Researching the Candidate – Pre-Game Warm-Ups
Resources to research candidates are at the fingertips of recruiters who have high-dollar recruiting budgets. Reports put out by companies such as Universum, provide information on “exactly” what is important to candidates.
For $600 to $10,000, a recruiter can find out which companies students choose as their ideal employers and why, why students have chosen you or your competitor as their ideal employer, what students think about their professional and personal futures and what they want to know about a career opportunity.
Also available are students’ salary expectations, the best ways to communicate with different student groups, recruitment competitors in all of your key markets, your employer branding, and your employer image among students. Clearly, recruiters can be armed to the hilt with tools to get the best-of-the-best.
Researching the Candidate on a Shoe String Budget
(If you have a limitless budget, and have everything figured out, skip to this section).
There is an equally – if not more powerful – method to find out what the candidates need and want to know about your firm – go straight to the source and set up your computer in the right way.
Establish prioritized criteria to determine whom you want to recruit, and then find the institutions that hold these candidates. Finding the institutions can be as easy as going to the U.S. News Website to look up their latest rankings of undergraduate and graduate programs.
After you decided on a mix of institutions to target establish contact with university career services professionals and faculty (faculty often have daily interaction with your target candidates) and open a dialogue to discuss your recruiting plans. This conversation is also the time to implement the next step, which is to find out what candidates want to know.
This can be accomplished by an email questionnaire. It is completely acceptable to ask a career service or faculty staff to circulate a questionnaire to students. This questionnaire should contain all the questions you need to ask to understand what the candidate needs and wants to know about this job – career opportunity – company – industry, and questions that will help you to establish how, when, and where candidates like to do their job, and company research.
The questionnaire can be circulated to candidates via email, and request for a simple response to an included email address (an email from you or your company’s black hole job email, think of a different address for candidates to reply to. Check out also this interview with Steve Salyer about opportunities in the secondary gaming market.
Or take a fancier route by setting up a questionnaire on your company’s Website that can be accessed by a link included in the email to the candidate. The second route eliminates data entry or compiling and leaves it up to you to run queries and draw conclusions on your data. The results are fantastic. You will learn what the students really need and want to know about your job opportunity, career opportunity, company, industry, and gain a competitive advantage over anyone who has not done this. When the next interface comes, you will be able to provide information that is helpful, relevant, and practical to a student’s decision-making process. Armed with this information, you can begin making plans for how, when, and where it will be delivered.
Focus on the Communication Vehicle
Now that you know the ideal candidate like a long-time friend, focus on delivering the information to your candidate using the vehicle of their preference, and make it available when, and where they want it. This is easily accomplished using the results from researching the candidate. In addition to sources and experience telling you that information sessions, career fairs, and websites are the best way to reach candidates, you will know for yourself exactly how to best reach your candidates.
The stage is set and you have the tools necessary to provide candidates with the information they need to consider a job opportunity and information about the right way to set up their offices and to learn the difference between a gaming chair, for example, and an office chair.
A variety of methods are available to reach your candidate, and for you, it could be one or a combination of methods including but not limited to the Big 4: information session, career fair, interviews, and the Internet. But one constant, which cannot be overlooked, between all medians, is the first impression.
A candidate’s first impression of the company is as important as the first impression of the candidate. A quality forthright first impression will set relationship tone and enhance the potential for recruiters and candidates to avoid apples and oranges scenarios. At the pinnacle of this effort will be a pool of self-screened candidates ready to take on your job opportunity. And if you supplied the right information, you will be very satisfied with the candidate pool. This approach will ramp up the return on recruiting efforts and establish mutually respectful relationships and have significant long-term benefits.
College recruiting counts, all the way from accomplishing your weekly work goals through supporting your CEO’s objectives, your company’s mission, and long-term goals. Succeeding in your job will have a positive rippling effect throughout your organization.