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The Definition & SOURCING STRATEGIES of Hard to Hire Positions

astronaut-balloon-896931-edited.jpgFinding the right person for the right job is hard enough, but when trying to recruit for hard to hire positions, like engineering talent, all bets are off. Sometimes, the greatest success you can have in sourcing and recruiting is when you step far outside of your comfort zone. To reinvigorate your search, use these outside-of-the-box sourcing strategies. 

As a recruiter, at times it can feel like every position is hard to hire for. But, as I learned firsthand, there are a few critical factors that, by definition, make this statement true.

What defines a hard to hire position

  • Is there an existing talent shortage in this particular industry and/or skill set?
  • Compared to previous years, has this particular role become more difficult-to-fill?
  • Does the area you are sourcing or recruiting for exist yet? Has it drastically changed?

Recently, my two-person team and I were tasked with finding 55 specialized electrical engineers in just three months. Having thoroughly assessed the job order and industry, we concluded that we met each of the qualifying criteria above. Technology experts in solar power inverters, we found, are not only rare to come by, but it is a dangerous line of work. Add to that the fact that the client required candidates be located within 50 miles of the Pittsburgh site location.

When faced with a challenge like the one above, it is mission critical for recruiters to manage both the expectations and the deliverables to the hiring manager. While my team and I utilized all of the traditional recruiting tools, we quickly realized that we were depleting our talent pools. To drive real results in such a short period of time, we needed to start thinking outside-of-the-box.

Sourcing Strategies for Difficult-to-Source Talent

Because the traditional sourcing strategies, like job boards and best practices, weren’t cutting it, we took a big step back. It’s important for recruiters to recognize when their laborious efforts are proving fruitless. And, when that happens, it’s time to reconsider your sourcing strategy with your target candidate in mind. Ask yourself the following.

Who is the ideal candidate?

What watering holes do they frequent?

What common interests do they have?

Because this project dealt with hourly employees in the light industrial sector, we stripped down each of the above questions, and redefined our sourcing strategy. Here is a sampling of the sourcing tactics we used to successfully meet our deadline.


Job Placements in Newspapers

One of our most successful efforts came from the newspaper ads that we ran. After researching area newspapers, we decided on the Pittsburgh Tribune because they could place the job posting ad in targeted papers around area counties.

Ultimately, we saved the client money by bundling newspapers ads as opposed to placing an individual one in a number of newsprint publications. Additionally, because of these new relationships, we were able to tap into several smaller online newspapers that allowed us to post for free.

Seek Out Niche Job Boards

On this project, our recruiters were tasked with finding women, veterans, and a number of diverse candidates for these difficult-to-source engineering roles. After doing some digging, we found several niche and specialty jobs boards that were specific to the engineering industry.

By capitalizing on these smaller job boards, we not only saw results faster, but the overall quality of talent was much higher than in larger job boards, such as Monster or Career Builder.


Social Media Recruiting

While every recruiter should be utilizing social media recruiting, many don’t look to Facebook as their first source; especially Facebook Groups. Did you know that every city has a Help Wanted page, and in fact bigger cities, they might have several?

Recruiters can use Facebook or other social media sites to promote themselves, their jobs or clients/companies thereby increasing visibility. Be sure follow through on feedback, applications, and questions. It’s a great way to get a passive candidate that wasn’t looking for a change. Their friends or family might see the job posting and share, private message, or tag them in the comments of a post.

The next time you need to step outside of “Recruiting 101”, keep these sourcing resources handy. They may be the exactly the push you need to help you to find the best candidate in less time and with less effort!

Read More Success Stories  

April serves as Staffing and Recruiting Coordinator for GE Energy Connections. She has been with Yoh for 5 years this month. In her spare time, April enjoys traveling, running after her active son, and golfing.

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