The Ultimate Guide to Successfully Recruiting Dynamics ERP & CRM Talent (Part V: Job Boards)
How to Use Job Boards in the ERP/CRM Market:
In theory, job boards are a wonderful idea. It should be simple.
1) You put up an ad.
2) Someone comes and sees it.
3) They come to you.
The result: everyone is connected, easily and harmoniously. In some industries this can work well, but in the reality of the ERP/CRM market, it requires a lot more work and a strategy.
The problem with using job boards to recruit for ERP/CRM is that our talent pool defies one of the basic principles of the boards. They assume people are coming to look for work, but in a market where most of the candidates are already in demand and being pursued, there is little incentive to go searching.
The boards are aware of this. They’re all trying to roll out programs and add-ons that give their users a reach that extends out to social media beyond their boards. If anything else this should signal that the job boards are not an endgame solution. They can, however, be a good tool to have in your belt.
The hard truth is, recruiting Dynamics talent requires an active hunt on your part, and waiting on a response from job board ads will cause you to lose a lot of valuable time. There is one thing, however, that will always be true, giving them value. They are a source of information, and the candidates you find on them will tend to have the most complete profile in terms of contact information. When searching for candidates outside of job boards, email addresses are easy to find. Phone numbers, especially when nearly everyone uses a cell phone, are a rare premium and are usually available on a job board profile.
There are boards of every shape and size now. There are the vast, general boards like Monster, more specific boards like Dice for technical roles, and there are very specific, niche boards like Dynamics Careers. Each one has its’ strengths and weaknesses. A big board like Monster offers more information, but it has to be sifted, and the number of inappropriate applicants increases. Smaller boards have more finite pools of information but more accurate search results. Mixing the broad and the niche can help you get a “multi-angle” view of the market.
It’s a big decision to determine how to use these resources. Each board represents thousands of dollars in investment each year to use their services as an employer. At DyNexus Group, we have changed our strategy of how we interface with the job boards. We are using them primarily as search engines and have stopped purchasing ad space on the sites. This saves a substantial amount of money, which we have diverted to posting targeted ads on social media to get the word out about our jobs. The key is to put your money, time, and resources into being where people are gathered and actively communicating.
How to Search the Job Boards
It’s a fair claim for a job board to say they have saved you a lot of time and effort in gathering together a large pool of candidates. However, there aren’t a lot of shortcuts when it comes to searching their database. It just takes time.
It takes time because it takes experimentation. Creativity and flexibility are everything in a job board search. The worst thing you can do is try one search and beat it into the ground. Every approach you take, every time you change any aspect of your search parameters you are going to bring out different results from the database.
Above all, here’s why experimentation is so important. There are very few standards for how people format their resumes, and there are even fewer standards about what information is important to include, especially on the functional or sales side of the industry. It takes experimentation to open up new pathways to the people you’re looking for.
Guidelines and Tips for Searching Job Boards
- Use the “funnel approach”. Start broad and then narrow your search – The temptation in searching for candidates is to put all of your requirements into one Boolean string or set of search terms. But remember, every criterion you add eliminates possibilities. If you start broad and then experiment by adding and/or taking away terms you’ll be able to hone in on your target.
- Don’t get “filter-happy”. The same thing applies to all of those nifty filters you find in advanced search screens – age, education, job title. Be aware that every time you use those you are eliminating possibilities, so use them sparingly and strategically.
- And yet, do play with the filters. Use them in varied combinations to bring out different results. Just don’t use them all at once.
- Prep for the search. Review your job description and pinpoint the few deal breakers you actually have in terms of skill set, work authorization, and salary, etc. Keep that list by your side and run that quick checklist as you screen candidates to help keep things moving quickly and consistently.
- Use the job board in concert with other resources. Is the profile you found a few years old? Look the person up on LinkedIn to see more recent information. Looking for other ways to reach them? Look them up on Twitter or Facebook.
And now.. A HOT TIP:
“Site:” When you try to find someone on a social media site like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, their internal search engines run algorithms based on your established connections within the community. This can be helpful, but it becomes restrictive when looking for someone you don’t know. Get around those restrictions by searching the site externally from a search engine like Google using the “site:” command. By adding the person’s name, location, former employer, college, or other identifiers you have a good chance at finding them. Example: site:linkedin.com “john smith” AND (Chicago OR Illinois) AND “Chicago tribune”.
- Dig into the past. This is often missed. Try shaking up the “freshness” of the records you’re looking for. People usually only search for recent records. Rather than just searching the last week to 30 days, why not go all the way back into the database? If you’re thinking of the job board as an active community, it makes sense to look at recent records only. If you’re using it as a database, the field is wide open, and any find is fair game as a possible passive candidate.
- Look for “golden search terms”. A “golden term” is one that is truly unique to the job you are searching for. For instance, the programming language for Dynamics AX, “X++”, is almost completely unique among resumes. “Dexterity” is similarly unique in searching for Dynamics GP talent. “Consultant” or “developer” can show up anywhere. (Note that development languages often need to be placed in quotation marks in a search string to be effective. The quotes cause the engine to search for a specific term, i.e. “x++” or “c#” or “c++”.)
- Conversely, some search terms that seem specific can be more distracting than helpful. When using “sql” to search for functional consultants, one tends to end up with far more technical resumes popping up. Time and experience will reveal trouble spots like this.
- Confidential isn’t always confidential. See a good candidate listed as confidential? Click anyway to take a look. They often leave contact information on the resume which was uploaded to the system.
- Percentages don’t mean everything. Nearly every job board shows a “percentage match” of some kind for how well the profile you’re looking at matches the search criteria you entered. You can find amazing fits with dismal percentage matches. However, you can begin to experience diminished returns. If you’re starting to spin your wheels deep into the search, let it go and shake things up again.
FINAL HOT TIP:
One final advantage of job boards. Finding a candidate on a job board does offer you a nice legitimacy and entry point when you contact a candidate. Instead of feeling “hunted” they will know that they placed themselves there to be found. Hopefully, this leaves them more open to conversation, or at least a polite decline.