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Powering Your Candidate Search with Database Mining

Blog Powering Your Candidate Search With Database Mining

Getting your candidate search right is one of a recruiter’s top concerns. It’s part of the foundation of how you’ll build a strong pipeline and drive your agency forward.

Before you jump back on LinkedIn to post about an open role, consider the candidate search strategy that’s close to home: examining your recruitment database.

Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will have tons of candidate data ready for use and reuse. At Vincere we often say “data is king” - meaning that if you don’t care for the information you already have, you’ll miss out on getting the best advantage from it.

If you’re looking to find qualified candidates but don’t want to post to another job board, here’s your guide to sourcing from your database. We’ll go over:

  • Why the right candidate search strategy is important for recruiters
  • Database search techniques for finding the right candidate for the job
  • Common candidate search mistakes to avoid

With these steps and tricks in mind, you should be able to count on your database as a reliable source for top candidates. The info’s already there - the only thing to change will be your database savvy.


1. Why the right candidate search strategy is important in recruitment

As a recruiter, you already know how critical it is to find the right candidates. Getting your recruitment strategy right is the first order of the day.

But why refine your sourcing strategy? Here are the main reasons - and why you should reconsider the role your database plays.

Building talent pools makes hiring sustainable

“Talent short market” - is this one you’ve heard before? In times of stress for the industry, it can be easy to get desperate with candidate sourcing.

Of course it’s important to get creative, including by reaching out to candidates in non-traditional ways and asking for help from networks.

But a little strategy can save you some headaches. Nurturing talent pools for the long term and adding to your database in a deliberate way can save you from scrambling to find the right hire.

Engaging your existing candidates reduces time to hire

When your database is current, you’ll have ready-to-go candidate profiles for open roles. That’s why keeping your database tidy is part of a good candidate search strategy.

Candidates’ information will change all the time - think of how often your address or phone number have changed. Now multiply that by tens of thousands, and include job experiences and skills.

Profiles might sit in a database, but the people themselves don’t stay still. If you don’t make the effort to stay top of mind with them, there won’t be much motivation to work with your agency.

Here are two ways to make that happen:

  • Offer newsletters and frequent social media updates to keep potential candidates engaged
  • Use database dashboard reports to screen for duplicate or messy data, ensuring you get the right records when it's time to place someone

As a bonus: this method saves you time and money on job boards or other sourcing methods.

Niche profiles are there for difficult-to-fill positions

Sometimes you’ll have to find the perfect person for a tricky role. When you’re up against a highly specific job description, it’s not always wise - or possible - to start a “normal” candidate search.

Take a healthy database of candidate profiles, combine that with a powerful filtered search, and there’s a much better chance that you’ll find the right talent.

There will always be candidates who aren’t a good fit right now but can turn out to be just right for a niche role later. That software engineer who wasn’t placed last year might have since learned an obscure programming language that suddenly makes him top-tier for the right client.

When you make a regular practice of maintaining a good database, it can pay off in unexpected ways.

2. Candidate search strategies and tips for working with databases

We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you get practical about the power of a database search.

Learn traditional search methods

There’s one way of doing database research that you might be familiar with: look at job description, write similar job title in search field, hit “enter.”

While that might work for a simple Google-style search, it’s not going to cut it when filtering to find candidates. It’s incredibly complex for any search algorithm to sort through CV data, and computers can’t read your mind.

That’s why we recommend getting comfortable with using Boolean search as a start. Good old Boolean gives you the flexibility to use AND / OR operators to include specific search factors like skill keywords, location, or even shift availability.

And if a candidate has a unique job title or unconventional background, you’ll still have a way to find them.

Refine your search for Perm vs Temp roles

The way that you use your database as a recruiting tool can depend on your specialism. For Perm recruiters, finding the right candidate is costly and time-consuming. For Temp recruiters, filling roles is faster but you’re under tight deadlines.

Either way, you don’t want to waste time.

A strong database will let you play with the right filters to find good fits quickly. In Vincere, we’ve tried to make things easier for all sides.

A faceted search function helps recruiters look for just the right person for a Permanent role.

And on the Temp side, the radius search tool helps place candidates who can easily travel to the placement location.

Find candidates for niche roles

Recruiting for a niche role presents its own challenges. By definition, it’ll be harder to find the right candidate. And because the job market is ever-changing, there’s the challenge to you as a recruiter to stay on top of industry news and learn new role requirements.

How to find candidates with just the right skills and experience? Artificial intelligence can run a fine-tuned search through your database instantly, revealing even more matches for the role you want to place. Features like Vincere’s AI-powered automatching will bring the top talent to you with just a few clicks.

That’s why we recommend investing in a database with a powerful AI search engine. Leveraging tech to power up your search can bring some hidden gems to the surface.

Are you using the RecOs? Learn how to do an effective candidate search via Vincere’s Recruitment Operating System:



3. What not to do in a candidate search

Sometimes knowing the right thing to do comes from understanding mistakes. When it comes to a candidate search, there are some common pitfalls that recruiters can encounter if they’re not careful.

Here’s our guide on how to avoid them.

Biased hiring practices

“Hiring for culture” can be a double-edged sword. Of course you want to find the right person for the role. But sometimes hiring managers’ assumptions get in the way of finding a “non-traditional” but well-suited candidate.

One way to avoid this trap is using blind hiring tools. As one example, you can redact identifying info from candidate CVs, lowering the risk that a consultant or hiring manager will make a snap judgment based on the person’s background.

Poor data integrity

Finding candidates online can be a great way to add to your talent pool. But there can also be cases where a consultant finds an outdated or incorrect profile.

That’s why keeping your database updated and free of junk data is so important. Those database search tips from earlier won’t be much help if the records themselves are bad.

If you’re concerned about database integrity, consider adding deletion of duplicate or outdated records in your CRM/ATS database as a KPI. If you use Vincere, the platforms' prebuilt analytics dashboards offer this feature.

4. A slow search process

As a recruiter, you’re dealing with candidates and clients on both sides of the table. Everyone’s human, and they all have their time limits in mind when it comes to making a hiring decision.

Staying on top of timelines is one thing. To help you out, there are ways to keep candidates and clients engaged while you work to find the right match.

On the client side, consider engagement tools like the LiveList™, which presents candidate profiles to the client at their leisure. With a digitally-enabled review process, time limits won’t get in the way.

And for candidates, think about automated comms. Staying connected via mobile, using chatbots, or candidate portals for self-onboarding can all speed up the recruitment process.

5. Final thoughts

In recruitment, the race to find qualified candidates is always on. But sometimes you don’t need to race ahead, but instead loop back and find what your database has to offer.

With some of the tips to win and tricks to avoid listed above, we hope you’ll feel empowered to add to your recruitment strategy.


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