Top Talent Search: A Guide on How to Find Good Candidates

As a hiring manager, not only are you in charge of filling vacant job positions as soon as possible, but you’re also responsible for finding the right candidate for the job. These are two heavy tasks you need to juggle every day.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this struggle. According to a recent report by Manpower Group, over 45% of employers find it increasingly difficult to find skilled employees and fill open jobs. That said, it’s crucial for you to improve and adapt your hiring process all the time to make sure you’re consistently getting quality recruits without wasting precious time. But where should you start?

When you’re finding ways on how to find the right candidate for a job, a solid game plan involves these five steps:

  1. Utilize an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  2. Select the Best Channels
  3. Lean on Your Current Employees
  4. Streamline Your Interview Process
  5. Build Out Your Talent Pipeline

Let’s go over each of them.

1. Utilize an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

The most important element of an efficient recruitment process is an ATS or an applicant tracking system, which is a web based recruitment software. An ATS enables you to track candidates over the course of the entire hiring process — from application to job offer letters — and automate communications so top talents don’t fall through the cracks.

More importantly, when searching the right candidates, an ATS can help you identify where most of your qualified candidates are coming from, be it your job boards, social media, or your careers page. This data helps your recruitment team determine which avenues are successful and worthy of additional resources, and which ones they can pull back on.

If you aren’t currently using an applicant tracking system, we suggest you implement this tool immediately as it will ultimately help you in finding the right candidates for the jobs you need to fill.


2. Select the Best Recruiting Channels

After you’ve set up your ATS, it’s time to think about your recruiting platform. In a recent study about the best sources for corporate candidates, over 51% of respondents said they prefer to hire through employee referrals. About 42% said they use networking sites like LinkedIn or Indeed, and 40% stated they fill positions by transferring or promoting employees.

Employers like using professional networks such as LinkedIn and social networks like Facebook to get their talent because these platforms provide access to a large pool of job seekers. LinkedIn alone boasts of more than 610 million possible candidates. Facebook, being the largest social media network right now, has over one billion active users every month. Over 15% of job seekers today use social media to look for jobs, too.

How to find good candidates depends on selecting the best channel based on your needs and current resources. For instance, if you already have a huge following on Facebook, advertise your job openings there, and encourage your employees to share the job ad posts. If you’ve been receiving a lot of page views and unique visits on your Career website, create more posts to engage potential candidates.

If your strategy isn’t pulling in the expected number of applicants, you can also reach out to passive candidates through email or LinkedIn’s private messaging platform. LinkedIn’s Recruiter platform allows you to search for users with certain skills and job experience. You can also sift through your existing employees’ and applicants’ profiles to find people with similar skills.

Employees Using Their Phone

3. Lean on Your Current Employees

Internal hiring eliminates the need for spending time, effort, and money on job advertisements, interviews, and training. If you already have an experienced or versatile worker who’s up for the task, offer the job to them.

According to a whitepaper on internal hiring and external recruitment published in the IZA World of Labor, this practice of promoting internal talent shows your employees that there is a clear path to advancement in your company and that they have a potential career ahead of them. This will encourage them to develop their skills and knowledge further to get the promotion they deserve.

Aside from internal hiring, you should also set up an employee referral program. This is a favorite among recruiters when finding ways on how to find the right candidate for a job because they’re faster and more affordable to hire. This is because you don’t have to spend a vast amount of time and money on creating job ads and chasing potential candidates online.

According to a recent study by Deloitte, referred employees have a 42% retention rate, which is higher than that of workers hired from job boards (32%) and career pages (14%).

Remember, good people, know good people. Implement a referral program to encourage applicant recommendations from your employees, which will ultimately help you in finding the right candidate for the job. Additionally, be creative with the incentives. While monetary rewards are safe and common, a majority of employees are more enticed by experiential rewards, like a hotel staycation with a plus one. Also, don’t forget to set guidelines for how and when incentives are distributed.

4. Streamline Your Interview Process

Your recruitment team is fully capable of sourcing, vetting, and interviewing candidates, but what about the managers in your company? Most likely, you’ll want the leaders who will be working closely in the future with potential candidates to conduct an interview or two.

Create a standardized template for candidate evaluation and tailor it to each job opening or role. Before you even begin searching the right candidates, discuss with team leads and recruiters to build out the ideal candidate persona — what are the responsibilities assigned to the role, and what type of person do they want to fill in the position? Then, think up of questions that focus on the skills and qualities they describe. For example, if they want a sales manager who will be a proactive decision-maker, you can ask each candidate about a time they made a positive change to the workflow in their previous company. This approach ensures you’re asking interviewees important questions that further reveal their character and work ethics.

In addition, interviewers should be familiar with ethical interview guidelines and legal stipulations, along with understanding the best practices for assessment of skills and qualifications. This can minimize lost employee productivity due to long-winding interview processes, reduce your time-to-hire, and make finding the right candidates for the job easier on your recruitment team.

man doing recruitment plan

5. Build Out Your Talent Pipeline

Sourcing and searching continually for the right candidates even before roles become vacant will greatly reduce your time-to-hire. It’s a well-known tactic when creating efficient recruitment process steps in HR. It’s good practice to constantly build your talent pipeline — especially for roles with typically high turnover rates. This will enable you to engage prospective applicants and capture the interest of the best candidates early.

One way to do this is by joining online professional communities where you can connect with passive job seekers. In today’s candidate-driven market, passive job seekers are crucial to enhancing your recruitment process. The candidate journey is usually segmented into different stages and submitting an application doesn’t occur until the third or fourth stage.

Why is that so? Well, in the digital age, candidates are more likely to make several stops before they decide to reach out and submit their resume — at social media profiles, career pages, company websites, and even platforms for anonymous employee reviews. Again, it’s a candidate’s market –they can afford to shop around and be picky.

What does this mean for your recruitment team? Start the search as early as now by connecting with passive candidates on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If you want a more in-depth resource for building out your talent pipeline, we’ve written a comprehensive step-by-step guide on the recruitment process.

Fast and Efficient Hiring: The Primary Goal of the Recruitment Process

Now that you’re familiar with the steps in the recruitment process, you’ll be able to find, recruit, and onboard your employees with confidence. It may also be useful to survey them about their hiring and onboarding experience to identify the parts you can improve.

These steps all provide a great way on how to find the right candidate for a job in your company. Hiring internally is a surefire way to find an applicant that’s both experienced and familiar with your company’s culture.

Using professional networks and social media allows you to find talent that can bring fresh ideas to the company, with the right engagement and targeting strategy, and referrals net you candidates who are likely to stay longer with your company. Streamlining your interview process and building out your talent pipeline will improve the efficiency of your recruitment process and ensure you onboard top talent.

Utilize any, or all, of these methods, and you’ll consistently find the best person for the job, at a fraction of the time you usually spend searching for the right candidates.