When you think of hiring, what immediately comes to mind? Stacks of unqualified resumes, having to spend time sorting through them all to get to the qualified candidates, scheduling interviews, making job offers, negotiating back and forth, the list goes on and on.

Now, let me ask you, do you find that enjoyable? Is it the best use of your time and talent?

Chances are there’s a million other things you would rather be doing than trying to hire and especially so in this job market. With the unemployment rate at 3.7% it makes recruiting one of the most challenging aspects of being a manager.

Here is a pro-tip and best practice: don’t go it alone.

Hiring is hard enough, much less doing this all by yourself.

The “post and pray” method of recruiting…i.e., posting your job and praying that qualified candidates will start rolling in…is not a great strategy. Actually, it’s not even a good strategy.

Failed recruitments are a real thing. So, what do you do?

Three things:

1. Utilize the recruiting help you do have. Make your first stop to visit your HR department and talk to them about how they can help you. If you’re a larger government entity, it’s likely there are some external staffing partners that you can work with, and they can refer you to. Reach out to these companies proactively, find out who they are, how they work, and build a relationship with them. Here are questions to ask to make sure you are using them to the fullest effect:

    • What do you need from me in order to help us conduct a successful recruitment?
    • How can I streamline my hiring process, so we don’t lose candidates?
    • From your experience, how does the compensation we are offering compare to the current market? Are we competitive comp-wise?

2. If your government agency does not have staffing partners to work with, work with another government agency to leverage the cooperative agreement language in their contract. If you’re not familiar with the “co-op” model and the time you can save using it, here is a link to the ORS regarding co-op agreements https://shorturl.at/uFGLV. Your procurement team can help you with this. No need to reinvent the wheel if someone else has done the work for you!

3. Lastly, engage with your team to see if they might know of someone they could refer. Some of the best hires you’ll ever make are the ones internally referred. Birds of a feather flock together as the saying goes. Leverage your team and their network and find out who they know.

Recruiting in this modern world is not easy and that’s why you want to turn to the experts such as HR, procurement, and third-party recruiters who do this work every day. Partner with them, get to know them, build relationships with them; and most importantly, do this before you need to hire again.

Contributed by Tony Seminary, CEO of IT Motives, a Native American-owned staffing and recruiting company based in Portland, Oregon. IT Motives has successfully made placements with government agencies such as the City of Portland, Portland Public Schools, and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. Tony can be reached at tony@itmotives.com if you would like to engage him in a conversation.