Portrait of bald scared manEarlier this year, Flycast was engaged to conduct two searches by two separate management consulting firms at almost the exact same time; one for a Senior Manager level consultant and the other for an Associate Consultant with 2-3 years of experience. I turned to my best recruiter and announced, “The Senior Manager search will be tough, but the Associate COnsultants should be easy to recruit.” As the words left my lips, I felt a slight pang in my gut because I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen next. There is no such thing as an “easy search.”

I began seeing how difficult the Associate search was when the meager results from the first week’s recruiting appeared. By the end of the first month we had only one candidate for twice the effort that we would have normally extended. My 20 years of recruiting experience didn’t count for much in estimating the difficulty of this search, but we weren’t about to give up.

By the end of the second month, we had more than enough candidates, including two finalists, one of whom happily accepted an offer with the company. So, what changed in the course of the search that led to our success? Simple; we followed the data.

Many recruiters and recruiting trainers advocate searching for passive candidates using high-quality, low-volume outreach. They suggest a targeted approach, which emphasizes networking in order to recruit the best passive candidates. While that may have worked ten years ago, nowadays, we all have access to the same database of candidates. Yes, relationships and expertise matter, but increased volume will lead to increased yield with minimal, if any, decrease in quality.

In the course of our nightmare search, we were successful because we focused on candidate presentations. We believe that our system provides the best opportunity for management consulting firms to hire great candidates, but we are not so close-minded to think we have all the answers. Please let me know if your experiences disagree with our results. We have had great results, but I would still love to learn from you!

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