Going On a Treasure Hunt

Julie Shenkman
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It seems hopeless. You've been running an ad in your local newspaper for four weeks advertising the junior-level position you're trying to fill at your company. Few people have called, and none with the high quality resume you want. Don't give up hope! There are many other things you can be doing to find that A+ candidate. Try these tips the next time you need to jump-start your hiring.

Go online.

The motivated and most technologically capable candidates are online looking for job openings. They know the Internet provides fast, streamlined communication with employers and recruiters all over the country. They are also comfortable with new technologies, which is an important trait for today's ideal candidate.

Hit the streets.

(On the nearest campus, that is.) You don't have to pay for a big booth at a campus career fair. Just attend the event, walk around and meet possible candidates. Get in touch with the university's student professional groups like Beta Alpha Psi (for accounting students) or Alpha Kappa Psi (for business students). Offer your services as a host firm or speaker at their next meeting. What better way is there to meet motivated students than someplace where they are taking an active role in learning more about their future profession!

Network in the professional community.

Once you've covered campus, strengthen your ties with the region's professional community. If you're not a member of a professional society, join one. Looking for an aspiring physicist? Join the American Physical Society. Searching for a future PR guru? Join the Public Relations Society of America. Organizations such as these often offer events and mentorships for students, and regional branches offer local activities. They also have their own "classifieds" and online job boards where members can post jobs to reach the younger community.

Offer internships.

The best way to see if someone will work well in your office is to hire them-as an intern. This "trial-run" is often the beginning of long and successful careers. And if you snag someone good while they're still in school, you have the best chance of attracting them to your organization. On the other hand, a student may turn out to be someone who you'd rather not have on your team. In that case, you simply don't offer them a full-time position and say goodbye, giving them a good experience and reference for their resume.

When the market for employees gets tight, the best employers (and most resourceful) know where to find the best candidates. A single ad in the newspaper is often no match for active recruiting in the professional community. So get online, hit the streets and hire those interns. You'll be on your way to an excellent hire in no time.


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