Search engine optimization experts, mobile app developers and bloggers are just some of the positions companies are looking to fill. But finding the right candidate can be easier said than done, especially since many of these jobs didn’t exist a few years ago. In this world of social networks, Twitter, iPads and smartphones, companies have to change the way they find this new type of talent. From building a social media presence to tapping professional networks, here’s how to do it.
1. Define the role:
Before you can launch a search you have to figure out what needs you’re looking to fill. It’s not enough to say you want someone who knows how to use Twitter. You need to figure out what return on investment you hope to obtain, and how you’ll measure that with this new hire. That’s why career experts say to come up with a list of skills and tasks the person will be responsible for. That will not only help you figure out exactly what you are aiming to achieve but will put you in a better position to find and screen candidates. Be prepared to compromise. Chances are you aren’t going to get everything you are looking for.
“You have to be willing to identify what’s your wish list and what you will accept,” says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group. “Sometimes you have to be flexible. The ideal candidate doesn’t exist. There aren’t a lot of them out there in some jobs.”
2. Be attractive to candidates:
In order to attract top notch talent you have to create a culture that makes your company desirable to the people you are trying to woo. There’s a reason technology professionals want to work at Apple and Google. They know those companies are committed to cutting-edge technology and that by working there they will be able to advance their career. So if you are looking to hire a social networking professional or a mobile app developer you better be able to demonstrate the company is serious when it comes to technology. If it’s a green engineer you are after then make sure your company has an environmentally conscious culture and mandate.
“You have to stay abreast of what people with these new tech skills are reading and what they are looking at, and you need to have your company name affiliated with that so they will recognize your name,” says Karen Droz, co-founder and president of Ovation Technologies, which makes human resources software. “They want to see the company has credibility and wants to invest in technology.” Droz says street cred could come from having a good website, being on Twitter, speaking at coding camps or winning social media or blog awards. Whatever is respected in the industry, your company should be a part of it.
3. Do your homework on pay scale:
Before you place your job advertisement you’ll need to do your research so you’ll be able to offer the proper compensation based on the level of experience you are looking for. You don’t want to post a job for vastly less than what others are paying nor do you want to grossly over pay either. Check job search boards, talk to recruiters and ask colleagues to ensure you are paying the appropriate market rate before you start looking.
4. Cast a wide net:
Hiring any employee, particularly someone with sought-after skills, requires tapping multiple sources to be successful. To find your candidate you’ll have to attend professional networking events specific to the skills you’re looking for, search on LinkedIn, tap your own network and ask for referrals from other people within the company. You can even check in with universities that specialize in those areas to get access to alumni. “You have to turn over a lot of stones to find these people,” says Reed. “You have to exhaust all of your resources.”
5. Consider training within:
When all else fails you may want to consider developing the talent in-house instead of looking elsewhere. According to Tom Gimbel, founder and chief executive of LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting company, it could be worthwhile to bring in a consultant to advise you on what you are looking to do. It may turn out you already have a loyal employee who would do a stellar job with the proper training. Not only would that save you the time of launching an exhaustive search that may not yield any results, but it will boost morale and loyalty within the company if employees know there are opportunities to grow. “Companies shouldn’t rush and add positions,” says Gimbel. “The company should evaluate if they actually need a new position.”