7 Recruiting Strategies to Attract the Best Candidates

(Editor’s note: the following article is by industry trainer and speaker Barb Bruno, CPC/CTS of Good as Gold Training. Barb has served as a keynote speaker at recruiter networking events like the Top Echelon National Convention and Fall Conference multiple times. She has also presented webinars for the Top Echelon Recruiter Coaching Series. Barb is a trusted voice in the recruiting and staffing industry, as well as a valuable contributor to the resources that Top Echelon provides.)

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It is difficult to find top talent. In fact, the talent war is over–talent won! You need to form lifetime relationships with all the candidates you represent. Candidates want to know three things:

  1. Do you care about me?
  2. Can I trust you?
  3. Will you do what you promise?

Initially, you are a stranger. You’re someone they don’t know or trust, so their answers are guarded. You must share your track record of success early in your conversation and then ask questions to uncover their challenges. Your ultimate goal is to become their lifetime career agent.

In addition, candidates must feel that you are:

  • An expert in their industry, niche, and profession.
  • More knowledgeable than your competition.
  • Successful and can prove it by your track record.
  • Able to provide information that will help them succeed.

How to attract the best talent

1. Understand your best business (pipeline in advance).

Study the business that has been filled in the past two years. Select the top six titles and pipeline candidates in advance.

2. Ask better questions–focus on WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).

Take your direction from your candidates. Don’t assume what they have done and are doing is what they want to do in their next job. Use percentages when interviewing. Ask questions that uncover the five things the candidate would change if they were their own boss.

Most importantly, start every subsequent conversation with the same question: “Has anything changed since the last time we talked?”

3. Overcome objections.

Understand objections are buying signs. If you don’t overcome three objections with each call, then you are making customer service calls.

4. Position yourself as a lifetime career advisor (nurture).

This is critical in the contract staffing and temp business. You want your candidates to continue using your services to find their next job or gig. Often they just decide who they want to make money for during their next job change. Always nurture your candidates (date–never get married).

5. Identify new resources quarterly.

Consistently identify new resources for candidates. Ask your candidates what resources they use when they are in a job search, and often they will provide you with very effective free resources. Your clients do not want the same candidates they are surfacing by using job boards.

6. Uncover leads in your database.

You are sitting on a “gold mine” called your recruiting database. If you are working only off a resume, then you are greatly reducing the number of leads you can obtain from every candidate you interview.

  • Go back to January 1, 2018 and identify your best talent. Call their past two places of employment and ask for them. Who are you connected to?
  • Often you place at different levels and the individuals listed as supervisors can often be recruited.
  • Reference checks are potential candidates.
  • Send your database a bi-monthly article and sampling of jobs (lateral marketing).

7. Triple referred candidates.

If you have been a recruiter for over two years, 50% of your candidates should be the result of referrals. If that is not the case, then you need to do the following:

  • Create a process of when and how to ask for referrals.
  • Assure candidates they are not referring their competition.
  • Add the words, “from your last place of employment.”

Implement any of these seven strategies and you will attract the best candidates.

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