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How to find qualified candidates: Search beyond resumes for the right talent

Liv Anderman
VP of Marketing
March 1, 2023

No matter what state the economy’s in, employers struggle to find qualified candidates for open positions. It shows in their results. According to the Academy to Innovate HR, more than half, 54%, say they don’t receive enough relevant applications from qualified candidates, for example. 

The limits of resumes and keyword searching

Resumes and online profiles provide a limited picture of a candidate and their potential. Only 8% of resumes are filled out using the right set of searchable keywords, and even those describe only their skills and the work they’ve done in the past. That means resumes are good for browsing, but not well suited to building a pipeline of qualified candidates. 

Even the best search technology can only return so many results when candidates and employers are out of sync in the way they describe jobs and skills. So, sorting through profiles for qualified job seekers means time spent scanning resumes and interpreting what’s there.

That’s where technology like AI recruiting software enter the recruiting process. AI allows you to look beyond keyword matching to triangulate data from many sources and infer meaning. There are over 100,000 sources of public and private data that could be used to uncover attributes of a potential hire and give talent teams a more complete picture of each candidate — while saving them time from the busywork of scanning resumes for the perfect fit. 

Why skills matter for hiring and retention

In talent acquisition, we talk a lot about skills — reskilling, upskilling, and encouraging workers to develop new skills for future work. A candidate’s potential should be based on more than their skills and experience to date. Resumes don’t show you the potential or areas for development. They also don’t show you how candidates have applied their skills as part of a group, or provide a sense of how they’ll fit into your team or, going further, how they’ll enhance your team’s performance. 

Nor do they give you a sense of how candidates pursue their careers. Do they aggressively pursue new opportunities or wait for something to become available? Have they helped build loyal teams or contributed to successful product launches? 

This is the kind of data that helps managers match candidates to specific jobs and truly drives the business forward. Talent teams need a way to bring this data together into enriched profiles that are refreshed and kept up to date. 

More than that, they need these enriched profiles to be searchable in a way that considers the whole person — who they are, their nuanced skill-set, and unique experience that can determine whether or not they’re a fit for a specific role.

Looking internally and externally for candidates

These skills and experiences don't just exist at your company, though. AI recruiting can help you uncover the current skills and competencies of everyone in your network right now. 

Instead of waiting for a current employee or past applicant to find an open requisition and apply, you can open your search to all channels, from inbound applicants to current employees with untapped potential.

Don’t forget — candidates are people, too

All of a company’s critical activities — from strategic planning to production, marketing to customer service — are undertaken by people. And people who work together in teams. 

In addition to having the requisite skills in any given area, people possess certain traits and behaviors that influence how they apply their talents in the workplace and what they can add to a team.

  • Some people are good listeners while others like to talk 
  • Some people quickly grasp sophisticated technology, while others intuitively understand how heavy equipment performs in adverse weather conditions
  • Some excel at project management, and others have a knack for stress-testing finished products 

These traits, or “attributes,” as we like to call them, have a huge influence on the contribution an individual will make to an organization.

Hiring for team dynamics and culture add

Considering a candidate’s attributes, as well as their skills, will give you a better sense of how they’ll fit into the team they’re about to join. That fit is important for tangible reasons. 

When individuals mesh with a team, their employee experience is stronger, which correlates to improved operational and financial performance. Plus, strong teams enjoy lower rates of turnover, absenteeism and disengagement. 

Put another way, team dynamics and cultural fit have a direct impact on business success.

Sourcing for attributes and building teams

All of this points to the importance of being able to find candidates based on their attributes — not just skills and searchable keywords. Attributes span across data sets and aren’t restricted by the information displayed in a resume. Incorporating attributes into talent acquisition allows you to design your ideal team even before you begin evaluating candidates. 

Building a talent pipeline based on attributes instead of keywords uncovers the people who will thrive on your team and in your culture. 

When you start by describing the attributes you’re looking for and then apply these to the entire talent pool, you’re able to uncover higher quality candidates and make more precise matches. With the help of AI recruiting, you’re mining a more inclusive and diverse population, and you’re able to:

  • Conduct more precise searches, making the process more efficient and productive 
  • Verify information before the phone screen and save time on interviews
  • Allow hiring managers to architect their ideal team with the right mix of skills, experience and qualities 
  • Include attributes that expand your pipeline’s diversity instead of limiting it
  • Find candidates who have the right mix of skills, experience and qualities your organization needs to ensure success

The advantage to attribute sourcing? A happier, more engaged workforce where people feel valued and are set up for success.

A real world candidate search

What does this look like in the real world? Consider this example: 

A security company is looking for a software engineer with industry experience and a history of delivering code on-time and on-budget. Finding the right candidates requires a search of not just resume information, but company and financial data, as well. Specifically, you’ve got to look at a person’s title, where they’ve worked, the industry categories of all their employers, the level at which they joined each company, and their growth path since.

You need a platform that can collect the publicly available data and apply intelligence to connect the dots. Our library of more than 1 million attributes is compiled from all publicly available data sources that are used to enrich profiles for over 750 million people. 

Findem isn’t a tool, but rather a system of intelligence that uncovers unbiased insights into individuals and teams, allows you to benchmark candidates and performance against competitors and identify high-quality, diverse candidates that have the attributes you need to fill talent gaps based on more than skills alone.

Putting attributes at the center of your sourcing strategy helps you make hiring decisions with a complete set of information, a more comprehensive and accurate profile of the person who can get a job done, the way it can most effectively be done.

Findem unlocks the insights you need to build the team that ensures success. Want to learn more about attribute-based sourcing? Request a demo today.