On November 8th, 2022, Marcomm co-hosted a talent acquisition focused event with AMA MN and a panel of recruiting and operations leaders to present Recruiter’s Perspective: The Evolution of Seeking Talent. This event, held from 5:30-8:30PM at Day Block Event Center in Minneapolis, was designed as a forum where AMA members and guests could learn about hiring from a recruiter’s perspective.

Our panel of subject matter experts included:

There is a great deal of movement happening in today’s talent space, particularly among small to mid-sized companies. Marcomm’s recent blog, Marketers on the Move, speaks to how marketing recruiting and staffing professionals are navigating this reality. On the candidate side, shifting job roles, new policies for remote work, and other factors also make it challenging to apply for jobs and get an interview. 

Panelists Priscilla Koeckeritz, Allie Geske, Reed Varner, Rachel De Ville, and Paula Caldwell discussed current recruiting dynamics, and how candidates can stand out in today’s job market.

In a Q & A format, the panelists shared real-life examples and insights about how candidates can give themselves an edge when applying for roles, and some of the job skills that matter most to today’s employers. In addition, they revealed their perspectives on topics such as:

  • What’s working and what’s not, as it relates to recruiting for their organization
  • Tools that help reinvent or support their recruiting efforts
  • The value of networking with peers

When to choose contract staffing vs. direct hire?

In this segment of the conversation, the panelists talked about the various staffing models that are available to clients, and how they determine what approach is the right fit for a given situation.

Reed Varner stated that his organization, SafeNet Consulting, specializes in providing consultants to clients in the IT space—but that solution can come in various forms. Whether they are placing a contract-to-hire, finding the right full-time employee, or assembling a four-person team to tackle a project for a specific scope of work, Varner said that it all starts with learning about the business problem that the client is looking to solve.

Varner advised the audience, “Meet clients where they are. Listen, for starters.” He added that in today’s business climate, sometimes showing up with a solution right away is not the best way to help. “Let’s listen, and then build it… That’s the right approach [for] our clients and businesses in general right now, from an economic perspective.”

Rachel De Ville, recruiter at Restaurant Technologies, agreed that working with third-party recruiting partners offers extra flexibility to bridge staffing gaps as needed. “Sometimes it’s project-based—we’ll need support for a heavy lift on a project.” She continued, “Sometimes it’s due to capacity. Do we have capacity on our recruiting team to go out and find what we’re looking for and bring them on as a direct hire or contract basis?”

Likewise, Brin Glass Company recruiter Allie Geske finds it helpful to partner with outside resources. “I am always talking to third-party recruiters because Brin is looking for a very specific talent.” She also shared that Brin utilizes internships as another way to supplement staffing needs, which allows the company to see what the person is capable of over a shorter term before offering a full-time role.

For Marcomm recruiter Paula Caldwell, staying flexible is important when filling roles for multiple clients. Contract staffing has historically been a vital and flexible marketing solution for Marcomm’s clients. Currently, Marcomm offers four service models to help clients with their marketing staffing needs.

One of those models is Fractional Marketing Execution. “We have an incredible Fractional Marketing team that does projects, project scopes… or we can also become a full-on marketing department for you and helping out that way on a fractional basis,” Caldwell shared. “We hear the strategy, we hear the plan… if you need those extra resources, we’re here to do the job.”

What is your company doing to attract good candidates?

In this next clip, the recruiting experts discussed what they are doing to attract good candidates. All panelists indicated they leverage their own professional networks. In addition, they are also proactively recruiting and sourcing candidates using sites such as LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed.

But beyond this, Paula Caldwell stated that she tries to focus on candidate and employee experience as she reaches out to potential candidates. Sometimes that feedback comes from the website reviews, or video testimonials that she shares on social and the website. Caldwell adds, “We’re also just thinking about how we can improve and promote our employee brand—reflecting on that these last few months.”

Rachel De Ville replied that Restaurant Technologies incorporates storytelling into their recruiting approach. “It’s telling our story about who we are, what makes us amazing, the value that we bring or can give them in their career development.”

In addition to using tools such as Indeed and LinkedIn, De Ville partners with universities and trade schools to reach students who will soon enter the workforce. But most of all, she stressed the importance of creating a great candidate experience. “It’s really easy to lose candidates along the way if we’re not keeping them engaged,” De Ville reflected.

At Brin Glass Company, Allie Geske focuses on making sure the company’s unique culture and values shine through in every step of the company’s hiring process. Geske said, “It’s literally like  a concierge, pulling them through the process and making them feel like we really want them at Brin and Brin is the place for them.”

Geske also tries to advocate for job descriptions that will have the flexibility that many of today’s top candidates are looking for. She revealed, “My best-performing job is one that is a hybrid option, so I’m always talking with our team about that possibility.”

How do you define Candidate Care?

In this portion of the Q & A, panelists were asked to define what “candidate care” means to them. Although their answers varied slightly, proactive communication was a common theme.

“Constant communication. Absolutely, hands down,” asserted Paula Caldwell. “Calling and texting and… just being really transparent and starting off that initial process with building trust with the candidate.”

Allie Geske agreed. She stated that as part of that process, she tries to let candidates know when she thinks they are a great fit for a particular role. “You know, it kind of piques your interest a little bit. I try to do that a lot in that constant communication.”

For Rachel De Ville, good candidate care is about staying connected, but also making sure her candidates know she is a resource for them. “So, if they have questions or they’re unsure or for whatever reason,” she said, “contact me. I’m here to help you out, I’ll get you answers, I’ll support you. I think that’s also part of building a good relationship with your candidates as well.”

Reed Varner said that candidate care is just as valuable when you don’t hire someone. “Because there’s another opportunity for them to join your organization…it’s continuously selling the value proposition of your organization beyond just the role or the rate.”

Allie Geske added that candidate care is about finding and maintaining a relationship with the right person, even if the current opportunity does not ultimately go to them. “We can’t always make a role for somebody –that’s not the expectation—but if it’s not now, maybe it’s six months from now.”

Varner shared a great recent example of that. After SafeNet Consulting presented an extremely qualified full-stack developer as a candidate to his technology client, “Everyone was shocked that after five interviews they went in a different direction.” But the candidate’s professionalism through it all was impressive, and Varner kept in touch. “He found something else. He started yesterday.” Varner grinned, “So that’s candidate care.”

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