Impossible Search? Or Are You Skipping a Strategic Step?? By Conni LaDouceur

  By Anonymous  |    Tuesday July 30, 2014

Category: Expert Advice, Recruiting


How do you source for your most challenging positions-to-fill?

Are you presenting the most qualified talent or the most available talent?

We’ve all recruited for tough-to-fill openings, hard-to-please hiring managers, less-than-competitive salaries, and even not-so-favorable company press.   But what if you’re recruiting for a position and you simply can’t find the qualified talent? The list of must-haves is long, you’ve searched your ATS and external resume databases, posted your jobs on the most compelling sites, and utilized all of the latest social networking tools, but the quality of the candidate pipeline is still lacking. 

You may be surprised to know that for any given search, as much as 32 to 83% of the professional working population in the US is UN-identifiable online. What do you do when the talent you seek is choosing to keep a low profile?  Can you risk not considering what might be the best possible talent for your challenging need?  

Many position openings, said to be “challenging” or “difficult”, are neither.  It’s just that the qualified talent has not been identified, called and compelled to consider the opportunity.  Many recruiters settle for nearly-qualified placements/hires because they have forgotten the free resource that can produce the on-target talent they seek: the telephone. There is absolutely no substitute for calling into a company, identifying the individual who heads your client’s competing organization, and identifying that person’s entire team. Are you seeking the most qualified talent?  Certainly your competitors are…

It’s amazing what’s available for the asking!  Polite, professional and persistent identification is the tack we take to successfully obtain the information we need by phone.  The lost art of telephone research has been called “audacious” and rightly so.  Other deserving describers might be courageous, creative, enterprising, tenacious and undaunted.  Wouldn’t you like to see these adjectives on your next performance evaluation?  

Investigative, evidence-gathering, questioning skills, the what-you-say and what-you-don’t say over the phone, can raise the quality of talent you identify and place, and build your reputation as Deliverer of Results.  These strategic pipelining skills have propelled many search professionals, corporate recruiting and sourcing individuals to excel in the most challenging of recruiting projects, and this identification technique is effective in all industries, all functions, at all levels, worldwide. Original telephone research, the techniques outlined in Search/Research Success™ by ExecuQuest: Learning the Art of Quality-First Talent Sourcing and The Seven Habits of Successful Sourcers™ deliver the added ROI your company seeks.

Telephone research is real-time, primary research while what we find online is secondary research.  The information we gather from calling into a company simply cannot be found online.  The key to succeeding in recruiting is learning how to increase candidate quality, creating talent-rich pipelines and maximizing competitive intelligence while spending minimal time managing information overload.  Supplementing internet findings with original telephone research elevates candidate quality and empowers the proactive pipelining we all seek.

There is no substitute for calling into a company, identifying the individual who heads your client’s competing organization, and identifying that person’s entire team.  Let us help you tackle your most challenging position openings, develop the candidates via phone research and come onsite to train and work with you, demonstrating the strategic and ethical approach that has propelled many corporate recruiting, sourcing and search professionals to excel via this critical talent pipelining skill.  Discover the lost art of telephone research, the industry’s newest and oldest sourcing channel!

How are you measuring the ROI of all your online recruiting tools, databases and directories?  Remember that the telephone is free!  What goals have you set to improve the work you do?  Would including ethical, efficient telephone talent mapping contribute to improving your metrics and building your reputation as Deliverers of Results?  Learn these critical-sourcing survival skills, techniques you can immediately apply to your requisitions.  Adding original telephone research simply delivers a far greater return than the internet alone for hiring the most qualified, UN-identifiable*,  passive talent.

Learn the Art of Quality-First Talent Sourcing via Timeless Telephone Techniques:

Increase candidate quality and place the most-qualified talent, not the most available talent?

Identify on-target, qualified talent from the very companies the client/hiring manager wants to recruit from?

How can you efficiently obtain the names, titles, direct dial numbers and email addresses of the entire group/department/team in record time?

How do you build the competitive intelligence and make each call count?

How can you reel in truly passive talent?

How do you prioritize research and diminish information overload? 

How can you add value to your clients beyond presenting candidates, improve your individual ROI in your firm and build your personal brand as the “Deliverer of Results”?


Identify Qualified Talent: Original Telephone Identification Methods


BEFORE THE CALL …..In order to identify qualified talent to minimize candidate development:

Gather previous research into this target company in case this individual has been previously identified … do not reinvent the wheel!  Online research continues throughout the talent mapping.

Determine whether your target group is centralized or decentralized.  (If centralized, you’re done.  If decentralized, find out how many people there are in total and ID into the two or three most appropriate or the two or three largest or closest geographically to the position location.)


Review the target companies’ career sites and for job descriptions and respective titles. 

Open available directories, consult the Hoover’s Company and People listing, and/or lists that will assist you in locating contacts, job titles, and location of individuals in target company (i.e., LinkedIn, Reference USA,, D&B Million Dollar Database and company website for media releases.  To obtain additional company locations, consult Business Reference librarians, i.e. the Library of Congress Online Business Help Desk:,, D&B Million Dollar Database 


Select the one or two most appropriate phrases to begin the telephone inquiry, i.e., title, responsibility or qualifications, and begin the research (you can place ID calls from a phantom line or *67 to block Caller ID).

Upon reviewing directory listings and previous ID … breathe, relax, and practice efficient professionalism.  


Call the most appropriate number or the company’s main number and ask the company operator:

“Who oversees (or who is in charge of?) software development for building large distributed systems and cloud services. Who is the ___________ (Directors/Managers for architecture, design, and coding)?”

“What is his/her direct dial number for future reference?  Cell phone number?”

“What is his/her exact title please?”       “And what is the department called, please?”



What if he or she is qualified and says “no”?

  “I encourage you to take a look at this opportunity until you know fully what you are saying no to.”

  “Do you see yourself as open-minded enough to consider a new opportunity?” (Could YOU say not to this??)

  “Don’t you owe it to your career to consider this outstanding opportunity?”


Consult SEARCH/RESEARCH SUCCESS™ by ExecuQuest program for additional ID and CD strategies and techniques.


The mission and commitment of ExecuQuest Corp. is to provide outstanding search/research solutions, truly passive candidates, expeditiously.  As hourly research providers, we endeavor to impress our search firm clients with our on-target talent mapping and insight and are careful stewards of our client’s research investment.  We develop the information as efficiently as possible each and every time, for each and every client, with each and every phone call.  We are relied upon for our primary research development, training and one-on-one coaching and take great pride in our work.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help to improve your reputations as the Deliverers of Results!


Yield for Research Investment (YFRI):  Process, Production & Reliability Engineers, c. $85k base


For a Top 5 RPO Company for their Client: Fortune 100 Global Technology Manufacturer:


Total Target Companies          10

Total # of people identified     139

Total On-Target Individuals    45 

Not Identifiable on LinkedIn   26

Total Phone Screened By Client                   6

Placements                              2 (thus far)                                                


Total Hours for Identification: 40 hours for 2 placements thus far, with additional hires to be made at no additional cost.

Note:  58% of the on-target names were not identifiable on LinkedIn nor via appropriate keyword search strings. 


Yield for Research Investment (YFRI):  VP Directors, Commercial Banking Compliance Testing, c. $150k base


For a leading international bank.


Total Target Companies          11

Total # of people identified     92

Total On-Target Individuals    58 

Not Identifiable on LinkedIn   25

Total Phone Screened                    40

Presented                         5  (includes diversity individuals)

Placed                              2  (thus far)                                                

Future Pipeline                             4 

Not Interested                               31

New Recommendations              12  


Total Hours for Identification and Candidate Development: 133.15 hours for 2 placements thus far with additional placements to be made at no additional cost.  43% of the on-target names were not identifiable on LinkedIn nor via appropriate keyword search strings. 


Conni LaDouceur

Chief Sourcing Strategist and Trainer, ExecuQuest Corp.,, 410-667-8400




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