Traditional channels for sourcing talent, like job boards and LinkedIn, are flooded with competition and full of dead ends. It’s hard for companies to get noticed in all the noise, and many of the best candidates ignore these online hubs completely because they don’t want to waste time sifting through all the junk.
According to Jobvite, 94 percent of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, while only 40 percent of job seekers are. Many people simply don’t see LinkedIn as an effective way to find new jobs. And the most skilled people are already succeeding at their current jobs, so they aren’t driven to actively pursue change.
But just because people aren’t putting their resumes out there, that doesn’t mean they aren’t open to switching jobs. If you dig in the right places, you can cut through the clutter and connect with the best talent – even talent that doesn’t publicly announce itself.
Here are three alternative places to look for candidates where the competition is less fierce and people are more open to your communication:
1. Blogs and Forums
Start by searching a trustworthy blog or forum that is relevant to the role you’re hiring for. The website should be highly specialized – that way, you’ll be sure that the readers and posters are people who truly understand and care about your open position.
Look for people who actively comment and discuss issues. Take note of people who absorb all of the advice the publication or forum has to offer and put it into practice. You already know these people have the skills you’re looking for; if they’re also focused on developing themselves to become even better, then what more could you want in a candidate?
Once you’ve pinpointed promising individuals, find their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and dig further to identify which of them are good fits for your position and company.
The great recruiters already use this method, but most avoid it because it requires a lot of work. You’ll also need deep industry knowledge: You have to be familiar with these blogs and forums in the first place in order to utilize them.
2. Users of Software, Products, or Services
If there’s a key product or service relevant to the role you want to fill, scour the support forums and search Twitter for advocates of – or authorities on – the product or service. Use any and every method to locate people who love and understand that product or service and are voicing their opinions. They’re the ones with the passion you want and need.
3. Personal Interactions With Experts
Talk to people who have deep knowledge of the space you’re recruiting in. One thing recruiters like to do is pursue the perfect person (who’s probably not available). They don’t always expect to hire this ideal candidate, but they do hope to at least get a referral.
This is a great tactic, but you can expand on it by asking what blogs, forums, products, and services the expert uses. Also, ask them this simple question: “If you were going to hire someone strictly based on what blog they read, what blog would it be?” You may get a lot of blank stares and whimsical answers, but when someone can instantly respond with confidence, you’ll know you’re on the right track.
Putting these ideas into practice requires long hours and lots of resourcefulness, but they’re great ways for young, inexperienced recruiters to beat out those industry veterans who rely heavily on their networks.
And, if you are one of those veteran recruiters, you can use these strategies to expand your network and stay ahead of the competition.