One of the biggest stumbling blocks for staffing professionals is falling into the skills gap. Despite a large candidate pool, finding the job seekers with the right stuff for your client’s open positions is anything but simple. This is why many staffing companies are widening their search parameters to consider out-of-town candidates for important positions.
Why Look Afar?
The reason for looking beyond your company or client’s backyard is simple: You expand your candidate pool. With more potential superstars in the mix, you raise your odds of finding the right person and jumping the skills gap. With more than 50 percent of executives surveyed in a Bersin & Associates study worried about talented shortages, you can’t afford to cut out great talent just because of location.
Thanks to a tough economy, more candidates are considering the move as well. For the right opportunity, many job seekers would be willing to pick up and move to be closer to your client. In fact, 44 percent of workers said they would be willing to relocate for a great career opportunity.
There’s never been a better time to consider candidates outside your geographic region. But just how do you connect with candidates who can’t easily come into the office? Here are some ways to isolate, engage, and interview great out-of-town candidates:
Get Social To Find Talent
Social media recruiting is on the rise. Currently, about 92 percent of recruiters utilize social tools in order to find talent. While social media is great for getting to know more about a candidate, another great aspect of social media is the ability to cross large distances in a single tweet.
Whether you’re taking part in a LinkedIn group discussion or an industry-specific Twitter chat, the location of great talent no longer matters as much as their thoughtful contributions. This can help you get outside the box of your usual community of talent, seeing far-flung but smart people who might be willing to relocate for the right opportunity.
You can use social media to cast a wider net for your client companies, allowing you to connect in the preliminary stages with candidates you might have never seen otherwise.
Start Your Own Talent Community
Social media is great for connecting, but you can’t be passive in your search for great candidates using social channels. You might be looking for passive candidates, but no one is hoping for a passive staffing professional. You need to be smart about how you use the social media tools available in order to find the best people near and far.
One way is to build up your own talent community. A talent community is anywhere smart candidates gather online to share advice, opinions, and thought leadership. To create your own talent community, you need to be smart and strategic about what you do. Do your best candidates on social media come from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or another outlet altogether?
Using analytics and research, figure out the best online location for your talent community. Then create a valuable resource candidates will want to visit by offering advice and prompting discussion. This will allow you to fill your talent pipeline with great people, whether they’re located around the corner or around the world.
Connect In A Video Interview
After you’ve isolated top talent in a different area code, the problem becomes how to connect with these candidates in a more personal fashion. How do you interview someone two states or two time zones over? Enter the video interview.
The video interview brings down barriers, whether it’s a few miles or a few thousand miles. In the preliminary hiring process, you can skip the phone screen and have candidates answer your written questions on video in a one-way video interview. This helps you connect more personally with candidates and waste less of your time talking to the wrong people for your client’s positions.
Eventually, however, you’ll want to connect in an interview in real time in order to evaluate cultural fit, personality, skills, and nonverbal communication. In this case, you can skip buying the candidate a plane ticket and use a live video interview. Instead of sitting on the other side of your desk, the candidate will be sitting on the other side of the webcam. This allows you to save money and time while still chatting in-person with your top candidates.
As an added bonus, these conversations are recorded so you can share them with your hiring team or your client company. This might be just what you need to get a reluctant client on board with a far-away but super talented candidate.
Finding the right talent for your client’s positions is far from easy, which is why you should cast a wider net to catch more talented candidates. Looking at out-of-state, far away, and international candidates can help you beat out the competition and deliver the best talent.
What do you think? How do you connect with far-flung talent? Share in the comments!