Finding Talent (And Being Found)

Posted by Larry Brantley on March 20, 2012

First the good news, most employers (78%)say that they will hold steady with their staff for 2012, according to Abbey Lombardi in www.wantedanalytics.com (12/29/11). 18% will be expanding their staff and about 4% may reduce current needs due to business loss or redundncies in staff.This is MUCH better than we have seen in the past 4 years. Some of the key growth internationally is in the Asia Pacific, more specifically China. We are consistently seeing employers ask for “Mandarin speaking skills preferred” in candidates.Though the U.S. is seeing steady growth, it is not as aggressive as what China is seeing.

Some of the more difficult job searches are for web development, user experience, mobile marketing, CRM research/analytics and social media marketing, according to Keith Cline (Inc. Magazine 12/19/11). These positions require specialized skills that are in high demand and consequently, pay some of the top salaries and pay rates. Recruiters are ALWAYS looking for these people and once they have people who have proven their worth in these areas, they keep them consistently working. This is the area where we foresee bidding wars occurring for talent.

Today’s process of finding marketing/creative talent has changed greatly from where we were just a few years ago. Traditional methods of newspaper, yellow page postings, magazine ads and job fairs do not have the same impact or attendance as they once did and therefore the results often miss the mark. Of course, this varies based on the skill set being sourced as well as the geographic resources available. Recruiting firms today rely on the digital platform, social media and word-of-mouth to get the candidates with the skills our clients demand.

Social media is a HUGE factor in finding today’s talent.Some of the more common sites are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. Each resource is unique in how the person’s information is viewed and perceived.LinkedIn is a great tool to find key employer experience, educational training, professional associations and built in recommendations of the person’s performance. Facebook is often used to verify a cultural fit with an employer. The notion that information on Facebook is private and it is okay to say or do whatever online is foolish. Anything posted on the web can be viewed by all. Some high security or government positions are including a review of personal Facebook sites as part of their personality/security assessments. There is state legislation in process now regarding individual rights and public need to know. Keep in mind, it isn’t just what you might say or pictures you post, it is also the company that you keep. Be smart about monitoring your Facebook wall and updates. There are options to potentially limit access to a broader audience that should be considered.

Recruiters are getting creative in sourcing talent. We find that sponsoring unique events that cater to a specific target audience can yield long-term benefits.Referral incentives are also seeing a surge again.

The absolute best way to find talent is by referrals from people you trust or from employees who are doing an outstanding job. It is who you know and who knows you!

Employers need to make sure to utilize internal referrals in securing new people. It not only can control your costs but it builds a team approach and makes them feel more invested in the company.

Today’s final takeaway is that digital is the platform to find talent and to be found.Constantly update your information so that it is relevant and current. Monitor your personal sites so that there are no surprises. It is okay to de-friend a person on Facebook if they are making inappropriate statements or propaganda that is contrary to your stance, even if it is “Aunt Sally”. It is a good thing to connect with others in your field on LinkedIn. It can improve your rating and also give you the appearance of being the person to know.It is not necessary to connect with a stranger that is outside of your focus or in a path that you do not want to follow. More connections are not better if the relationship is distant or non-existent. Report spammers IMMEDIATELY and protect your online image.

The digital pace is faster and much more detailed.Use it wisely and the payoff will be evident.

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