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7 Tried and True Tips for Sourcing Candidates in a Tight Market

Australia is experiencing a candidate shortage never seen before. 700,000 people who were in the job market prior to the global COVID pandemic are no longer here. So, we have a conundrum of more jobs than people to fill them, with candidate sourcing becoming the primary focus of anyone recruiting. For those organisations who have opted to do their recruitment themselves, the biggest question on everyone’s lips is “Where do we start?”.

Bernadette Eichner
Bernadette Eichner
Fisherman on a boat fishing

In the March-April period of 2020, over 600,000 temporary visa holders departed Australia’s shores in response to the global COVID pandemic. In another move, over 46,000 Australians quit their urban abodes for a new life in regional Australia, while 15 months later, over 36,000 Australians are still ‘stranded’ overseas, unable to return. This has had a major impact on the labour market in Australia, resulting in a shortage of candidates like we’ve never seen before.

On the other hand, Australia’s successful response to the pandemic has resulted in a buoyant economy, with more jobs being advertised now than pre-pandemic levels.

So, we have a conundrum of more jobs than people to fill them, with candidate sourcing becoming the primary focus of anyone recruiting.

For those organisations who have opted to do their recruitment themselves, the biggest question on everyone’s lips is “Where do we start?”.

Candidate sourcing needs to be a strategic, multi-channel approach

No longer can we throw an ad up on a job board in the hope it will uncover the ideal candidate for our job.

You have to widen your web and sometimes, that means getting others to help.

As professional recruiters, we know only too well the “do you know anyone?” networking approach will very often give us a name we haven’t already come across. And that name can lead us somewhere else and so on.

Life is full of “someone who knows someone who knows someone” moments. Make them work for you in your candidate sourcing activity!

Here’s 7 Tips to help you find that ‘right’ person

If you implement these simultaneously, you’re more likely to not only find the person you need, but find them more quickly.

1. Get your team involved

The people who know your organisation best (and the types of personalities that work well) are the ones that already work there. When you’re hiring, let them know what you’re looking for and ask them to keep their eyes and ears open. You might even think about a referral bonus to incentivise them to keep your needs front of mind. And then make sure you follow up any leads pronto! Potential candidates will be more engaged if they have already had a positive conversation with someone who works there.

2. Ask around your family and friends

Like your team members, your family and friends know you well and have an idea of the sort of person that might suit you. The weekend barbecue, the family dinner, the afternoon drinks on a Sunday are all fertile ground for getting your needs ‘out there’. Only last week we placed a candidate who was on a plane back to Australia the very day our Consultant happened to speak to her mother at a sporting fixture. We were her first call when she landed. She had the job within two days and our client was suitably thrilled!

3. “Put it out there” over a beer or a coffee with your business network

Members of your business network are an extension of colleagues, family and friends when it comes to getting information that can help you. In the same way you might ask a business acquaintance for a recommendation for an accountant, lawyer or recruitment consultant, you can ask them if they know anyone that might be good for a job you’re hiring. Who knows – they may have a niece or nephew or neighbour who’s a great fit!

4. Make sure your ad copy is written to attract the person you need, not just anyone looking for a job

We’ve banged on before in our DIY Recruitment series about how critical good ad copy is. And we say it again – write ad copy to attract the person you want rather than just tell them who you are and what the job tasks are. Recruitment advertising is not about copying and pasting the job description. You’re buying hearts as well as minds. You also want people to engage with the mission, values and culture of the organisation. Language and writing skills are the most important weapons in your job advertising arsenal.

5. Hit the job boards – and that means multiple boards

Yes, we know that SEEK is the biggest job board in the country. After all, they keep telling us! But there are others, perhaps even better suited to your industry and job. And some of them are free! Depending on what industry you’re in and what you’re looking for, some that spring to mind are Indeed, CareerOne, Jora, Adzuna, Hospo Jobs, Career Jet, Gumtree, GradConnection, Flex Careers, ArtsHub, Spot Jobs, Job Seeker and Salon Staff. Most candidates who are active in the market have alerts set up for job titles that match what they’re looking for, so will apply quickly.

6. Fire up your social media

Social media is no longer just about posting family snaps and your latest culinary creation. Most companies now have Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. And if you’ve been active, you have followers. Like colleagues, family and friends and business acquaintances, your followers may know someone who knows someone. Or they may be interested in working with you themselves!

7. Buy a ‘list’ from a professional candidate sourcing consultant

For more specialised or managerial roles, this is the route you may be smart to take. Candidate search is the big winner when you’re sourcing candidates with a specific skill set, qualification and experience.

Professional sourcers have access to numerous databases. For a small fee, they will take a detailed look at your job description and the qualifications, skills and experience required, and conduct an in-depth market search using advanced technology tools to generate a list of potential candidates for you, complete with contact details so you can jump on your phone or email and reach out to them. And if they’re any good, you can have that list on your desk within a couple of days. You’ll need to participate in a small calibration process at the outset to make sure your consultant is on track but once that’s done, the consultant’s expertise and the algorithms will do the rest.

Many hands make light work when it comes to sourcing candidates

Using just one candidate sourcing channel is unlikely to get you what you need in a tight candidate market.

By implementing all of the above strategies, you’ve got your candidate sourcing problem solved. You’ve broadened your net by roping in the help of people who know you, hitting multiple job boards with great ad copy, using your social media to attract attention, and putting a professional on the job for less than you’d pay a recruiter.

Your ideal candidate is just waiting to be tapped on the shoulder!

Professional recruitment and fair pricing? Yes, it‘s possible!

At Just Right People Recruitment we‘ll give you the flexibility to choose between three different pricing models. And we guarantee each one will deliver a high-quality recruitment outcome tailored to your job, your budget and your specific needs. Now, that’s fair!

Learn more…

Bernadette Eichner
Bernadette Eichner

Bernadette Eichner, Cofounder and CEO of Just Right People, is a recruitment industry entrepreneur and thought leader in Australia, totally committed to improving the recruiter experience for clients and candidates alike. Her secret to life is to “just do the next thing that needs to be done”.

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