Here’s how to find great candidates. Not everybody is ready to engage with a recruitment consultant and we often get asked about the best way to find good candidates. Hint – the answer is NOT to post the role and hope that your dream candidate will come knocking. Most of the best candidates I’ve worked with were not actively looking for a change and were the result of my proactive searching. 

The answer is to employ a proactive search strategy that puts you in front of the most relevant candidates. Here are a few that might be helpful: 

  • Tap your referral network. This is what we’ve been doing for a living, all day and every day, for over 30 combined years, so at ivy we have a really strong one. Don’t worry if you don’t – there are ‘connectors’ who walk among us. Those who are thrilled simply by the act of putting two people in touch and helping them. Find these people and let them know about your role. This also includes asking your current employees for referrals.  
  • Email schools, associations, meet-up leaders. etc and ask them to float your role to their network. Find your candidates where they live, off of LinkedIn. If you’re looking for a fairly junior role, find out which colleges, universities and programs offer training for that particular role and ask if the department head or teacher can circulate it for you. Academic institutions are motivated to prove that their graduates find jobs so it’s a win-win situation for everybody. For more senior roles, research trade associations or other professional groups where your target might gather. 
  • Create a headhunting strategy by researching organizations where you’d love to see your ideal candidate come from. Include competitors, those in the same sector and those in transferrable industries. Search each of those companies on LinkedIn using keywords that relate to the role you are looking for and go through each employee one by one. Often clicking on one profile will populate other relevant profiles on the right hand side of your screen and will take you down a rabbit hole – in this case a good thing – of candidates that are hiding. Remember – LinkedIn is not a perfect science. Algorithms don’t pick up candidates who have information listed in non-typical areas or are using different titles – so be prepared – this is a goody but also time consuming. This is a *light* version of what we do as recruiters on a daily basis.  

The big take-away – don’t wait for the perfect candidate to jump into your arms – get your shovel out and start digging.