Use Technology to Hire Your Company’s Dream Team

Once upon a time, staffing was just networking and a Rolodex. Nowadays, many people have no clue what a Rolodex even is. Networking is still key to filling those high demand positions, but technology has allowed us to branch out some, to find new blood where direct connections just aren’t made yet. Real talent is always happily working a full-time job, and you need to work hard to get them to listen to you.

The number one place to troll for candidates online these days is LinkedIn. After launching in 2003, the site has grown considerably and is now up to 300 million users. Through LinkedIn, you can contact people who you have a direct connection to, or you can also contact people with no connection. The latter typically involves the need for a path from a user you do know to the prospective candidate. Spamming via LinkedIn is heavily frowned upon, so keep your contacts to a minimum and hunt away.

Another way that is evolving to find and cultivate talent is the Application Tracking System (ATS). While large companies are working with the largest of ATSs, small and medium size companies are typically working with smaller versions or even following a cloud-based SaaS model. What an ATS buys you, or your company, is the ability to electronically track all your recruiting efforts. Looking for the next great VP of Engineering? Better start hunting for the new quarterback. Need a software engineer? This is where the recruiter with the bigger rolodex wins. The ATS will allow you to keyword search and then track the connection.

Marissa Mayer over at Yahoo has taken a different approach than is typical to hiring. Instead of going for the latest and greatest all star team, she’s taken the approach of giving the down and out a second chance. They may be last year’s all stars, or several years back. They may not have had a hit in some time, but by giving them the high visibility chance, they just might be hungry to prove themselves again. At least that is the hope. It has worked in the past for the Oakland Raiders during the 1970s, but is Silicon Valley the right place in the 21st century? Only time will tell.

Now, go break out that laptop and get on the net. Keep yourself in the mind of your existing connections, but also troll around LinkedIn and other resources to make some new ones. At times, it seems you’re only as good as your Rolodex. Could using an outside recruiter be the answer instead? Sometimes it depends just how quickly you need to fill a spot.