ‘don’t know what they don’t know.’ They can’t tell you how many of ______ exist within a company. And if you don’t know that, you can’t truly say that you have “exhausted” recruiting all talent within a specific organization. On the flip side, if I know there are 10 recruiters at a company and I end up talking to all 10 (through various techniques), and no one is qualified and/or interested, I can cross that company off my target list and move on. I can now say that I’ve “exhausted” all recruiting efforts into that company.
This Conversational, Investigative, Methodical sourcing technique is just one example of a “Pre-Web 1.0″ technique that has been used, successfully, for years!
If you would like a copy of our Pre-Screen form used to guide us in this discussion, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org