Recruitment Research: The Key to Unlock Recruiting’s Biggest Secret

June 20, 2018
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Twelve years ago I became a research consultant (now senior research consultant) at Qualigence International. Since then, the recruiting industry has seen its ups and downs. A recession coupled with new technologies have threatened Qualigence itself more than once. We've had to make changes internally and accommodate the unpredictable job market, but one thing hasn't changed: the purpose of recruiting research.

The only end-game for recruiting research is to find organizations the right candidates with the right qualifications to fill their open roles. The way we conduct research, however, has gone through some drastic changes over the years. If you had asked me in 2006 about the number of tools, technologies, and websites that are available today, I probably wouldn't have believed you.

LinkedIn and Facebook existed 12-years ago, but they were nowhere near the behemoths of social media that they are now. The popular social media site of the day was MySpace, which was great for seeing who was in someone’s “Top 8," but that was about it. Great for gossip, not great for work. We didn’t have any websites or Google extensions that would provide a person's direct contact information. There were no shortcuts. The only tool we had was the phone.

Every day began the same way: a quick Google search, a prayer, and then it was time to hit the phones. And hit the phones we did.

The everyday life of a researcher

We would be on the phones all day talking to people. Was it tedious? Yes. Was it aggravating? Yes. But was it effective? Absolutely. The truth of the matter is, if you talk to enough people, eventually someone is going to direct you to where you want to be. Now I am not proposing a back-to-basics approach where we all abandon all the modern technologies and tools available to us; that would be foolish and counterproductive.

No matter what, LinkedIn, for example, is an invaluable tool. I use it every day, and it makes my job more comfortable, but it by no means does the work for me. The problem comes when we rely too heavily on these tools and websites. That, also, becomes counterproductive.

Those tools and extensions that deliver direct-dial phone numbers are great, but only when the information is correct. If you have experience with them, you know how often they come up with misinformation, like the primary phone number to a company that an individual previously worked for or the main line to the company itself.

How to find accurate candidate information

Why would I spend hours scrolling through LinkedIn profiles, crossing my fingers that I come across the perfect person when I could spend that time on the phone having real conversations?

The most accurate and up-to-date information will always be what I learn directly from a real human, not from a computer screen. And I can say that with confidence since, you know, I've been doing this for a while now. Sometimes it’s necessary to get that direct dial, but most often you can save time and effort by merely calling the main line and having the operator transfer you.

New + old = the route to top talent

Remember, I'm not telling you to go old-school with your recruiting and research strategies. All I'm saying is that the key to finding the right people for your open roles is a balance between new and old.

Use every tool available to you to get a head start, but don't get sucked into the abyss that is scrolling through profile after profile. Don't rush to the phone either--not before you've armed yourself with the information you need to be successful. Just think about where you work right now. How many LinkedIn profiles exist for people who "work" there, who haven't worked there in years? You need options in this business.

So, give yourself a set amount of time to look at LinkedIn and other sites. Once that time is up, it's time to get on the phones.

Types of recruiting research

I've told you a lot about what recruiting research is, but now I want to tell you the types of hyper-focused data you can get from using research, specifically at Qualigence.

Candidate name generation lists are comprised of first and last names, titles, emails, phone numbers, and locations of the most in-demand talent in your industry.

Talent profiles add meat to your standard name gen list. In addition to first and last names, titles, and contact info, you also get job function, reporting structure, previous experience, and education.

Organizational charts are exclusive breakdowns of how your competitors operate internally. They reveal an organization's top performers, recruiting and retention strategies, and more.

Sourcing is a term you're likely familiar with, but just for kicks, our sourcing service provides names of passive and active candidates who are interested in your open roles.

You ready for top talent?

The next time your recruiters need a hand, your sourcers need a breather, and a role has been open for too long, give yourself options and remember Qualigence International.

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