If you have ever worked in Talent Acquisition or it is a part of your daily responsibilities as a Generalist, you know that sometimes there are jobs that have difficult requirements or have skills that are so specific that they make those candidates difficult to find in your area for the budget you can hire them in. This can be extremely frustrating. It is literally like asking you to find a unicorn. It can be impossible. LinkedIn is the #1 sourcing tool available to recruiters today and it is extremely helpful, but does it have everything?
After speaking with some difficult-to-recruit software architects within my company, most actually don’t utilize LinkedIn at all. Their fear? Being ambushed by multiple staffing agencies. While I am sure it is flattering to have many companies interested in you, when staffing agencies message you on a regular basis because you are a “unicorn”, I can certainly see why these “unicorn” candidates opt out of using LinkedIn. So how else can we find them?
Because most of these “unicorn” candidates are passive candidates, we have to get creative. As Talent & HR professionals, we network with our own folks, so why not put ourselves out there and network with others? Ask your employees what events they attend to network and attend with them. That way, your employee can attest to how awesome your culture is and discuss the things he/she likes about working with your organization.
Another popular way to attract passive and difficult-to-recruit candidates is to create a pipeline of talented individuals, get to know them, and check in with them every now and then. One of the ways we have also attracted difficult-to-recruit talent is incentivizing our current employees with a $1,000 referral bonus. We have even had doughnut campaigns where we walk around, pass out flyers about how they can get $1,000, and give them a doughnut for breakfast.
Creating something that makes your company stand apart from the others can be difficult, especially nowadays. Make sure you are offering attractive benefits, a vibrant and servant culture, and a fun, relaxing, and innovative environment where employees are encouraged to be themselves and your culture will speak for itself.