Are you doing the research?

Every day in my role recruiters and sourcers tell me “I don’t have the time”.shutterstock_89300953
When I hear this phrase the first thing that comes to mind “when are you going to make the time”!
Have you ever painted the walls at home, did you paint first, then putty the holes in and sand later?
That would be ridiculous, right.
We are all under pressure to fill those critical and hard to fill roles but we often take the path of least resistance and don’t take the time to do the necessary research and planning before we start to source.
This often leads to significant time being wasted, frustration, presenting profiles that don’t fit the requirements or even worse, having to redo the work and a hiring manager who is dissatisfied with your output.
If you are sourcing a critical role or for a new technology, you have never worked or maybe a new market and location, I believe if you want to be informed and get the search right from the start, you need to do a level of research up front.

So what is research?

A detailed study of a subject to discover new information and reach a greater understanding!

Hopefully you have completed a detailed Intake call with the hiring manager and have a JD. This should give enough information to start your research. In term of your understanding of the role at this point it may only be at 50%. Doing further research will increase your understanding and significantly improve the outcome and speed.
Let me share a recent example. A consultant was sourcing a role that required wafer fabrication.
What does wafer fabrication mean?
No research had been conducted to reach a greater understanding of what wafer fabrication means and what an ideal candidate actually does.
From the research we discovered wafer fabrication is a procedure composed of many repeated sequential processes to produce complete electrical or photonic circuits such radio frequency (RF) amplifiers, LEDs, optical computer components, and CPUs for computers.
Very technical but you now have a greater understanding to hone your search.
What if your targeted candidates didn’t mentioned wafer fabrication but had electrical or photonic circuits, LED’s etc… on their profiles, and you are only searching for wafer fabrication. Potential profiles will become dark matter hidden from you forever because you haven’t done the research.shutterstock_209848018
I apply 5 simple steps when I undertake research.

  1. Define, what you currently know
  2. Explore, search for new information
  3. Discover, increase your understanding
  4. Analyse, inspect your results to see if you need more information to come to a greater understanding
  5. Conclusion, based on your understanding you now should be able to hone in on the candidate profiles you are seeking with your search.

If you can’t articulate what the targeted candidate looks like, then you need to repeat steps 2, 3 & 4. As you work through these steps you will proactively increase your understanding (e.g. move from 50% to 85%), this will allow you to hone your search further ultimately finding higher quality and quantity of candidates faster.
There are many ways you can uncover new information such as:

  • Intake and JD
  • Ideal profiles
  • Referrals
  • Google knows almost everything
  • Wiki’s and forums
  • Team members in the role
  • Your colleagues and network

Use a search plan template to capture the research, only now should you start to source.
Doing the research every time takes self-discipline.
The next time you are faced with a difficult role to source, make sure you take the time to do the research.
Happy sourcing!
Images: Shutterstock

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