Talent Search
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How to Search for Talent in a Competitive Market

Don’t wait for the best candidates to come to you—instead, go looking for them. Today’s competition for talent is intense, so consider these tips to boost your active search for the people your organization needs to succeed.

By Andreas Dittes 

You have a new position that just opened up at your organization, but you’re struggling to find the right person to fill that role. Unfortunately, skilled candidates with high potential can be hard to come by—especially in a competitive job market.

With more jobs than skilled candidates available, how can you find great talent for your organization? The simple answer is to adopt a proactive sourcing strategy. 

Proactively searching for candidates online is essential to reaching in-demand, passive talent—great candidates who might not be actively looking for a new role. Not sure how to do it? Here are four ways to get started with a proactive sourcing strategy:

1. Search beyond the traditional networks (when in doubt, ask your team). You’ve probably found potential candidates on LinkedIn, but have you ever thought about Quora? Meetup? Nowadays, people set up profiles and share information all over the internet, and it’s your job to find them. If you’re unsure where to start, look no further than your current employees who share similar skills and experience. Ask your colleagues what networks they like to visit to share ideas and engage with their peers. Based on this information, you can refine your search and target specific networks that attract these type of people.

2. Tap into your colleagues’ social networks. Work with your colleagues who have profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram, to find potential candidates. A colleague may be connected with someone whose social profile reveals that he is passionate about your mission or that she has a background that would be an excellent fit for your organization. By involving your team in the sourcing process, you can maximize your reach online and increase your chances of finding high-quality candidates that might otherwise go unnoticed.

A colleague may be connected with someone whose social profile reveals that he is passionate about your mission or that she has a background that would be an excellent fit for your organization.

3. Instead of searching for hard skills, search for organizations. On LinkedIn, you can search for candidates based on their hard skills, but many people list their skills without having much experience or training. Instead, try searching for organizations that you know hire quality employees or are excelling in the type of work you’re hiring for. With this approach, you will find candidates who have the right experience for your open positions.

4. If you find a strong prospect but are not ready to hire, build a relationship. You might find someone on LinkedIn or through a mutual connection who would be a perfect fit for your team, except you’re not currently hiring. Instead of letting that connection fade, bring the person into your pool of talented prospects and keep in touch by sharing occasional updates about your organization’s growth and accomplishments. You never know when you’ll have an opening that this connection would be perfect to fill. 

The talent-sourcing landscape is evolving every day, and new ways to communicate and engage online are constantly emerging. Proactive talent search can drive real change in your organization’s recruiting capabilities, helping you to find and hire the best talent available to succeed today and in the future.

Andreas Dittes is CEO and founder of Talentwunder, a global talent search company based in Berlin. Email: [email protected].

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