Kathbern Management is an executive search consultancy based in Toronto, helping companies find the executives and senior managers who not only have the experience and credentials to fulfil their responsibilities, but also have the emotional and “fit” requirements that will enable them to be successful in a particular environment. We simplify the process and, through our deep research, are able to bring more and better candidates forward than would ever be possible through a do-it-yourself passive advertising campaign.
“Just post on Zip Recruiter and you often have great candidates within one day!”
In an increasingly digital world, almost everything these days is done online. For many recruiters and HR professionals, the recruitment process almost always starts on the Internet. Whether you’re reaching out to candidates via LinkedIn, posting job requirements on Indeed, emailing candidates for an interview, or Skyping an executive from across the country for a C-Suite position, you’re using the Internet to make your candidate search easier.
The Internet has definitely made a lot of things easier, although some may wonder if relying solely on our online job posting for finding qualified candidates is always the best or the only way to go. The correct answer is that there are pros and cons to using online job posting for finding candidates and that traditional methods aren’t yet completely extinct.
So, before you put all your eggs in the online job posting basket, let’s explore the benefits and pitfalls of this approach.
1. It can save time … sometimes
Posting job requirements online using LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter, Indeed, or other forms of online job boards, can be a simple process. While it may feel like it saves a lot of time, there are some aspects of online job postings that create more work.
Posting job recruitment ads online means that you can reach a wide variety of candidates. You’re able to customize your search depending on the role you’re hiring for, and you can often set screening questions and “must-haves” to filter applicants and then prioritize your review of applicants to focus on only those who have successfully met all of your criteria.
Using online ads means that you’ll be receiving résumés electronically, making it easy to screen and check candidates’ résumés.
Due to the ease of applying online (upload a résumé and voila!), candidates often take a “volume” approach to their job search. There is such a low barrier to applying (no cost, minimal effort) that a large percentage of applicants for any position will be totally unsuitable, requiring you to sift through a large number of unqualified candidates before finding a few worth further consideration.
2. You can find candidates from all over
Thanks to the online world, anyone can now see your job posting and it’s not as localized as it used to be. You never know who might be looking to relocate for work, but you also have to be wary of the downfalls of hiring from a distance.
There may be qualified candidates looking to relocate – maybe for a new opportunity in a different city or country, maybe to be closer to their family, or maybe because their spouse got a job nearby or they’re simply up for a new challenge. You want to attract talent from all over, because you never know who might be the right fit. Candidates from other cities, countries, or industries are a huge asset to your team, especially in upper management. They bring a different set of knowledge and experience that can often bring new life to your team.
Hiring a candidate that requires relocation introduces another set of complexities to the hiring process. For sure, it will take more time and more risk, especially if there are family members involved. A spouse or children may be reluctant to make a move and there may be employment issues for the spouse to consider. If the move is undertaken, there is a risk that the family will not be happy and this will affect the employment relationship with your candidate. Even if a relocation is not required, be wary of people with long commutes – studies show that people who have to commute over 45 minutes are more likely to be on the lookout for an opportunity to work closer to home. A bad commute can be a turnoff for anyone, even if the job is amazing.
3. Everyone can see the opportunity that you have
Almost everyone has access to the Internet, so you would think that you are almost effortlessly tapping into this broad talent pool.
It is true that your online job ad will have the potential to be viewed by almost anyone in the world. If someone is looking for the type of position that you are offering, at your type and size of company, in your industry, and in your location then there will not be much preventing a candidate from seeing your ad and from easily applying.
Unfortunately, your online job ad will only be viewed by active job hunters who, as a group, comprise only about 20% of potential candidates for your position. The other 80% aren’t looking because they are already employed, reasonably happy and they are busy with their lives. Like many products and services, your position needs to be actively brought to their attention and SOLD to them. If they knew that your available position was more interesting then their current one, or that it could be more financially rewarding or perhaps involved a shorter commute, they could well be very interested. But, they have to be aware of it first.
Use a Mix of Online and Traditional Methods for the Best Hiring Experience
In order to give yourself the best shot at finding (and securing) the best candidate for the job, it’s recommended to use a mix of online and traditional recruiting. Great candidates can often be found through referrals from their associates, friends or relatives. It is highly unlikely that any of these people will be looking at your online job ad except through blind luck. An active person-to-person contact program, in addition to online advertising, will ensure that these sources are not overlooked.
Choosing the best approach with respect to a recruiting project is one of maximizing value – getting the best results at the lowest cost. Achieving maximum value may dictate taking the lowest cost approach – an online job ad – if that provides the results that you need. However, to save time and ensure that all potential candidates have been contacted and considered (including the 80% who are part of the passive job market), a more active approach may be required.
Kathbern Management is a Toronto-based executive recruiter focused on working with organizations who are seeking to find and hire the key people who are critical for their success.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your key person search.