As a hiring manager, you have a lot on your plate. You have your normal day-to-day work schedule that seems to be overflowing and never ending, and on top of all of that you have to find top talent for your team. This is a highly critical and time consuming affair and you need to be as efficient as possible to get it accomplished in a timely manner while still carrying a full work load.
A candidate search can start off great but can quickly peter out. If you are finding your candidate pipeline down to a trickle, you need to jumpstart the process and fill that pipeline again.
The first thing to consider is why the candidate flow has dried up. We all have to look in the mirror first. What is your input here and did you do everything you needed to? Start with your job description and review it carefully. Did you give specifics of the day-to-day job responsibilities instead of just a list of required skills? Specifics attract candidates! Refresh that job description and get it out there for all to see.
Adjusting your candidate expectations may be required as well. Consider this, are you offering a market salary/rate for this position or trying to get the candidate as cheaply as possible? Low cost talent is usually priced that way for a reason. Your competition will pay a good technical person what they are worth. Hometown discounts are few and far between in this market. You need to price realistically to get the talent you need.
Also consider, are you looking for a Purple Squirrel? Many times hiring managers need two different people to fill two completely different jobs, but budgets get cut and they try to fill both positions with one person. Maybe you are now looking for a Disaster Recovery Manager who can develop your mobile applications as well. Many candidates would be willing to learn a second skill set, but very few to none actually have two diverse skill sets. Be realistic about all the different skills you require for the position.
What else attracts top talent? Many times it’s those little extras about your company or the job that grabs their attention. For example, the ability to work remotely is a big plus. Sometimes travel requirements are a negative, but travel to great locations like Paris, Las Vegas, and Hawaii would be seen as an opportunity by many candidates. Perhaps your office location is in a great area for commuting, or provides a shuttle service to and from mass transit. These special perks could also include a relaxed business atmosphere, learning a new skill or industry, weekly happy hours, unlimited vacation days, free meals, etc.
Last but not least, when using vendors or agencies to help you search, it’s a good idea to reach out to them and ask why your candidate pipeline has dried up. Their feedback is invaluable and can point you in the right direction. Develop a good relationship with your vendors/agencies so that they can help you work through any bumps in the road. Keep an open mind and listen to what they say.