Simple Ways to Improve Your Ability to Secure Top Talent in Today’s Market

April 12, 2017

By Adam Ulmen, Manager, Research & Technology and Healthcare IT Research Manager

As a Third-Party Executive Search Firm, we see the following unfortunate scenario play out daily: we present a solid Candidate to the Client, the Client likes him or her and gives positive feedback, however the Hiring Manager wants to see some more Candidates as points of comparison to gauge the quality of the existing Candidate against other profiles. While on the surface, this seems like a fine practice that should ideally lead to finding the best possible fit for the role and organization, this also directly leads to a delayed and cumbersome hiring process for all involved.

Today’s job market is very Candidate-driven; meaning that your company is competing for the top Candidates at every turn, and those Candidates have many options available to them. When Candidates have several options to choose from, you as a Hiring Manager need to be agile and move with haste to secure these Candidates before the competition does. Two of the most prominent reasons why Candidates will choose the competition over you include:

Slow Hiring Process – In a Candidate’s mind, a slow process reflects the organization as a whole. Slow processes may be interpreted as your company not being very serious about the Candidate or about being competitive in general. This leaves a very sour taste in the Candidate’s mouth and a lasting negative impression of your company.

Inflexible Compensation Packages – Hiring Managers need to be aware of where the bar is set in terms of the market value of these Candidates. Being inflexible on compensation when it comes to top talent is a death knell for your ability to secure the best Candidates. You don’t always need to throw the kitchen sink at a Candidate, but being open to different structures or levels of compensation can transform your ability to attract and maintain top talent.

Regarding the slow hiring process: Today’s hiring process should be streamlined and simplified wherever possible.  As a Hiring Manager within your organization, you have likely interviewed people before and you likely know the culture of your company and what type of person fits in well. You should also be able to tell quickly if someone is qualified and can do the job. Do not stall the process with a high-quality Candidate for the sake of getting comparison points. These high-quality Candidates are being courted by other companies with interesting opportunities in addition to your role, they are expecting a reasonable hiring process and dreading a long and drawn out one, and they are rapidly losing interest in your company within days of your last contact with them while you sink a ton more time into finding comparison Candidates. Additionally, you already have comparison Candidates to begin with: your current staff! Chances are there is at least one person in your organization who is doing a fine job in the same role you are adding to the team, so use that person as your barometer to expedite your process.

Regarding compensation: Not all Candidates are created equal. There is a tremendous spectrum of talent and skill in the market and you need to decide what part of that range you want to attract and what that range requires to land. If your goal is to hire the best possible Candidate, then you may need to pay what that Candidate is worth based on the market and their personal compensation history. If you find that you truly cannot afford the best of the best, then you may need to adjust your expectations across your hiring team and calibrate the search toward Candidates who may need a bit more training and ramp-up, but who are in the price range you are offering.

As a Third-Party firm, we see the above happen daily and it cripples the entire process. We know what the market looks like, we know who is looking and who is not, and we know what it is going to take to land these top-tier Candidates. You as the Hiring Manager can only benefit and thrive by implementing some of the above commentary into your daily talent acquisition strategies.

The Value of Research In Executive Recruiting

January 20, 2016

By Adam Ulmen, Researcher, DRI

The executive recruiting industry is faced with the ever-growing challenge of identifying and securing top talent across industries. The ability to allocate sufficient time toward appropriate tasks has plagued talent search professionals for years. A common set of questions facing recruiters looks something like: “How much time to spend looking for qualified candidates, how best to search for said candidates, how many candidates should be identified to make placements, how many hours should I spend on the phones each day to be successful…” and so on. There never seems to be enough time in the day to finish everything that needs to be done, however this problem can be alleviated with the development of a sort of support structure; a proper research team.

The value of investing in research cannot be overstated. Implementing a dedicated team of research specialists into an organization is an exceptional way to take your firm to new heights. Many recruiters in the industry find themselves juggling candidate sourcing, research, business intelligence, and new business development on a daily basis, just to name a few. A major value that dedicated researchers bring to a team is that the researcher can take a massive burden off of the recruiter’s shoulders. Research teams can take on all of the candidate sourcing, database building, and other related activities for a team of recruiters, thus freeing up substantial time for the recruiter to focus on the primary activities that result in providing a superior recruitment experience for all parties involved.

The amount of time saved on the recruiter’s end is significant when a research support structure is in place. Conservative estimates might place overall time saved between 1-2 hours per day, per recruiter, as the researcher is dedicated to taking on those time-intensive activities that the recruiter used to have to do on their own. Researchers may also conduct a lot of the legwork involved in the day to day operations of a recruiting team from something as simple as keeping updated records all the way to helping with new business development and new technology management and implementation. Taken together, these research activities time-savings translate into the recruiters being able to invest more time in building relationships with clients, providing employment and business solutions, and generating direct revenue activities which, in turn, results in a more successful practice.

What Are Some Skills it Takes to be a Successful Researcher?

Excellent Communication: In order to be a successful researcher, excellent communication skills are paramount. You need to know what is going on with your team and be able to react accordingly to ever-changing priorities. If you don’t know what is going on, how can you be an effective part of the team?

Creative Thinking: Many of the tasks a researcher undertakes require a great deal of consideration and thought. Oftentimes, you will have to get creative when trying to accomplish goals, such as when a search is especially difficult. There is always an avenue to your goal, you just have to be able to think outside of the box sometimes to find it.

Perseverance: Sometimes things get exceptionally difficult and there seems to be no clear end in sight. It is these times where being able to rise up against adversity will set your levels above your competition in this industry.

Ability to Dig Deep: In recruiting research, the bulk of the job is to find the best candidates to fill job searches. It is also your job not to simply plug in some keywords and throw resumes on the recruiter’s desks. It is a far more difficult task than that. A researcher needs to dig deep and go through the process of utilizing all of the resources in order to uncover the cream of the crop. This gives your team the best chance of completing the search.

Understanding of Research Methodology/Technology: A good recruiting firm will have extensive resources available to their team. These resources include technologies to help find candidates as well as training to develop the research skill set. Being able to understand how to best approach research and utilize technologies/established methods is invaluable to your success as a researcher.

Independence: While researchers are assigned searches to work on, there can be a large degree of independence required of you to carry out those searches. Micro-management aside, you will need to be able to establish a work regimen that is organized and goal-oriented in order to be the best researcher you can. You need to be able to work alone with little guidance, as well as with your team.

Expert Knowledge: Perhaps the most important thing a researcher can do to ensure success is to develop exceptional knowledge of their field. Knowledge truly is power, and being more than conversant in your field will set you leagues above the competition when it comes fulfilling your responsibilities.

If you find the career of researcher interesting, let us know.             We always look for top talent to join our companies of DRI & DCA.