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How and Where to Find Exceptional Talent
A comprehensive guide to sourcing and attracting both passive and active
candidates in the market place.
Every business is only as good as the talent which it employs. A bad hire
can not only underperform in their own role, but also cause discontent
amongst the wider team. Therefore when recruiting new talent it is
important that an organisation is comprehensive in its approach and
considers the passive and active market fully. This is to ensure that the
most appropriate candidates are found; both in terms of skill set and
behavioural/ organisational fit.
This is becoming increasingly important as the UK economy strengthens
further. Skills gaps within industry are prevalent and high performing
candidates now have choice when deciding which employer they might
like to work for. Employers also have the possibility of considerable
counter offers to deal with, coupled with the knowledge that relevant
available individuals are few and far between.
For instance, the engineering industry is currently
suffering from a skills shortage equating to 81,000
people. It is clear that in all functions, disciplines and
markets acquiring talent is challenging.
Applying a comprehensive Talent Acquisition Strategy
is therefore critical and this guide sets out the
numerous methods available that can be successfully
utilised.
Executive
Search &
Management
Selection
When it comes to
comprehensively sourcing talent
there are a number of aspects
that need to be considered
upfront before the recruitment
process begin. These are
discussed in our ‘Ultimate Guide
to Defining a Successful
Recruitment Strategy’ e-booklet
which can be downloaded here.
Once all elements have been
considered it is important that
you adopt an appropriate
methodology and define
timescales to ensure a successful
recruitment campaign. Though
where possible, a combined and
comprehensive methodology will
elicit a broader candidate pool
for selection through to shortlist.
Executive Search
Executive Search utilises a range of modern and
traditional search techniques to ‘headhunt’
individuals who fit the profile of your business
requirements. In order for Executive Search to
be effective, the objectives of your business
and the specifications for the new recruit must
be fully realised.
An assignment brief incorporating a
comprehensive job specification, person
specification, competency profile and induction
objectives is recommended. This allows precision
when defining the target audience (companies
and individuals within those companies to
approach) and enables the opportunity to be sold
(to prospective candidates) effectively. It also
ensures that the criteria for selection is effective
and appropriate.
Executive Search &
Management Selection
are terms often used, but what do they mean
in the modern world of recruitment. Both have
many channels which can be utilised to ensure
a thorough approach and that the most
appropriate candidates at a given moment in
time are identified. Which channels are used
will be dependent on the type of candidates
that are being targeted.
Direct headhunting
The most traditional form of Executive Search is
direct headhunting. Once the assignment brief has
been completed a list of target companies can be
identified. It is important to consider any potential
conflict that could arise from targeting one of your
competitors, suppliers, partners or customers.
Once you have done so the relevant candidates
working within these companies can be
approached directly: “For the right opportunity,
would you consider a career move?” This approach
is most effective if done so by telephone and is
often directed to a target individual’s work place.
As such it is important that the approach is dealt
with carefully and with consideration.
Identifying who the appropriate individuals are can
be sourced from a recruitment company’s
network, through desk based research, by calling
the target organisations directly, or by using all of
the listed sources below. Telephone interviews or
modern techniques such as Skype, Face time and
one way video interviewing can then be used to
vet interested candidates in the first instance
before inviting a long list to a face-to-face
interview, prior to determining the shortlist.
Executive Search
Exhibitions and events
If you are seeking a CEO, Managing Director or Sales Director from a particular industry then
attending exhibitions and events specific for that industry is a good place to start. For example for
engineering a conference or exhibition like the Advanced Engineering UK would be ideal. Most
industries will have exhibitions and conferences dedicated to them and they are the perfect place to
source relevant candidates. The added advantages of attending such events is that the delegates who
are attending are engaged with the industry in which they are working in and it is possible to network
with them in an informal situation away from the pressures of their workplace.
Executive Search
Social media
Social media can be a great
source for identifying potential
candidates who are passive or
actively seeking new
opportunities.
Although considerable time is
needed to explore each platform
to understand the search
functions and techniques you can
use to engage with your
audience. Doing so may help as
part of an overall search strategy
to help extract individuals who fit
the required criteria. Of all the
social media platforms the main
three for sourcing talent are
outlined below (LinkedIn, Twitter
& Facebook), but Google Plus,
Pinterest, Instagram and many
more can be explored depending
on the relevance to your industry.
Executive Search
Linkedin
There are currently over 332 million people listed on
LinkedIn, 187 million of which visit the site each month.
This is a vast source for potential talent and it is the only
platform where 30 to 64 year olds are more likely to be
users, than that of 18 to 29 year olds. As part of a free
account a limited number of targeted searches can be
carried out to find individuals in terms of title, location,
keywords, school and industry. With paid accounts such
as Premium and Recruiter, searches can also be
performed utilising seniority level, interests and
companies, and suitable candidates can be sent a direct
message through LinkedIn (InMail).
In order to maximise engagement via InMail it is
important to tailor each and every message specifically
to the individual you are targeting. Generic messages do
not receive a good response rate. Candidate feedback
suggests that individuals have become turned off to
LinkedIn as they are constantly bombarded by
companies who send them irrelevant InMails. It is
important therefore that your usage is targeted and
specific and utilised as part of an overall strategy.
rvlsoft / Shutterstock.com Executive Search
Twitter
Twitter is popular with under 50 year olds and people who are university educated. To find relevant
candidates on Twitter, websites such as Followerwonk allow you to search relevant keywords from
Twitter biographies such as job title, industry and location. However, relevant candidates will not
always include employment information within their Twitter profile. For talent engagement it is better
to slowly build a network on Twitter with relevant people who may be suitable for your company. This
will require an investment in time, but by following relevant people and encouraging candidates to
follow you (by regularly circulating interesting content and engaging in Twitter conversation) over time
you will grow a network of people to potentially source talent from.
Google Alerts, Feedly and Buzzsumo
are good tools to source relevant
content and influencers relevant to
your industry. Hootsuite and Buffer
are useful social media platforms to
help save time as they allow you to
view your social media feeds all in one
place and schedule regular content to
increase engagement.
Executive Search
Facebook
Facebook is still considered a social platform rather than a
platform to engage in work related communications.
Regardless it is still a good place to source potential
candidates.
The search process is simple although it may take some time
to hone your search technique to unearth the relevant
candidates you are looking for. There is a search tool at the
top of the Facebook page which uses a semantic search i.e.
by typing in a sentence, Facebook will try and interpret it’s
meaning such as ‘Sales Director who lives in Leeds’’.
Facebook groups the results under various tabs, but it is the
‘people’ tab which is the most relevant. It isn’t advised that
you create a Facebook account purely for sourcing potential
talent, but be aware that the friends and groups associated
with an account will influence the search results that are
generated.
The search function is not perfect, but you may potentially
find candidates that you wouldn’t necessarily uncover
elsewhere, you can send direct messages through Facebook
for €0.94 per message at the time of writing. Further
information can be found at www.sourcecon.com
and www.socialtalent.com
Executive Search
Company databases
It is worthwhile, for every organisation to build a
database of people who they may wish to employ in
the future. For data protection purposes permission
to keep an individual’s details on file must be granted
and regularly checked and updated.
This can be built up of candidates who have sent in
their CV to your organisation speculatively, previous
unsuccessful interviewees who were of a high
standard and even ex employees who could
potentially be tempted back at a later date as the
organisation expands and grows.
However, most companies don’t have an efficient
talent management system or relationship
management tool to track and maintain a database of
this nature, neither do they have the time or resource
to manage it. By having a comprehensive, easy-to-
search, internal database (relationship management
tool/ talent management system) as a first port of call
it could save the company time and money in any
hiring process.
Executive Search
Third databases
Databases containing the contact details of
professionals who operate in a specific
industry can be purchased from data
companies. The information provided can
include name, job title, company, address,
telephone number and email. The cost,
accuracy and legitimacy of these databases will
depend on the provider, but finding a
reputable organisation who specialises in
information for a particular industry is straight
forward. Reputable organisations will update
their information and check that the
individuals on their lists are happy to continue
to be featured on a regular basis. However
even if data is purchased from a reputable
company the data will have a large proportion
of inaccuracies.
Executive Search
Online CV Search
Online job boards (the majority) allow
candidates to upload their CV through their
website onto their database, in the hope that
an employer or recruitment company will find
them as part of a search. The job board then
allow employers or recruiters to search their
CV database for an annual fee.
Searches can be filtered by various criteria
such as sector, job title, experience, locations,
expected salary and region. Job boards can be
generic or specialist depending on the
requirements of the vacancy. Newman Stewart
use a job board management platform which
allows our consultants to search all job boards
in one search.
Executive Search
Management Selection
Management Selection, sometimes referred to as advertised selection, targets candidates who are
actively seeking new career opportunities. There is a wide range of potential channels for placing
adverts that can be utilised from traditional methods like hard copy print in national, regional and
specialist publications as well as online job boards and modern communications such as social
media.
How the job advert is written and where the advert will be placed will be determined your
requirements. For advertising to appeal, the copy and imagery needs to speak directly to the type
of candidate you are trying to attract. Previously one job advert would be fit-for-purpose as there
was a limited number of formats to advertise on, but with the rise of social media it has become
increasingly necessary to tailor adverts to each of the mediums that it is being published on. This is
a whole topic in its self, and further information can be found here.
Management Selection
Online job boards
Online job boards have become the first port of
call when advertising a vacancy as they tend to
be cheaper than advertising within printed
publications and have the potential to reach a
much wider audience. The cost of an online job
advert will depend on whether the job site is
specialist or not and the reach of the job site in
terms of traffic per month. It will also depend on
whether or not you opt for a premium or lineage
advert and whether or not you pay to optimise
and move your advert up the search rankings.
For some roles this will be key and for others it
will not be necessary.
Prior to placing an advert online it is
important (where possible) that the job
board is mobile friendly. With the Mobile
Operators Association stating that 61% of
adults in the UK used their mobile
phones for internet access making sure
your vacancy can be viewed on a mobile
is critical. If not you may be missing a
large proportion of potential candidates
who have just not seen it.
Although online job boards are the
cheaper option the costs can easily
mount up if vacancies are fairly
infrequent as it is more expensive to post
one job at a time, rather than buy a
number of slots in bulk, and if you want
to place the advert on more than one job
board and then pay for optimisation it is
increasingly expensive to maximise the
exposure to the relevant audience.
Management Selection
Social Media
Social media is a great way to advertise vacancies online to a wider audience for free or in some
instances a small fee. Twitter and LinkedIn are the most common platforms to advertise on but
other platforms should be considered depending on the target audience.
An audience for your vacancies can be built up organically (as explained within the Executive Search
section) appropriate hash tags can be used in Twitter to allow your advert to be found in keyword
searches and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can be used to get your adverts in front of a relevant
audience who aren’t necessarily following you. PPC advertising varies on each platform in terms of
how the target audience is selected and how much it costs for every click through that is
performed.
BLOG: FIVE TIPS ON HOW TO EFFECTIVELY TWEET A JOB VACANCY
Images demonstrating the unique selling points of the role, or your company can also be
incorporated in most platforms to make adverts more visually appealing. Canva.com is a platform
to create imagery using templates for different social media platforms.
Twin Design / Shutterstock.com
Management Selection
Internal Advertising
Using internal staff to find new talent can be
extremely effective. The staff intranet page or
internal notice boards are good places to advertise.
You can also provide a recommendation fee to
encourage submissions for any member of staff who
recommends a candidate who is successfully hired.
Traditional Advertising
Traditional advertising has been in decline since the
rise of online advertising because it is generally more
expensive than its online counterparts and online has
the ability to reach a greater audience. Even so, there
is still a readership for hard copy. Traditional
advertising is particularly effective in industry specific
publications. Costing will usually depend on the size
and the position of the advert with the publication
and the size of the circulation.
Newman Stewart is a market leading Executive Search and Management Selection company
headquartered in Wetherby with additional offices in Leeds and London.
If you would like to receive further guides on resourcing, job advertising and interviewing
then please register your email address here.

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How and Where to Find Exceptional Talent

  • 1. How and Where to Find Exceptional Talent A comprehensive guide to sourcing and attracting both passive and active candidates in the market place.
  • 2. Every business is only as good as the talent which it employs. A bad hire can not only underperform in their own role, but also cause discontent amongst the wider team. Therefore when recruiting new talent it is important that an organisation is comprehensive in its approach and considers the passive and active market fully. This is to ensure that the most appropriate candidates are found; both in terms of skill set and behavioural/ organisational fit. This is becoming increasingly important as the UK economy strengthens further. Skills gaps within industry are prevalent and high performing candidates now have choice when deciding which employer they might like to work for. Employers also have the possibility of considerable counter offers to deal with, coupled with the knowledge that relevant available individuals are few and far between. For instance, the engineering industry is currently suffering from a skills shortage equating to 81,000 people. It is clear that in all functions, disciplines and markets acquiring talent is challenging. Applying a comprehensive Talent Acquisition Strategy is therefore critical and this guide sets out the numerous methods available that can be successfully utilised.
  • 3. Executive Search & Management Selection When it comes to comprehensively sourcing talent there are a number of aspects that need to be considered upfront before the recruitment process begin. These are discussed in our ‘Ultimate Guide to Defining a Successful Recruitment Strategy’ e-booklet which can be downloaded here. Once all elements have been considered it is important that you adopt an appropriate methodology and define timescales to ensure a successful recruitment campaign. Though where possible, a combined and comprehensive methodology will elicit a broader candidate pool for selection through to shortlist.
  • 4. Executive Search Executive Search utilises a range of modern and traditional search techniques to ‘headhunt’ individuals who fit the profile of your business requirements. In order for Executive Search to be effective, the objectives of your business and the specifications for the new recruit must be fully realised. An assignment brief incorporating a comprehensive job specification, person specification, competency profile and induction objectives is recommended. This allows precision when defining the target audience (companies and individuals within those companies to approach) and enables the opportunity to be sold (to prospective candidates) effectively. It also ensures that the criteria for selection is effective and appropriate. Executive Search & Management Selection are terms often used, but what do they mean in the modern world of recruitment. Both have many channels which can be utilised to ensure a thorough approach and that the most appropriate candidates at a given moment in time are identified. Which channels are used will be dependent on the type of candidates that are being targeted.
  • 5. Direct headhunting The most traditional form of Executive Search is direct headhunting. Once the assignment brief has been completed a list of target companies can be identified. It is important to consider any potential conflict that could arise from targeting one of your competitors, suppliers, partners or customers. Once you have done so the relevant candidates working within these companies can be approached directly: “For the right opportunity, would you consider a career move?” This approach is most effective if done so by telephone and is often directed to a target individual’s work place. As such it is important that the approach is dealt with carefully and with consideration. Identifying who the appropriate individuals are can be sourced from a recruitment company’s network, through desk based research, by calling the target organisations directly, or by using all of the listed sources below. Telephone interviews or modern techniques such as Skype, Face time and one way video interviewing can then be used to vet interested candidates in the first instance before inviting a long list to a face-to-face interview, prior to determining the shortlist. Executive Search
  • 6. Exhibitions and events If you are seeking a CEO, Managing Director or Sales Director from a particular industry then attending exhibitions and events specific for that industry is a good place to start. For example for engineering a conference or exhibition like the Advanced Engineering UK would be ideal. Most industries will have exhibitions and conferences dedicated to them and they are the perfect place to source relevant candidates. The added advantages of attending such events is that the delegates who are attending are engaged with the industry in which they are working in and it is possible to network with them in an informal situation away from the pressures of their workplace. Executive Search
  • 7. Social media Social media can be a great source for identifying potential candidates who are passive or actively seeking new opportunities. Although considerable time is needed to explore each platform to understand the search functions and techniques you can use to engage with your audience. Doing so may help as part of an overall search strategy to help extract individuals who fit the required criteria. Of all the social media platforms the main three for sourcing talent are outlined below (LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook), but Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram and many more can be explored depending on the relevance to your industry. Executive Search
  • 8. Linkedin There are currently over 332 million people listed on LinkedIn, 187 million of which visit the site each month. This is a vast source for potential talent and it is the only platform where 30 to 64 year olds are more likely to be users, than that of 18 to 29 year olds. As part of a free account a limited number of targeted searches can be carried out to find individuals in terms of title, location, keywords, school and industry. With paid accounts such as Premium and Recruiter, searches can also be performed utilising seniority level, interests and companies, and suitable candidates can be sent a direct message through LinkedIn (InMail). In order to maximise engagement via InMail it is important to tailor each and every message specifically to the individual you are targeting. Generic messages do not receive a good response rate. Candidate feedback suggests that individuals have become turned off to LinkedIn as they are constantly bombarded by companies who send them irrelevant InMails. It is important therefore that your usage is targeted and specific and utilised as part of an overall strategy. rvlsoft / Shutterstock.com Executive Search
  • 9. Twitter Twitter is popular with under 50 year olds and people who are university educated. To find relevant candidates on Twitter, websites such as Followerwonk allow you to search relevant keywords from Twitter biographies such as job title, industry and location. However, relevant candidates will not always include employment information within their Twitter profile. For talent engagement it is better to slowly build a network on Twitter with relevant people who may be suitable for your company. This will require an investment in time, but by following relevant people and encouraging candidates to follow you (by regularly circulating interesting content and engaging in Twitter conversation) over time you will grow a network of people to potentially source talent from. Google Alerts, Feedly and Buzzsumo are good tools to source relevant content and influencers relevant to your industry. Hootsuite and Buffer are useful social media platforms to help save time as they allow you to view your social media feeds all in one place and schedule regular content to increase engagement. Executive Search
  • 10. Facebook Facebook is still considered a social platform rather than a platform to engage in work related communications. Regardless it is still a good place to source potential candidates. The search process is simple although it may take some time to hone your search technique to unearth the relevant candidates you are looking for. There is a search tool at the top of the Facebook page which uses a semantic search i.e. by typing in a sentence, Facebook will try and interpret it’s meaning such as ‘Sales Director who lives in Leeds’’. Facebook groups the results under various tabs, but it is the ‘people’ tab which is the most relevant. It isn’t advised that you create a Facebook account purely for sourcing potential talent, but be aware that the friends and groups associated with an account will influence the search results that are generated. The search function is not perfect, but you may potentially find candidates that you wouldn’t necessarily uncover elsewhere, you can send direct messages through Facebook for €0.94 per message at the time of writing. Further information can be found at www.sourcecon.com and www.socialtalent.com Executive Search
  • 11. Company databases It is worthwhile, for every organisation to build a database of people who they may wish to employ in the future. For data protection purposes permission to keep an individual’s details on file must be granted and regularly checked and updated. This can be built up of candidates who have sent in their CV to your organisation speculatively, previous unsuccessful interviewees who were of a high standard and even ex employees who could potentially be tempted back at a later date as the organisation expands and grows. However, most companies don’t have an efficient talent management system or relationship management tool to track and maintain a database of this nature, neither do they have the time or resource to manage it. By having a comprehensive, easy-to- search, internal database (relationship management tool/ talent management system) as a first port of call it could save the company time and money in any hiring process. Executive Search
  • 12. Third databases Databases containing the contact details of professionals who operate in a specific industry can be purchased from data companies. The information provided can include name, job title, company, address, telephone number and email. The cost, accuracy and legitimacy of these databases will depend on the provider, but finding a reputable organisation who specialises in information for a particular industry is straight forward. Reputable organisations will update their information and check that the individuals on their lists are happy to continue to be featured on a regular basis. However even if data is purchased from a reputable company the data will have a large proportion of inaccuracies. Executive Search
  • 13. Online CV Search Online job boards (the majority) allow candidates to upload their CV through their website onto their database, in the hope that an employer or recruitment company will find them as part of a search. The job board then allow employers or recruiters to search their CV database for an annual fee. Searches can be filtered by various criteria such as sector, job title, experience, locations, expected salary and region. Job boards can be generic or specialist depending on the requirements of the vacancy. Newman Stewart use a job board management platform which allows our consultants to search all job boards in one search. Executive Search
  • 14. Management Selection Management Selection, sometimes referred to as advertised selection, targets candidates who are actively seeking new career opportunities. There is a wide range of potential channels for placing adverts that can be utilised from traditional methods like hard copy print in national, regional and specialist publications as well as online job boards and modern communications such as social media. How the job advert is written and where the advert will be placed will be determined your requirements. For advertising to appeal, the copy and imagery needs to speak directly to the type of candidate you are trying to attract. Previously one job advert would be fit-for-purpose as there was a limited number of formats to advertise on, but with the rise of social media it has become increasingly necessary to tailor adverts to each of the mediums that it is being published on. This is a whole topic in its self, and further information can be found here.
  • 15. Management Selection Online job boards Online job boards have become the first port of call when advertising a vacancy as they tend to be cheaper than advertising within printed publications and have the potential to reach a much wider audience. The cost of an online job advert will depend on whether the job site is specialist or not and the reach of the job site in terms of traffic per month. It will also depend on whether or not you opt for a premium or lineage advert and whether or not you pay to optimise and move your advert up the search rankings. For some roles this will be key and for others it will not be necessary. Prior to placing an advert online it is important (where possible) that the job board is mobile friendly. With the Mobile Operators Association stating that 61% of adults in the UK used their mobile phones for internet access making sure your vacancy can be viewed on a mobile is critical. If not you may be missing a large proportion of potential candidates who have just not seen it. Although online job boards are the cheaper option the costs can easily mount up if vacancies are fairly infrequent as it is more expensive to post one job at a time, rather than buy a number of slots in bulk, and if you want to place the advert on more than one job board and then pay for optimisation it is increasingly expensive to maximise the exposure to the relevant audience.
  • 16. Management Selection Social Media Social media is a great way to advertise vacancies online to a wider audience for free or in some instances a small fee. Twitter and LinkedIn are the most common platforms to advertise on but other platforms should be considered depending on the target audience. An audience for your vacancies can be built up organically (as explained within the Executive Search section) appropriate hash tags can be used in Twitter to allow your advert to be found in keyword searches and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can be used to get your adverts in front of a relevant audience who aren’t necessarily following you. PPC advertising varies on each platform in terms of how the target audience is selected and how much it costs for every click through that is performed. BLOG: FIVE TIPS ON HOW TO EFFECTIVELY TWEET A JOB VACANCY Images demonstrating the unique selling points of the role, or your company can also be incorporated in most platforms to make adverts more visually appealing. Canva.com is a platform to create imagery using templates for different social media platforms. Twin Design / Shutterstock.com
  • 17. Management Selection Internal Advertising Using internal staff to find new talent can be extremely effective. The staff intranet page or internal notice boards are good places to advertise. You can also provide a recommendation fee to encourage submissions for any member of staff who recommends a candidate who is successfully hired. Traditional Advertising Traditional advertising has been in decline since the rise of online advertising because it is generally more expensive than its online counterparts and online has the ability to reach a greater audience. Even so, there is still a readership for hard copy. Traditional advertising is particularly effective in industry specific publications. Costing will usually depend on the size and the position of the advert with the publication and the size of the circulation.
  • 18. Newman Stewart is a market leading Executive Search and Management Selection company headquartered in Wetherby with additional offices in Leeds and London. If you would like to receive further guides on resourcing, job advertising and interviewing then please register your email address here.