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Put Analytics to Work to Source Top Talent

Put Analytics to Work to Source Top Talent

By: John Rossheim

When you’re sourcing specialized talent, there may be no such thing as a time of plenty. Whether you’re an internal recruiter looking for a Hadoop programmer or a staffing firm fielding candidates for a demanding cybersecurity search, the market is always thin.

Given clients’ demands for the right specialist right now, recruiters must find tools that will efficiently surface all viable candidates, wherever they are in the world.

Let’s take a look at the product capabilities and analytics that recruiters should be looking for to more readily source available talent pools and cogently present top candidates.

IT isn’t the only function or industry where specialized talent is hard to find. In an economy that creates countless new technology niches every year, recruiters across nearly all industries, not just the IT services industry, are called on to source specialized talent.

For example, “with all the oil and gas deposits recently discovered in North Dakota, a lot of positions are popping up in petroleum engineering,” says Javid Muhammedali, vice president of product at Monster.

Narrow professional niches require broad searches. Technologists may labor in a precisely defined discipline, but their professional presence will be found in any number of places online. Recruiters must have visibility into all those niches.

“You need a really good search tool to find these folks – something like SeeMoreTM that has ways of looking across the web,” says Katherine Jones, vice president of HR technology research at Bersin by Deloitte.

Broad-based social media is no panacea. The richest information on prospective candidates in many specialized fields may not be found on the most obvious social or professional networking sites. “Let’s say you need a heart surgeon in rural Iowa; they aren’t necessarily on LinkedIn,” says Jones.

Sophisticated sourcers for specialist occupations may set their sights on professional associations and their web presences.

Consolidate internal resume databases. Call it corporate entropy: Over the years, large organizations often accumulate multiple – and often incompatible — databases of resumes. That leaves their workforce planners and recruiters in the dark about their widely-dispersed internal talent.

The solution: adopt an analytics package that can integrate resume data across the enterprise. This solution provides your managers and recruiters with a comprehensive view of the available internal talent to meet a given technical challenge.

Automate resume ranking to maximize time to woo the best. Even in this age of social media, it’s the person-to-person contact — whether on the phone or face-to-face — that sells a choice candidate on a hard-to-fill specialist position. Automating the vetting of resumes via state-of-the-art technology gives your recruiters time to meet with select candidates.

Look for talent management tools and analytics that will do much of the work of scanning, ranking and presenting valuable comparisons of all viable candidates for the job.

Show the talent you know their niche. Especially when recruiting in the IT services industry, it’s critical to target the pitch to the niche audience. With tools like Monster’s Talent Management Suite, “you can reach out to candidates by email according to what school they went to, and give the exact job title and skill set required for the open position,” says Muhammedali.

“The more specific you can make the message, the better. All of this lets you stand out from the crowd and get a better response to your email.”

Looking for tomorrow’s talent among today’s up-and-comers. Great recruiting is the art of finding a candidate who has the background and drive to step up to very challenging technical roles — not just the rare candidate who can check off all the qualifications boxes right now.

“If you’re an analyst today, you might be prepared to rise to consultant next year,” says Muhammedali. “With the right tools, you can source people who are currently in feeder jobs, recruit them and give them training to get them up to speed.”

Don’t neglect the basics. “It is critical to be able to do three things,” says Pamela Dixon, managing partner of SSi-Search, an Atlanta search firm specializing in healthcare IT executives. “Search your candidate database by keyword and other techniques like Booleans, build profiles from multiple sources and consolidate every type of candidate interaction in a database that makes retrieval easy.”

The most sophisticated talent-management tools offer semantic search, which improves on keyword queries by enabling very accurate querying by concept and skill set, even as technical terminology continues to evolve.