If you start recruiting when you get a requisition, you’re behind already. With the lightning pace of the Internet, the changeable nature of modern business and the economy, and workers and candidates with access to career planning and employer information from the comfort and convenience of mobile devices anywhere anytime, recruiters and employers need staffing solutions that are creative and innovative.

You can’t afford to get behind when it comes to staffing solutions today. You need strategies that include proactive candidate engagement, defining extraordinary candidates, asking revealing questions, and talking to real references.

Proactive Candidate Engagement

If you wait for a job opening to find the right candidate, you’re missing out on top candidates that your competitors are finding, engaging, and hiring before you even know about them. Your staffing solutions have to include candidate engagement that puts you in touch with candidates on a regular basis.

To have access to the best candidates, even when you don’t have an opening, the most effective staffing solutions engage them by staying in contact with email and social media and offering something of value to them when possible, such as a monthly careers newsletter, or, like Rackspace, a fantastic interactive blog. Theirs is Racker Talent, for current employees, alumni, candidates and fans of their cloud service.

Tell stories about your brand to engage candidates and give them lots of ideas about why they’d want to work for your company. Use staffing solutions that include star employee testimonials or videos on your company website careers page. Show them the work environment and company culture through candid photos and great video clips. Have hiring managers talk about the projects, customers, and work groups.

Define Extraordinary Candidates

Like the old saying “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there,” you can’t find the best candidates until you define them. More than the job description, knowing what extra special qualities to look for in the candidates your company needs is crucial.

Add these staffing solutions tactics to get your definitions:

  • Listen to hiring managers describe what they’re looking for in the next new hire or what their pain points are in their current workforce.
  • Study the best employees for the characteristics of the high performers and innovators.
  • Find out what talents and skills are required for your open positions and in the work environment in your business.

Ask Revealing Questions

Revealing questions are important staffing solutions even when you aren’t interviewing. Use them when you first contact candidates, in email communications, and in phone interviews to get in-depth insight into candidates’ work ethics, motivations, and personal and professional interests and passions.

Successful staffing solutions go one level deeper than traditional interview questions like “Tell me about your favorite boss” to really get to know candidates. They include tactics like asking about achievements in high school, college, and on-the-job, and which ones make them proudest. Ask about what kinds of projects or work teams they’ve been on and how they felt about them. Pointed, probing questions get into detail and ask the candidates to dig deep and discuss interests, feelings, and passions.
Talk to Real References

Great candidates are usually great communicators, able to talk in detail about their work experience, qualifications, and career interests. But the proof is in the pudding, and the best staffing solutions include talking to real references. The best candidates should have some raving fans you can talk to, people they’ve worked with who can not only verify their skills, but discuss their work and why you should hire them. Don’t settle for a hand-picked list of references from the candidate. Talk to former bosses and co-workers to ask about attitudes, passions, and people skills.

Add some pop, sparkle, and shine to your staffing solutions to take it up a notch and make things happen.

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