Everybody Else is Recruiting, So Why Can’t We?

A play on the legendary (yup, I said it) 1993 debut album by The Cranberries.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but now is the time to launch a robust recruiting strategy for your bureau, office, team, or functional area. It is still a “recruiter’s market” despite incremental job growth, and there’s no better time to capitalize on the applicant pool’s desire for employment (part-time, full-time, consulting, job-sharing, internships, etc). The private sector has not stopped –in some cases, they haven’t even slowed — their recruitment strategy simply because some may be hiring in fewer numbers. They recognize that building strong relationships with access to talent is vital to success when the inevitable hiring surge replaces today’s hiring freeze.

Career services folks at colleges and universities across the country are desperate for contact with employers. Even during budget cuts and hiring freezes, it is STILL FREE to send emails and pick up the phone to forge new relationships with career services. Or you might contact professors in mission-critical occupational areas such as engineering, nursing, computer science, and acquisition management.

Q: Our recruiting budgets have been slashed and we can no longer afford campus visits.

A: No more excuses! Start building relationships with job-seekers now and practice promoting your employer brand (more on that next time…) so that when you are hiring, you already have a line around the building.

  • Have them come to you. Take your daughter to work day isn’t the only time you’re allowed to have under-30s on the premises. Invite students to visit your office for a roundtable or divide them up and let them observe meetings (unclassified only, of course).
  • Host a webinar for a cluster of schools on what it’s like to work at your agency, and what jobs you foresee hiring for over the next 5-10 years based on FedScope data and hiring projections.
  • Facebook (even despite the rumored IPO) is getting tired. There’s a micro-trend right now of people dialing down their FB activity in favor of other platforms. Try Pinterest or Instagram for your agency’s feed instead of Twitter. It’ll be years before your public sector colleagues catch on!

The economic climate won’t be in your favor forever. Make the most of it!

Andy Lowenthal is a public sector strategy consultant. Follow him on Twitter.

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Great suggestions, Andy.

I’d suggest that LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere and is perceived as the place to do job hunting and professional networking, so would add it to the list.

Of course, GovLoop is the equivalent of LinkedIn for Government, so folks might want to do more connecting with people right here!