A snare is a rudimentary tool that was once popularly used to catch small game. To be successful, it requires two conditions to be met:
- It’s well built for the intended target.
- It has the ideal placement for the intended target.
If either of the above conditions is not met, the chances of catching anything are dramatically decreased. OK, that’s the extent of my snare knowledge as it relates to small game hunting. Oh, and snaring is now widely regarded as inhumane in many parts of the world.
Now that we have a common understanding of the snare and the conditions necessary for its success, let’s look at how small- to medium-sized businesses can take that simple concept and apply it to “snaring” talent.
Build First? Or Place First?
Ahhh a question as old as time! Do we build a set of recruiting tactics first, and then go find the best place to implement it? Or, do we find the best place to recruit talent and then build a set of tactics to attract and hire the best? Which comes first?
For most organizations, I believe the answer is…neither one. Because while considering the set of tactics and where to deploy them are vital parts of developing a recruiting strategy, neither of these can be considered until the target audience is first identified. In other words, you can have the best snare placed in the best location, but by failing to consider your “intended target,” you might end up with a lot of rabbits when what you really wanted were squirrels.
Here are five questions to help identify your target audience–your ideal candidates:
- What is the position type? (exempt or nonexempt, executive or associate, internal or customer-facing)
- What hard skills/experience/education are required?
- What soft skills should be required, preferred, or ideal?
- Can the position be full or part-time remote?
- What candidate qualities will lead to a work culture fit?
These questions will help you develop ideal “candidate personas” that can drastically narrow down your target audience for specific positions and guide you in developing an overall recruiting strategy. With these candidate personas created, you can now consider placement and tactics.
Placing and Building The Talent Snare
Successfully executing your talent strategy is important. However, if you are attempting to execute your strategy using a set of tactics or a placement that doesn’t align with your target audience, then you may catch talent, but it won’t always be the talent you want. Here are two key questions to ask when considering placement and tactics.
Optimal placement maximizes the chances that your ideal candidates will see your job posting. This is in contrast to “posting and praying”, where you spend more effort and resources get a few great candidates in with dozens of mediocre or sub-par applicants. A helpful guiding question to ask is:
Where are my ideal candidates geographically, demographically, and in real-time as they find and consider my job posting?
In considering recruiting tactics, the behavior of your target audience will inform you of the best approach. This information may be difficult to uncover, but cross-referencing your candidate personas with existing behavioral data of job seekers can help you answer the question:
How are my ideal candidates searching, considering, and applying as they engage with prospective employers?
Snaring Talent For Your Open Positions
The preceding questions may seem simplistic and obvious, but they are often overlooked by today’s hiring organizations. Often times, the vast array of recruiting tools and communication channels available can lead us to believe that our job posts are visible to everyone, everywhere, all the time. However, the truth is that without targeting our strategy to a specific audience, our job posts are at risk of being lost in the noise.
The placement and build of recruiting tactics are important considerations, but they must be informed by the target audience. A well-crafted “rabbit snare” located on my urban sidewalk may never catch a rabbit; but nor will the best “rabbit snare” laid in a rural stand of trees stands succeed in catching squirrels. Ensure optimal placement and build by first identifying your target audience, and then develop a recruiting strategy that maximizes your success. Happy hunting!
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