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You see, there’s a lesson to be learned here (isn’t there always!). The vast majority of you will be able to read this passage regardless of the fact that everything but the first and last letters of each word are jumbled up. That’s because your brain is still able to process the word if the first and last letters are where they should be. After that, it doesn’t really matter what goes on in the middle. And the same can be said when it comes to sourcing really great candidates. As long as the candidate possesses the vital skills they need to do a job and they fit within the culture of the business looking to hire them, you could have a star candidate on your hands.
Unfortunately however, many recruiters seem to get caught up in the little details when searching for candidates. They get handed a job spec by the hiring manager or client and set about trying to find a candidate who matches the exact criteria stated, word for word – 3 years working in a communications/PR function in a PR agency, an appreciation of a blue chip environment, a degree in PR, bla, bla, bla.
The only problem is that most of the time, these candidates don’t exist. They’re what the industry refer to as, ‘Purple Squirrels’. And a really great recruiter is able to recognise this fact and ask a very important question of the hiring manager before they go any further with the recruitment process: “What does this candidate need in order to make it to the interview process?”
What does this candidate need in order to make it to the interview process?
Why? Because you need to make sense of the job spec. Your job as a recruiter, is to give the hiring manager the candidates they want to see for consideration. In other words, you have to understand the job spec to the point that, when you deliver candidates, they all get interviewed because you listened to what the hiring manager was actually looking for (not just what the job spec stated) and you delivered the right people. And if you can’t find the right people, you should be able to explain why they’re not on the market.
The chances are, that although the hiring manager states they need someone with at least 3 years experience in public relations, they wouldn’t discount someone with 2 years experience and a great performance record . The same can be said for a degree. A hiring manager may state a degree is needed, but would they really say no to someone with no degree but 10 years experience working in the field or for a competitor? Chances are, they probably wouldn’t. Similarly, some aspects that are definitely required of a candidate to get them to the interview stage, might not be highlighted clearly in the job spec and it falls to you to draw that information out of the job spec and the hiring manager, before you go searching for candidates.
Because if you don’t, before you know it, the Boolean search string you create to encompass all of the attributes “needed”, will get far too comprehensive for it’s own good and will filter out a substantial number of candidates who could be absolutely perfect for the role, but who don’t match the exact criteria the search string has stipulated.
Remember to identify the “sweet spot”
So remember, before you set about searching for candidates in earnest, be sure to identify the “sweet spot” i.e. where you have enough of the skills and requirements that guarantee you, that a person who matches that criteria will at least get an interview. And by identifying the sweet spot, you won’t be looking for too much and therefore a Purple Squirrel that just doesn’t exist (or is going to be so hard to find that you miss out on other people who would’ve gotten an interview because they have the minimum requirements).
Then, once you have identified that sweet spot, be sure to plug your key search terms into our FREE Boolean Builder. It takes the guess-work and the hardship out of creating Boolean strings by providing you with a simple, straightforward tool that will help you create complex, error free Boolean strings in just 4 easy steps.
So what are you waiting for? Discover how your efforts identifying the “sweet spot” and Boolean strings can help you find exactly the type of candidate you’re looking for and more quickly, by checking out labs.socialtalent.co now!