Advanced manufacturing is on the verge of a literal “advanced” hiring spree. The US government predicts 3.5 million hires to occur in the next decade.

Couple that with a skills shortage for certain positions like engineers, and I think it’s fair to say the market to hire the very best employees will be competitive and intense.

When a job market is flush with available and qualified candidates, certain tactics companies use to hire make perfect sense.

But when you need to drill down deeper and find the best candidates in a small market, those same tactics are not going to work.

Here’s five areas we say won’t work as effectively as you think they will in 2018 and beyond.

  1. Job Ads

Pros: Long a favorite of HR. It’s easy. Post a out job listing. Pay for posting on a reputable site like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, etc. Job seekers apply.

Why it doesn’t work: It automatically excludes the best candidates for your position — the currently employed “passive candidate.” They don’t see the ad because they are not “consciously” looking. What we’ve found is that many more of these candidates will switch if you know how to approach them. Smart companies are partnering with a specialty search firm who really understands and is highly networked in your niche. You get peace of mind in knowing you see the whole pool of talent, not just active job seekers.

  1. Waiting to Open A Search

Pros: Companies often wait to officially “open” searches. The thinking is why start recruiting candidates seriously if a hiring date is far off. Taken at face value, it makes sense. But that thought process is so 10 years ago.

Why it doesn’t work: The best candidates out there need to be cultivated because they aren’t looking. The best candidates are what recruiters refer to as buried in excellence, and very happy with their current situation. In other words, they are content. That is, until a recruiter taps them on the shoulder and shows them there is something better out there.

If they don’t know about your opening, how can they consider coming to your company to make it better?

  1. Not Actively Leveraging Your Hiring Plan

Pros: For the same reasons as No. 2.

Why it doesn’t work: It doesn’t make sense to keep the document most responsible for growth locked up. If you work with experienced recruiting teams, you can be actively finding and cultivating the best candidates for the position months in advance.

When it’s time to hire, the candidate is available for an introduction, usually within 24-48 hours.

  1. Settling for the Available Candidate

Pros: The job gets filled. Everyone moves on to the next task on the to-do list

Why it doesn’t work: If you actively sourced talent months in advance in accordance with your hiring plan, there’s a strong possibility you would get the top two-to-three candidates introduced to you immediately. You won’t have to settle for the available candidate. You’ll get the candidate you really wanted in the first place.

  1. Relying on in-house HR Teams to Find Candidates

Pros: Your HR and talent acquisition are in house. It’s easy to coordinate and have them conduct searches.

Why it doesn’t work: Have you ever asked your HR team if they like this portion of their job? They have employee benefits to manage. Some have payroll to deal with — and all the tedious regulations attached with it. HR has become a very complex and comprehensive “catch-all.”

And while your internal recruiting team is a set of awesome, special ops type of recruiters, the candidate looks at them differently. When your internal recruiter calls a candidate and tells them how great your opportunity and company are, it sounds very self-serving to the candidate on the other end.

Trust me I’ve been on the corporate end and know this happens.

What happens is that your in-house staff is left to basically post job ads and conduct preliminary LinkedIn searches for candidates. It’s doubtful they truly have time cultivate a relationship with the person who is going to propel your company to a new level.

What’s an advanced manufacturing company to do?

We’ve designed “passive candidate pipelines” that can steer quality candidates into your organization at no risk or no upfront cost to you. The pipelines eliminate inefficiencies in your hiring now, but will position you for future growth.


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