A few months ago I was asked by a CEO to come in and teach his HR Manager who ran an HR Department of One how to source candidates as well as staffing agencies. He was tired of spending so much money on candidates he wondered if the HR Manager could find herself. I had done a little work with this team about a year prior around recruiting strategy and I knew that out of all the things an HR Department of One leader has to do, she enjoyed recruiting the least. And because of that, I knew she probably wasn’t too keen on this idea.
I was right.
But knowing that they needed to cut spend and realizing that it never hurts to learn a new skill, she agreed to try it. She was convinced she didn’t have time, but would give it a go and see what happened.
For the positions that had not been hired through a staffing agency I asked her to walk me through her process. She was using several job boards. One position in particular received 250 resumes. I asked her how many of those she reviewed and how long that had taken her. She said she had reviewed at least half of them and only found two or three that were qualified. She said she had probably spent two hours going through the resumes, sending clarifying or requests for interview emails and sending thanks but not thanks emails. She doesn’t have an applicant tracking system being a small company and so much of her process is manual.
Which is why sourcing, the thing she thinks is going to take too much of her time, is the thing that is actually going to save her time.
In those same two hours, she can run a simple search on LinkedIn, find pages of candidates who have those keywords in their profile, review the top 20 profiles and reach out to them knowing, that at least on paper, they are qualified to do the job.
She thought searching was difficult. She thought you had to know some vodoo magic to enter a search string. She thought you had to be able to decipher who identified themselves as a job seeker. She thought it would take her way more time.
The reality is that LinkedIn and any other site that allows you to search their database makes it pretty user friendly to search. The best part is that you can save those searches and then get an email whenever someone new fits the criteria – this is great for those positions you seem to always be filling. The other reality is that everyone is a job seeker until they tell you no. When sourcing, I always reach out to anyone who I think may be qualified even if they haven’t identified themselves as a job seeker. Until they tell me they aren’t interested, I consider them a potential candidate. Many people aren’t actively looking for jobs, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t entertain something that piqued their interest.
With a script you can use over and over, an easy to search database and a few minutes of your time, you can reach out to candidates who may have otherwise never knew you had a job opening or even knew your business existed. Sourcing does the double work of bringing in qualified candidates but also getting your small businesses name out there.
So if you are an HR Department of One spending hours sifting through resumes from a job board where more than half of them aren’t qualified anyway, you do have time to source. In fact, you probably have more than enough time.
And wouldn’t we all like a few minutes of our day back?