Avoiding recruiting tactic overload

It seems like 99% of the recruiting tips I read are focused on “how to use Twitter”, “how to find passive candidates on facebook” or “mobile recruiting with foursquare”.  These are all great tactics that I can’t get enough of, but I sense many otherwise great recruiters are getting mired in tool adoption rather than focusing on the basics of recruiting.  Here’s is the overall recruiting strategy I have adopted, and from here I roll in new tactics and tools:

1) Active candidate generation – Active candidates are those that are actively seeking job opportunities.  There are many tools and techniques available for finding them, such as job boards and social networks.  Active candidates can step into roles more quickly than passive candidates, but they are often being pursued by multiple recruiters.  Any successful recruiting function will have a solid method of attracting, engaging, and capturing active candidates.

2) Passive candidate generation – I consider this to be the most important recruiting strategy.  When I talk about passive candidate generation, I refer to engaging and networking with any and all candidates in your niche or industry, with the goal of recruiting them for a role sometime within the next 6-60 months (or more).  This isn’t an option for every recruiter, since some of us deal with multiple industries and there isn’t enough time in the day to connect with every single candidate.  I usually recruit in the online marketing/advertising space, so I make it a point to reach out to every person I encounter that may potentially be a fit for one of my roles, someday.  People are usually pretty receptive when I say “Hey, let’s keep in touch, I would love to consider you for a role some day.”  Capturing these contacts and keeping in touch with them can be daunting, but with LinkedIn it is less so.

3) Best practices sharing within the organization – If you work independently, this is pretty simple.  If you work as part of a recruiting or HR team, it is important to share best practices with your colleagues.  When everybody is on the same page in the org, you can cast a wider net more efficiently without duplicating efforts.  With the referral and networking nature of recruiting, the more candidates your org captures as a whole leads to more candidates for everyone to engage.  This aspect of my strategy is where tools and tactics are discussed and evaluated.

I’m all about adopting and mastering new techniques, especially as I ramp after my extended paternity leave, but my goal is to stick to this three-pronged approach while I incorporate new tools/techniques into my efforts.