In its most recent What’s Keeping HR Leaders Up at Night survey conducted in December 2018 and January 2019, Human Resource Executive found that 72 percent of the respondents said they had a moderate or high degree of concern about losing talent within the next 12 months.

With a robust economy, finding workers who fit the bill from both a skills and cultural perspective can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. It just requires the right approach.

At Duffy Group Inc., we employ a proven process called Recruitment Research that matches talented workers with companies who need them at about half the cost of traditional recruiting.

As its name implies, Recruitment Research puts information and fact gathering at the forefront of the equation. The process starts by arming recruiters and hiring managers with information about the company and the open position, and is followed by creation of a sound sourcing strategy and name generation to unearth potential talent.

But the research doesn’t stop there. List in hand, Duffy Group then begins recruitment candidate vetting – a fancy way of referring to how we determine which names float to the top of the interview list. We do this by asking a series of “hurdle questions” to ensure that the individual has the right education and experience, is in the right salary range and whose personality would meld well with others on the team.

If you have ever been on the front lines of hiring, then you know that piquing a candidate’s interest isn’t easy. This is especially true for passive candidates who may not be looking for a new job. That’s where the next part of the process – something we call the sizzle – comes into play. Using old-fashioned storytelling, we craft a compelling narrative to describe the hiring company and all it has to offer, including how and why the team finds its work fulfilling.

Storytelling is a secret weapon in wooing candidates and it’s also critical in negotiation, especially with candidates vying for positions in competitive fields. A case in point: we helped secure a highly prized senior tax accountant from a large public accounting firm by writing the firm’s story and the candidate’s story, too. The firm was offering knowledge-based growth, potential career growth and a 45-hour workweek. The candidate wanted multi-focused learning opportunities in a new field with the potential to grow his career. He also was working 75 hours a week. It was a perfect match, made possible by knowing what each side valued most.

Like the rest of the recruitment vetting process, crafting a good story takes time and research.

To create a narrative destined to get noticed, be sure to:

  1. Create a detailed intake form that serves as a roadmap for the recruitment project. Even if you are an in-house recruiter, take time to draft an overview of your company and be sure to highlight the firm’s signature projects and strategic initiatives, along with its culture and personality. Importantly, include information about what the company is seeking in a job candidate – from skillset to cultural fit. The form will take some time to complete, but when put to paper, it will be an asset in telling your story to prospective candidates.
  1. Have the recruiter visit the department. Find out how the team goes about doing their work, what the culture is like and how they contribute to the company’s mission. 
  1. Develop a laser-focused strategy. Whether you are an in-house hiring manager or recruitment partner, take time to refine the focus of your search and define the path to success. Think about the information you gathered in the discovery phase and culture of the company and department. Note what steps have been taken and the profile of the talent you wish to hire. 
  1. Put your detective and sales skills to work. Hidden talent stays that way unless you dig beyond the job boards. That’s why identifying candidates whose backgrounds, education and experiences dovetail with the hiring company’s needs through cold-calling, Internet tools, professional organizations, networks and other sources is essential. Make time to fully vet the crème da la crème candidates and take copious notes about what matters to them. Then select the best three to five for interviews. 
  1. Deliver the goods. When the search is over, create a comprehensive research report with market data, customized in-depth candidate profiles and resumes. This will serve as a good guide for recruiting other candidates and a valuable database in case the business changes and new employees need to be hired.

The recruitment vetting process takes time and research. But by gathering the right information upfront and turning that information into a compelling narrative, you will reap big rewards in the form of landing the best talent for the job.