I grew up in farm country with relatives that hunt and fish and it strikes me that finding the right people with the right talents for your company can be likened to fishing, hunting and farming.
We fish, hunt and farm to solve the problem of an empty belly and talent acquisition solves the problem of who will do the work, solve the problems, and pursue the available opportunities for your company.
The tools of the computer age are much like the fishing pole, bow and hoe. Social media are only some of a number of tools. It can be used to post jobs, to facilitate employee referrals, and to enhance company websites.
If you are fishing you will be using Help Wanted placards, want ads, billboards, radio ads and job postings on job sites, job/career fairs and college recruiting. They fill about a third of all jobs. Like fishing, they assume that most any catch will work. They involve a lot of waiting or, if you are using a net, a lot of sorting to find the tasty fish and get rid of the not so tasty.
When you are hunting, you are focused on a particular group with particular characteristics. You don’t ask your engineers for referrals to accounting people. You are using professional networking sites for the data, old-school recruiting (be it in-house, contingency or retained, or the services of an unbundled search service) and the use of employee referrals and referral programs. You are the one moving toward the object of your desire, but still standing far enough off that they don’t spook. These methods fill about a third of the jobs as well.
Training programs for your current employees, choosing an internal candidate, having an interactive web presence including your website, blog, LinkedIn presence, Facebook presence, Twitter and even a YouTube presence use farming or husbandry methods and fill the last third.
There are huge numbers of people unemployed right now, but how many are in your industry with the skills you need to solve your problems? No company hires unless we have a problem we can’t solve or an opportunity we can’t pursue with the people we already employ. We don’t need just anyone, just any warm body. We need a person who can solve the problem.
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