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Five questions to assess your sourcing strategy

At the close of a year, we like look back and think: what could I have done better? It’s this reflection that fuels our resolutions for the coming year.

If you’re hoping to build a better front-line workforce in 2013, the best place to begin your annual reflection is your sourcing strategy.

We might sound like a broken record, but Snagajob’s position is: the right talent sourcing strategy is paramount when it comes to building a productive workforce. Why is that? Simply put, you can’t hire great people if great people don’t apply.

As you look back at your sourcing strategy in 2012, here are some questions that you can ask yourself to help you determine if you need to resolve to find a new approach next year.

- What is your online presence? Job seekers expect that they can find out more about your business, open positions, career paths, etc. from the comfort of their homes. Look at your careers page and ask yourself if you’ve answered the key questions a job seeker may ask while deciding if your opening is right for them. Remember: all the answers don’t have to be housed on your site. It’s okay to point job seekers to online job boards, reference articles or other outside sources. The key is giving them resources.

- Are you talking to your target audience? Take stock of all the places where you post open positions. Who can see those postings? Are you speaking directly to your target audience or are you speaking to the general public? If you’re not talking directly to your target audience, you may be wasting time recruiting applicants who don’t fit.

- Do you put too much stock in social media? Social media is everywhere, but is it working for you? If you’re not tracking how many applicants come to you through social media channels, start looking into this next year. Having a strong social media presence, and keeping it up, takes a lot of time. If you’re not seeing a return, that time could be better invested elsewhere.

- How do you handle walk-in applicants? When a job seeker walks into a location asking about open positions, how do your managers respond? Even if it’s in the middle of a peak traffic period, if your managers don’t provide a cordial response and a clear next step, you could be missing out on great potential. To provide a good applicant experience, without interrupting work flow, consider having cards printed that point applicants to your online job openings.

- What are you really looking for? Look back at the applicants you hired in 2012 and ask yourself what helped you make your hiring decisions. If previous experience was your No. 1 priority, you may have overlooked star talent. Aptitude trumps experience, so putting more stock in an applicant’s fit can help you build a team of employees who are more engaged in their work, provide better service and turnover less. You can train for tasks, but not for personality fit.

So, how did you do? If even one of these questions highlighted an area of opportunity for next year, it’s time to look for a recruiting partner who can help you make strategic adjustments in your approach to keep your New  Year’s resolution.

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Courtney Moyer is a content producer at Snagajob. When she’s not creating content for employers, she can be found painting anything that stands still, pretending she’s the next Food Network Star, or spending QT with her husband and Abraham Lincoln – the dog, not the president.

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