Multitasking: Put on Your Sourcing Hat When You’re Reference Checking

ThinkstockPhotos-122413523 (1)Staffing and recruiting companies are busier now than ever before. The economy is continuing to grow and a new wave of millennials are entering the workforce. The upcoming college graduating class is entering the hottest demand for new talent in a generation.  As the volume of candidates increases, so will the effort from recruiters to source them.

LinkedIn now has more than 20,000 recruiters on its site and that number will continue to grow. Clearly, the competition for sourcing new talent has moved from fierce to ferocious. At the same time, companies, fearful that their top talent may be poached, have stopped publishing online corporate directories, which means recruiters spend hours dialing through phone systems and must be experts in Boolean search to find relevant candidates from social channels.

The question now is: how does a recruiter go above and beyond the competition in keeping an eye on top talent? The answer may be to start paying more attention to references. Think about it, when you’re connecting with references to verify a candidate’s background, it’s really a great opportunity to put on your sourcing hat because you’re also connecting with potential passive candidates.

Most Employees Consider Themselves Passive Candidates

LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report noted that “while three quarters of professionals consider themselves ‘passive,’ only 61% of companies recruit passive candidates.” So, while only 25% of the workforce is actively looking for a job at any given time, 75% of the workforce is willing to talk about a potential new job. This means that the talent pool could be much deeper and wider than any of us thought.

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LinkedIn’s 2016 report advises that social professional networks provide the best sources of quality hires. One way organizations can tap into new professional networks is through reference checking. Combine the reference checking process with technology, and recruiters can expand that pool of candidates exponentially.

Not only do these solutions help organizations speed reference checking, improve hiring quality, and reduce turnover – they also help them build a pool of passive candidates. And as more recruiters are adapting to the changing human resources landscape and increased use of technology, they are discovering that they are able to gather better data faster while reaching a greater number of references. They are also accruing valuable information, not just about active candidates, but about passive candidates as well, with options that engage references to opt-in to being contacted about opportunities and who’ve provided up to date contact and job history information.

The Magic of Multitasking: You’re Not Just Reference Checking

Creative recruiters need to not only engage with high quality talent, they also need to use their time and resources efficiently.

Talent attracts talent. References, whose contact information is recorded in these online reference checking solutions, generally come from the same industry and job focus area as the candidate that they are evaluating. This is especially beneficial for hard-to-fill or niche positions like those in technology, engineering, or healthcare. With reference data managed though these solutions, recruiters and organizations have a new means of tracking targeted talent, and at a much faster rate. For example, if 100 candidates each submit 5 references, which is the number of references who participate in these technologies and much higher than when reference checking is done via the phone, and over 25% opt-in to be contacted for future opportunities, you’ve gained at least 125 potential new candidates.

As companies struggle to hire more qualified candidates at a faster clip, they will have to find new, diverse ways to source candidates. Looking to the references who recommended current high performing employees is a great place to start.

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Ray Bixler

Ray Bixler
Ray Bixler is the CEO of SkillSurvey.

Ray Bixler

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