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How many job orders do you have right now that you can’t seem to fill because hiring authorities want you to “send more candidates”? These days, hiring officials are focused on finding what they consider to be the perfect candidate before they’ll even think about pulling the trigger and making a hire. No matter how good the candidates are that you just sent to them, they’re thinking there still might be somebody better out there.

The good news is that these candidates can be found, but you may have to do things differently in order to unearth them. Not only that, you may have to place them differently, too (i.e., on a contract basis). After all, if a hiring official is leery about bringing a candidate on board full time because that person is not the “perfect candidate,” they might entertain the notion of a contract period up front, in order to accurately assess the candidate’s skill set and how well they mesh with the company culture. This could easily turn into a temp-to-direct placement, which can result in a nice conversion fee for the recruiter.

Below are some tips for finding more candidates in this market.

1. Don’t limit the people in your talent pool. It makes good business sense to hire the best people available, regardless of their national origin, age, or disability. Focus more on candidate diversity. For example, don’t overlook someone because they might be semi-retired. These candidates can provide excellent resources due to their many years of experience. On the flip side of that coin, don’t overlook someone because they’re a recent college graduate. You could have a recent graduate with over 10 years of computer experience. Some of the computer skills that these graduates possess are extremely impressive, which makes sense since many of them started using computers in kindergarten.

2. Tap into the “SWAT Mom” demographic. The acronym stands for “Smart Women with Available Time.” More and more high-achieving professional women are leaving the workforce to raise families. However, more of these women are also seeking to keep their skills honed while they’re away, and you can help them do that by matching them up with companies willing to hire them on a contract basis.

3. Dig deeper into the resume. If you can’t find the ideal candidate “on paper,” don’t panic. You might find something on the resume that would turn an average candidate into a perfect fit. Someone might have the ability to speak a second language—that would be a good selling point if the client has an international presence. Some candidates provide a list of the organizations and associations to which they belong. Take a look at these to determine if there is something that could be of substantial benefit to the client.

4. Look for other strengths and experience. Qualified candidates might not fit the rigid requirements that client companies are looking for initially, but they could possess strengths and experience in other areas that still make them viable. Emphasize these alternate selling points to your client companies. One alternate selling point that can result in a placement is work experience outside of the specific field. Other such selling points include additional education (such as an MBA degree) or additional training (such as ISO 9000 or Microsoft certification).

5. Don’t ignore “overqualified” candidates. With all of the different and unique people in the talent pool, you might find that lifestyle balances are more important to a candidate. As a result, they could be a perfect fit, regardless if they appear to be overqualified on paper. Some highly educated and experienced candidates are willing to sacrifice a high-dollar salary for a job that meets all of their personal goals and offers flexibility and/or a sense of accomplishment.

6. Consider joining a split placement network. If more candidates are what you’re looking for and the above strategies don’t pay dividends, then perhaps you should seek membership in a formal network. There are many from which to choose, but be sure to choose one that diligently screens applicants in the interest of bringing in only the highest quality and most experienced recruiters.

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