What is the best source of candidates?

Employee referrals will always come up as the best source of hire in any research that I have read.

But I have a warning!

A company we recently did some work with made virtually no hires that were not from an employee referral. The good news was that their cost per hire was very low. They didn’t even pay employee referral incentives. It was even better when we looked at their employee retention and found their staff turnover was very low. All good and no need for intervention here we thought.

However, this mid-sized national company was losing market share and not hitting its revenue targets. Long story short was that new hire profile directly matched existing employee profiles. Yes, a happy content bunch of underperformers. The market had changed and competitors were hiring a very different and diverse group.

The issue… “like attract like’ and whilst this may be convenient and cost-effective it may not get you the result you want. A bit like using the “old boys” network… yes it has a place but not always and not without rigor in the process!


Get Ready!

Now is a great time to focus on becoming “World Class” at recruitment & retention. Competitive Advantage will stem from highly motivated and capable employees as we make our way out of recession. (Not that I claim to know when that will be…)


Having a high level of engagement within the workforce will be critical as once the employment markets free up companies will lose more people than they desire. This is because many have simply put their head down to stay employed but they will jump ship once opportunities begin to present themselves. Therefore engage with them now if you want to retain them in better times.


The same applies to spending energy now on recruitment processes, tools and training. Even if your not hiring get prepared because things could change quite quickly. So in my view now is a great time to:

  • Keep building your talentpool
  • Stay in contact with future talent
  • Invest in your employment brand
  • Investigate all candidate sourcing channels

Who knows whats around the corner?

Habits of GREAT Recruiters…

We’ve been working up a self assessment view on the habits of Great Recruiters…


1)      Goal Driven:

a)      I set daily, weekly, monthly goals that focus me on results

b)      I have an income expectation and understand how much I need to do to exceed it

c)       I understand what the business expects of me


2)      Time & Activity management:

a)      I understand the activities it takes to be a successful recruiter and I manage my time accordingly

b)      I use Daily to do lists and they always include:

i)        Candidate sourcing/referrals

ii)       New Client calls

iii)     Candidate & Client debriefing

iv)     Client visits

v)      Referencing

vi)     General catch up calls


3)      Work with Team:

a)      I work with and contribute to the team to leverage all our knowledge towards improved results

b)      I use and maintain the database


4)      Control & Influence:

a)      I stay in constant contact with candidates, questioning & influencing their thinking.

b)      I constantly question and lead clients towards required decisions and/or for information

c)       I aim to CONTROL all stages of the process with both candidates & clients


5)      Communication:

a)      I exceed communication expectations always delivering either good or bad news to keep candidates & clients informed

b)      I ensure all enquiries are responded to in a timely manner


6)      Professional Competence:

a)      I understand and can manage all the steps in recruiting and in candidate & client control

b)      I am always listening and sharing scenarios to improve my knowledge

c)       I behave like a ‘career recruiter’ demonstrating the resilience and persistence required to be better than the average


7)      Market Knowledge:

a)      I continually question both candidates & clients and scan all sources to ensure up to date market knowledge

b)      I ask both candidates & clients about my competition and how I’m going


8)      Competitiveness:

a)      I understand the competitive nature of this industry and thrive in doing it better than others

b)      I appreciate the urgency required to beat our competitors and I therefore continually prioritise and do things immediately