It’s late in the 4th quarter, and Tom Brady is shredding our secondary. The game’s tied, but it won’t be for much longer if we keep letting him stand in the pocket and sling it around. The Defensive Coordinator calls a time out, and when the players are back on the sideline, he’s in our guys’ faces – we’re going to zone coverage and get after Brady with some aggressive blitz formations. Brady’s gonna be down or running scared before he has the time to find a receiver. We’re going to change things up and hit him with everything we have. Coach substitutes a few fresh players, they’re ready to go…Brady’s sacked twice next series.

Companies recruiting in late 2018 face a myriad of challenges in recruiting top talent into the company, and what “used to work” isn’t working anymore. We’ve covered many reasons for that in prior posts, but the bottom line is that there are multiple jobs for every top candidate out there and recruiting those great “A-players” that every hiring manager seems to want is tougher than ever – there’s just too much competition for the same candidates.

blitzSo, what are we going to do here at Widgets. Inc.? Maybe we can transition from passive to active recruiting (we can help you there), maybe we can reach out to some candidates with the right skill sets who are in a different industry, maybe we can build a pipeline of candidates, maybe we can do some analysis and predict job openings from past and known data, maybe we can…

The list can go on ad infinitum, but here’s the real key: Don’t choose one approach – use them all at the same time! Start a recruiting blitz that uses every strong approach to find the candidates your company needs and get them into your company now. Don’t just try each one individually, your team likely doesn’t have time for that – isn’t your time-to-fill setting (negative) records every week?

And while you’re at it, launch a parallel effort to manage active retention programs to keep your top performers committed to your company, before your competition recruits them away. Don’t kid yourself, they’re being recruited right out from under your noses right now. Pay them what they’re worth in today’s labor market – or your competitors will, and you’ll be adding more opening to the list.

Here’s what some creative companies are pushing forward on the recruiting front this year. Pick out a few of the best and get your recruiting blitz started. Add new ones, dump some that aren’t working, but you’re going to have to use a full blitz strategy to be successful in this recruiting environment.

Our friends at Forbes suggested the following approaches in August 2018:

  1. Revisit your target hiring profile to be sure that only the most absolutely must-have criteria are included. If we’re filtering out people on “nice to haves”, we’re ignoring viable candidates.
  2. Leverage the contacts of your current employees (referral program on steroids?) and don’t forget that talent management and development programs can grow today’s whiz kid into tomorrow’s rock star.
  3. Build and utilize strong ties to area universities and to universities that have been great sources for entry-level talent in the past. Then, you can leverage those college’s alumni network to identify and target some great candidates we missed before, but who now have 10 years of experience in the field.
  4. Get the right people on the bus, THEN figure out where they should be sitting. That is one of my favorite quotes from Jim Collins (Good to Great), and it is truly profound. Flip the hiring process around: Don’t start with a requisition and try to fill it. Source the very best widget-makers and get them on the team when you find them…then figure out the seat on the bus from where they can drive impact.

Back to the football analogy: Pick the best available player on draft day…work out the details later.

Our friends at Monster surveyed 400 recruiting professionals in August 2018, and the research reveals that we’re not alone in suggesting that we draw up a blitz package for recruiting efforts:

  • 83% of recruiting professionals are now blitzing (taking a multi-faceted approach to recruiting) to find top-quality candidates…and they still report needing more top talent than they’re getting.

The research suggests some insightful approaches that can be added to your action list:

  • Look at recruiting from a marketing perspective – employer branding, value proposition, all of it.
  • Leverage available recruiting technology everywhere you can but be sure to maintain focus on the human side of the candidate experience.
  • These great recruiting technology tools can generate tremendous amounts of data that can be used to develop meaningful metrics. Set up these metrics in a way that adds the most value and enables you to determine which methods are most effective and which should be replaced – act on the data.

Bottom line, we have to pull out all of the stops in order to be successful in today’s recruiting environment – develop several effective approaches and use them all at once. Keep monitoring, evaluating, and refining. Then add a few more. That Tom Brady’s not going down easy…