Hiring Techniques: Job Posting vs. Head-Hunting

A Person Being Picked Out Of A Crowd - Kathbern Management Toronto Recruiting Agency

Finding top talent isn’t always easy. Regardless if you are hiring for an entry-level position or an executive role, it can be really hard to sit back and hope the right applicant finds you. Not to mention, other companies and competitors are vying to win those top candidates, and competition to win them over can be fierce. So, what can you do?

Of course, there’s the tried and tested way of filling vacant roles – job postings, word of mouth, and internal transfers. If you want to take it one step further, you can also work with hiring agencies, recruiters, and head-hunters to fill those roles as well. Many companies wonder: Is one way better than the other? The answer is: It depends. Job postings and head-hunters do different things! It’s important to know the difference between the two so you can use the proper method to find the right people.

Posting a Job Ad When Hiring

The tried and tested way of getting applicants when you are hiring is by posting an ad on any job forum – whether it’s LinkedIn, Indeed, Job Bank, or even sites like Kijiji or Monster. It’s sometimes free to post jobs, but you can also choose to pay to have your job featured above others. From there, job seekers can apply to your posting with their resume and cover letter and you can identify the applicants you want to chat more with.

Depending on the company you run and the role you’re looking to fill, you want to choose the right job board. You want to consider the type of candidates you’re hoping to target and post where they’d be looking for jobs. For example, a part-time, labour job is better suited for somewhere like Kijiji or Job Bank while more senior positions are best suited for LinkedIn or Indeed.

One of the key steps in hiring for a job is knowing exactly what you need.

Read More: Your Next Hire? – You May Not Know What You Need

Using a Head-Hunter When Hiring

A head-hunter’s job is to source and filter the right talent from a large pool to fill your position. Head-hunters are contracted by your company to find the right people. Sometimes at large companies, internal recruiters work full-time finding candidates, but they usually do not proactively contact candidates and depend mainly on fielding replies to job postings. Head-hunters are valuable because they have extensive knowledge of the industry they work in and have a wealth of contacts they utilize to find the right people. They also have the time to focus on getting the job done.

Head-hunters do the heavy lifting – from posting jobs to reaching out to the talent they think would be a good fit. They also schedule interviews for the employer, offer advice on making an offer, and conduct reference checks. Their talent pool includes job seekers who may already be employed by a competitor company or in a relevant position somewhere else. Head-hunters screen applicants and prep them for interviews. Their sole goal is to fill the position with the right candidate, and they’re often compensated accordingly to ensure they act in the best interest of the company. This means they truly want to find the right talent that will stay in the role for a certain amount of time, not just to fill the position with anyone, as they will often offer a guarantee of free replacement if the candidate doesn’t work out.

Job Posting vs. Head-Hunting for Your Hiring Needs

So, what’s better when hiring candidates? The answer is that both methods are a completely fine way to get new employees. If you’re looking to do some hiring, just take the time to consider which method will meet your needs best. If you don’t, you could end up making some of these mistakes.

Read More: Your Recruiting Process Doesn’t Work – Here’s Why!

A Different Approach to Hiring

Job posting is a more passive approach – you post an ad and wait for the applicants to come to you. Sometimes, you may even pay to feature the post or ask your network to share it among their contacts. This works great for entry-level positions, part-time, and trade positions. However, sometimes when you want to hire for senior positions, executives, managers, or even very specific skilled workers, head-hunters are the route to take.

Head-hunters go out and actively recruit top talent – whether or not the talent even knows that they may want to apply for a job! It’s a more assertive approach to hiring and can be really effective since the pool is expanded to include not only job seekers, but also people who are currently employed. If you’re having a hard time filling a position, hiring a head-hunter may be the way to go.

The Cost of Hiring

If you have an HR team who screen job applicants that come in through your job postings and conduct interviews for you, job postings are a totally valid way to find candidates at a low cost. If you need some extra help finding talent, head-hunters can take a lot of the workload off of your company. They actively seek candidates, approach them, screen them, and prep them for interviews so by the time that candidates get to your company, they are likely a very close fit to what you are looking for.

But, head-hunters do come at a cost. If you have recruiters working for you internally, then you have enough hiring volume for them to bring value to your company by filling positions for you. If you don’t employ recruiters, then contracting a head-hunter is a great way to go and can be more cost-effective than a full-time employee. This person will have a network of contacts and pool of candidates to reach out to.

Job postings, on the other hand, can be fairly inexpensive (aside from your time).

The Bottom Line When it Comes to Hiring

Choosing between a head-hunter and job posting really depends on the role you wish to hire for. Remember – there’s no reason you can’t use one approach or the other from time to time. Companies often use a mix of the two methods, utilizing head-hunters when they have many positions to fill or positions that are difficult.

There’s really no wrong way of doing it, but as with everything, it’s important to think of your hiring needs when you begin looking for candidates. Choose the method that is right for the job, and if it’s going to take an investment through paid ads or a head-hunter, consider it an investment in your company. Finding the right talent isn’t easy – that’s why there are professionals who do it!

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