How can you find the best candidates?

We have all heard the adage about getting a job: "it's not what you know, it's who you know". This over-used cliche that describes the importance of professional networking when job seeking is still very true. But this has expanded to include virtual networks as well, with employers using personal and professional social media sites to assess how well a candidate fits.

In this connected world, virtual networks do not just introduce new ways for employers to screen candidates, however, they have provided employers with the ability to actively source candidates online too.

So, how is recruitment changing?

45 per cent of all workers are currently employed but still open to talk to a recruiter about new opportunities.

People are open to new jobs

In 2013, LinkedIn conducted a study on active and passive recruitment. The study found that a little over a quarter of the job-searching population are active candidates. These make up the 12 per cent who are seriously looking and another 13 per cent who casually check for new jobs every few days. The remaining three-quarters make up passive candidates, including 15 per cent who reach out to their personal networks and 15 per cent who are completely satisfied and unwilling to change jobs.

The final 45 per cent of candidates fall right on the fence. While they are employed, they are still open to talking to a recruiter. This is corroborated by a 2015 CareerBuilder survey, which also found that three-quarters of the employed population are either actively seeking or open to talking about new recruitment opportunities.

You may have thought, "I wish I could have someone in marketing who is as good as Andrew over at the competition." Well, according to this research, you may as well just ask him. Chances are he is open to chat about what you can offer.

If employees find a better opportunity, research suggests they will take it.If employees find or are offered a better opportunity elsewhere, research suggests they will take it.

How are employers changing their practices?

Over half of employers believe that it is becoming more difficult to find qualified candidates with appropriate skills. According to CareerBuilder, this "pressured employer economy" has put employees back in power as organisations struggle to both retain and attract top talent.

Candidates seek more rewarding and engaging work, a change in responsibility or industry, or just better remuneration packages and benefits. They go through a similar process when buying a car or any other major purchase decision, showing more care, selectiveness and vigilance when paving their career steps.

The search for top-quality candidates in 2016 looks to see the adage changing as employers fight for the best minds: "It's not who you know, it's how you get to them."