A wise, former boss once told me, "You should always know the next person you are hiring before you need them." Great advice, but considered impractical by many in this era of specialization. Most hiring managers would agree that finding qualified candidates is time consuming enough when you have an urgent need, never mind when you don't.
Often overlooked as a primary recruiting tool (since most companies tend to advertise first), a top-rate resume database can present you with several qualified candidates in an instant. Here are some tricks on how to navigate them without getting overwhelmed:
Beware of Public or Unsecured Databases
Websites like Craigslist.org invite job seekers to post resumes, and although there are many resumes, the quality is often suspect. As great and free as those sites are, data mining activities and scams run rampant on these unrestricted sites. Be careful not to inadvertently expose yourself or your company. The best job boards tend to have the best resumes.
Don't Ignore Old Postings
Many hiring managers tell me they only want to search the newest resumes, and ignore those that are more than a few weeks old. Passive job seekers - those candidates, who may be currently employed but are "passively" searching, may only update their resume once a year. That passive candidate may be your next great hire. Why limit your candidate options?
Search by Skill to Uncover Hidden Candidates
A job title like "Project Manager" has a very different meaning in construction than it does in IT, for example, and can be unproductive and maddening to search. The resume database is the ideal tool to uncover candidates with the exact skills you need. Instead of searching by job title, try a skill like CDL, SQL, bilingual, Spanish, public speaking, Photoshop, etc. and you may find your qualified candidate is ready and available to you from somewhere unexpected.
Don't Be Put off by Lack of Responsiveness
There is a lot of distraction on the Internet, and job seekers (like employers) often become overwhelmed with irrelevant inquiries and easily lose things or become confused. When contacting a potential great candidate, provide clear details about you and the opportunity, and don't be afraid to follow-up a second time if they don't get back to you. Don't assume you are being ignored.
Steven Porter is a marketing professional with over 15 years experience as a professional retailer, merchandiser, writer, web designer and ad executive. Steve served as Marketing & Public Relations Director for Lauriat's Bookstores throughout the 1990s. In 1999, he founded SPIMAC, LLC, providing hands-on, personal marketing services to businesses, including Match.com, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, and Disney. Since 2004, Steve has served as Outreach Consultant for JobsInRI.com, educating both job seekers on how to use the internet more effectively to find the best jobs, and employers on how to position themselves as the employer of choice to attract the best candidates. For more information, visit StevenPorter.com.