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Recruiters working through a maze to find candidates

3 tips on how to recruit for hard-to-fill jobs

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Among 42,000 employers surveyed globally in ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey 2016, employers in APAC are reporting the most difficulty filling IT staff roles.

In fact, the hardest job vacancies for employers to fill in Asia Pacific include IT personnel, sales representatives, engineers, and skilled trades like electricians and carpenters.

In light of the job market, Kelly Love Johnson of Jobs2Careers reached out to industry experts and asked: As an expert in staffing, what is your most creative tip, trick or hack to fill hard-to-fill jobs?”

Here are three top responses among the 22 that Johnson uncovered:

Tip 1: Leverage a bimodal strategy

“One strategy that I’ve found to be particularly powerful is to recruit in a contrarian manner by intentionally leveraging a bimodal strategy: new college grads and over 50s. These two populations have exceptional talent, experience, innovation and those difficult to find skills,” says Dianna D. Wilusz, CEO and founder, The Pendolino Group.

“However, they are often (inadvertently) ignored by traditional recruiting approaches. While it can sometimes be more difficult to locate the talented folks, it is absolutely worth the effort for those difficult to fill positions!”

Tip 2: Study candidates in their natural habitats

Cash Nickerson, president, PDS Tech, says: “My best tip for this comes from the old TV show, ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.’ It studied animals in their natural habitat. Humans live and work in social habitats. To recruit for a hard-to-fill job, you need to find the work and social habitat where these people are.”

He adds: “There is simply no substitute for finding someone who does that job currently and asking them the following questions: ‘How do I find someone like you?’ ‘What associations or work related clubs have you joined?’ ‘What was the last trade association conference you attended?’ ‘What search string would you use if you were looking for someone just like you?’ For the cost of a drink or lunch you will crack the code for finding the talent for that hard to fill requisition.”

Tip 3: Never clean out your phone contacts

“It’s all about developing and maintaining positive relationships with our employees and clients. Because we’re always proactively reaching out to our contacts, when a hard-to-fill job comes up we often already have someone in mind or know exactly who to call to help us find the right candidate,” explains Brandon Downing, regional leader, BelFlex Staffing Network.

“This approach is much more effective for us than being reactive, which typically means getting a job order and immediately spending money on advertising to promote the positions. The best advice we can give for filling challenging positions is to never clean out your phone contacts and to constantly network with good people.”

BONUS: Another five quick tips on hiring for hard-to-fill roles:

  • “Talk to a lot of people, ask for referrals, make friends, learn what motivates those in these roles who are not working for your client”: Fletcher Wimbush, chief hiring guru, The Hire Talent.
  • “Ask every person you interview for the position to give you the names of three people that they work with or have worked with in the past that you can talk to about them”: Mel Kleiman, speaker, author, and consultant, Humetrics.
  • “The majority of my ‘difficult to find recruits’ come from employee referrals and offering referral bonuses…money talks!”: Leslie Norris Merendino, director of recruiting, Quality Staffing Specialists
  • “Harness technology, build your brand and become a subject matter expert in your area of expertise to drive candidates to your openings”: Robin Mee, president, Mee Derby
  • “Call candidates at lunch or on their way home from work. When I reach someone in their car, they’re less inclined to get rid of me quickly”: Dawn Swit, founder, Next IT Staffing

Photo / 123RF

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