Taking it One Step Further Can Help Employers Secure Top Talent Online

| HR STRATEGY
Anyone who is familiar with online recruiting knows what a powerful tool it can be. However, it is still a relatively new model and it needs a lot of attention. Many companies are taking a reactive approach and leaving it to HR administrators to just "post and pray." By doing so they are not only decreasing their chances of hiring a candidate, but they can potentially miss out on identifying the "A" player. There are many opportunities throughout the online recruitment process where taking it just "one step further" can help you secure top talent for your organization. Searching resume databases enables employers to identify a passive candidate (someone who is happy in his current position but is willing to hear about potential opportunities). During a search, an employer may come across a perfect resume. On paper, this person fits the exact specifications of the job description. However, every attempt to contact this individual is rebuffed: the home phone may be a wrong number; the email address may be invalid; or, after placing a call to their last employer you learn that the person left a year ago. What has occurred is that you have run into an old resume. Do you give up now? Had you already given up after your e-mail bounced back? This is a great time to "take it one step further." The Internet has not only borne us online recruitment sites, but other methods with which to track people down. Go to www.whitepages.com and put, for example, "John Smith" into the search field. You can also search for them on www.google.com. Are you getting too many results back for "John Smith". Add keywords that are part of their skill set. Try adding the word "hotel" or "catering sales" to the query, or the state they most likely reside in. You'd be surprised as to the myriad of web pages that may have information on him. If you call the property and the hotel operator tells you that John Smith hasn't worked there in a year, don't hang up yet. Go one step further. You can ask to be transferred to their old department. Who knows, a colleague who is still working there may know where to locate him! During your search process you are bound to speak with individuals who are simply not interested in the position for one reason or another. Don't have the relationship end after they say no. These are people you want to keep track of in the future. Ask if you can send them the opportunity profile anyway (be sure to include all of your contact information). This way they are left with information about your company. If they say it is not a fit for them, do not forget to ask, "Do you know of anyone who this may be a fit for?" There's a good chance they have a colleague who is looking. Use conversations with candidates as opportunities to network. Following up with job seekers normally should not be considered "taking it one step further," but these days it is. The nature of online recruiting as it stands now is a bit more quantity than quality. One job posting can garner hundreds of resumes, most of whom may be unqualified. It can be daunting for employers to get back to every single applicant, but it needs to be done. It may not yield immediate rewards, but eventually it will help set you apart as a best practice company. Further, you never know if someone may be a fit for your company later in their career, and you want to leave them with a favorable impression. At a minimum an auto reply should be set up for e-mail applicants. If you had spoken with a candidate and led him or her through the interview process, following up with the individual directly is a must. Depending on the search and it's complexity, you may sometimes feel are if you are more of a detective than a recruiter. Remember, diligence is the mother of good fortune. You owe it to your company to scour the market for the best possible talent, no matter what level the position.