Finding the Best Talent Starts with Engaging Candidates

Technology has made job searches easier, but it is only part of what is needed to find the best talent. To get a step up on the competition, businesses must focus on engaging their candidates. In short, there is more to any given prospect than what is listed on their LinkedIn profile. Here’s some fresh insight from IQTalent Partners.

Recruiting and sourcing tactics have changed over the years. The search industry has transitioned from the old school “brute force” methods of manually identifying potential candidates in phone books and directories to the online resources that cultivate prospective candidate information using AI.

The shift to boolean search strings, web browsers and AI may speed up simple automation tasks, but recruiting and sourcing are still as taxing as ever, according to Chris Murdock, co-founder and senior partner of IQTalent Partners, in a new report. “This is partially because digital recruiting and sourcing methods have placed a false sense of qualification on what candidates do or don’t put on their public profiles,” he said. “In other words, talent pools feel smaller and tighter only because recruiters and sourcers aren’t focusing on the bigger picture: engaging candidates.”

Technology is a great help, but hiring managers should not assume everyone is on platforms such as LinkedIn. “Expecting every profile to list every qualification they’re looking for is causing a lot of over-indexing in the recruiting industry,” Mr. Murdock said. “The premise of engaging candidates means creating conversations with them to get to know the person behind the LinkedIn profile or resume. It’s about knowing what candidates have in relation to the skills/requirements and then screening them in or out based on whether they have the other skills your client needs. You can’t take their resume or profile to be 100 percent because people may or may not give you all of the information.”

Recruiting Tech with a Human Touch

Mr. Murdock referred to IQTalent Partners’ “Diamond Recruiting model,” which focuses on finding candidates with less information online and fill in the blanks with actual phone calls to these less visible executives.

“With the emphasis on getting to know candidates, it’s important to focus recruiting and sourcing efforts on uncovering what isn’t on the candidate’s profile – i.e. their soft skills,” he said. “Simply looking up candidates on social media and disqualifying them based on the information you find, or lack thereof, is shorting your talent pools of some potential great employees. Recruiters and sourcers need to maximize their tools, both digital and engagement-based, to make sure they’re not assuming candidate skills and experiences.”


Chris Murdock is a veteran of the recruiting and talent acquisition industry with 20 years of experience spanning across multiple industries. He founded IQTalent Partners in 2009 and now leads search execution and client relationships for the  150- person firm. Prior to establishing IQTalent, Mr. Murdock worked with Yahoo!’s internal executive recruiting team, gaining in-depth experience across the technology recruiting sphere. He began his career working for Heidrick & Struggles and TMP Worldwide.


In the not-so-distant past, job seekers depended on newspaper classified advertisements to learn about openings, and they had to physically mail in their resumes. Later, the fax machine made the process a little easier. Such methods were focused around human connections and the fact that people typically stuck with a company for long periods, if not their whole career. Putting job listings in newspapers was a surefire way to get resumes. Local employment office postings, temp agencies and internal hiring were other ways that companies found candidates.

“Local employment office postings were put where people were likely to be looking for a job,” Mr. Murdock recalled. “Temp agencies made it easy for recruiters to find people in specific fields. Internal hiring, which is still used today, promotes employees and is a simple and effective way to fill the position. Old sourcing and recruiting tactics solely revolved around the people-based industry and making connections.”

Related: Here’s How Data is Really Impacting Talent Acquisition

“Once the connection was made, recruiters would get the job candidate approved by the hiring manager and their job would be done,” he said. “Sourcers and researchers often didn’t have any visibility into the candidate experience once they were identified and/or contacted. Now, because of new software and more transparent processes, we get to see how the candidates progress through the process.”

New Ways to Source

Modern methods of sourcing revolve around social/professional media, which allows for a vast talent pool. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) and candidate relationship management software are the new Rolodex. “With all the new technology, it is important to have a good balance between human interaction and technology,” Mr. Murdock said. “Today, technology is a huge part of research, sourcing and recruiting as a whole. Recruiters have to integrate technology to be efficient nowadays, but there is still the need for a human connection. Recruiters also have to be accessible and have the ability to reach out to candidates in ways that are relevant and engaging.”


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For all its popularity, social media brings risks as well. Employers, and would-be employers, are paying attention to what gets posted online, and for many that could spell trouble. Recruiter Alan Medders, who recently created a social media analysis tool, discusses his new service and social media’s impact on hiring.


With the global market, the use of social media and other analytic tools, recruiters must have a presence everywhere job seekers are located; it is important to reach job candidates where they are. “With all the competition and the fact that top talent can be pursued by many recruiters at once, it can be harder to get a response, let alone a yes to the job offer,” said Mr. Murdock. “Because of this, it is necessary for recruiters to put their focus on selling the job, getting the attention of the candidate and keeping them engaged throughout the process.”

Candidate Sourcing Trends to Implement

With all of the changes, recruiters agree that it is essential for companies to implement new social recruiting and sourcing strategies into their process. Social media, the use of mobile phones to source talent, AI and virtual reality are all a part of the process. “Recruitment automation tools automate the simple and tedious parts of the process, allowing recruiters to focus on bigger, more important parts,” Mr. Murdock said. “Using social media channels to recruit is always a great tactic because that’s where top talent is located.”

Related: Here’s How Recruiters are Evolving Alongside Social Media

It’s beneficial to use strategic alignment, which is identifying the company’s future needs and goals, Mr. Murdock said. “Recruitment marketing and inbound recruiting are all about using marketing techniques to attract talent to your organization and then engaging them. Employer branding is important to take into account because when a company has a good reputation, good candidates are likely to have an interest in the company.”

“A good candidate experience has gone to show positive experiences make it more likely a candidate will accept the job offer, and candidate relationship management goes hand in hand with that because building a good relationship with current and potential future job candidates only leads to a positive hire,” said Mr. Murdock.

Research and sourcing have come a long way, even since the advent of boolean search strings and web browsers like Google and Bing. “Traditional methods can still be used today, but it’s necessary to include modern trends in your sourcing strategy,” Mr. Murdock said. “In order to successfully recruit top talent and hire the job candidate your company is searching for, IQTalent Partners uses the most up-to-date processes including AI matching and other useful tactics.”

Related: Artificial Intelligence is Writing a New Script for the Recruiting Industry

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media. Original post here.

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