Three Reasons Why “Traditional Recruiting” Isn’t Cutting It In Today’s Market.

By: Brian Saksa


If you’re not living under a rock, you know there’s a shortage of talent in today’s market. Unemployment has dipped below 4% averaging across all occupations and hovers at 2% among management, business, and financial operations occupations. The most recent data shows that there are also 6.9M open jobs in the US today across all industries. What this means in real terms is that there’s an ever-increasing need for top-talent for an ever-diminishing available talent pool. The answer isn’t to simply pour fuel on your recruiting fire and assume more effort will equal greater candidate flow. Here are a few reasons why you need to recruit smarter (and harder!):


  1. Traditional recruiting methods yield below average candidates.

Average recruiting method 1: relying on job postings. The people applying to jobs are unemployed and those who are running away from their current company for one reason or another. If you are hiring for a role that needs a warm body, this tactic is fine. But if you need an A-player, they’re already working for your competition and, at best, passively looking at opportunities (i.e. not applying to job postings).

Average recruiting method 2: sending average messages to recruit candidates. Candidates are inundated with messages from recruiters. I’m told regularly by candidates that they are receiving 3-4 messages or calls from recruiters a week. If a candidate responds to your average blast, they’re a candidate that’s also applying to job postings for reasons mentioned above.

So how to you turn average into extraordinary?  Break through the noise with creativity and thoughtfulness.

Make sure candidates are reading your messages. If you can incorporate something meaningful, specific, maybe even funny in your subject line, you will increase your response rate. I sent a candidate with the last name Sherwood a message saying, “I Sherwood love your thoughts on this”. In the message, I apologized for the terrible pun. Her response came a few hours later that it made her smile. Rapport was built in 60 seconds!

  1. Traditional recruiting is designed to collect low-hanging fruit which can contaminate your pipeline of talent.

Because the metrics that are most closely monitored in recruiting are cost per hire and time to fill, the typical approach is to collect the low-hanging fruit in the talent “tree”. These candidates respond to average messages that are blasted to a thousand candidates or they’re applying to job postings. They typically have low standards for their job search, so they’re easy to hire.

Ask any hiring/business leader which metric they care about most: A) quality of hire, B) time to fill, or C) cost per hire. The one you don’t want to sacrifice on is the quality of hire. If your recruiting strategy is designed to optimize “B” and “C” you’re missing out on “A”-players (see what I did there?).

You need a high-touch, low volume pipeline which eliminates the “B” and “C” players so that resources are not tied up in bringing these candidates through the pipeline. For example, my personalized messages to very targeted candidates yielded this response, “Brian, I am humbled and surprised that you gone to such great lengths to contact me.”

This candidate is currently in process and continues to be intrigued about the opportunity.

  1. Traditional recruiting can make top talent run.

Say it with me “candidate experience”, “candidate experience”, “candidate experience”. The days of the recession are behind us where candidates will put up with any hiring experience if it meant securing a job and providing for their families. The companies that are winning the war on talent are putting out the red carpet and making sure to not lose top candidates through their hiring process.

To hire right, it may be necessary to outsource the recruiting effort so that company resources are freed up to ensure excellent candidate experience. This would include greeting candidates in style if they’re flown into location, treating candidates to meals, sending personal thank-you messages or videos, giving the candidate SWAG from your company, and welcome gifts upon accepting the job offer.

These are just a few ideas to ensure candidates are hooked on the opportunity and, if not chosen for the role, will become an ambassador of your company having a positive interviewing story to tell. At a bare minimum, clear and consistent communication with personalized feedback in a timely process will cut out many negative experiences that send candidates running.

For more creative ideas in this area, read our blog on how to use your best hires to hire the best.


Don’t leave recruiting best practices up to chance. Find a trusted partner with a recruiting model that is non-traditional and disrupting the market!


Titus Talent Strategies. Let’s start a conversation.

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