It's really difficult to recruit qualified candidates.

This is something most of us would agree with. But, the truth is, this is good news for staffing firms! If it was easy to find great candidates, there would be no need for your services.

However, that doesn't mean that the challenge of finding top talent is not tiring. But, there are ways around that. Staffing and recruiting professionals who are successfully attracting the best talent and filling most of the orders and contracts they write have implemented the following strategies:

Creative Sourcing

Identify at least one new resource for sourcing candidates quarterly. Often you can identify new resources by asking your candidates where they go when they are seeking a new opportunity.

Imagine the benefit of having four additional resources for talent each year. Hiring authorities do not want to find the same candidates they are attracting from job board ads or website postings. They prefer that you attract candidates they can't find on their own.

You can accomplish this through your networking efforts on social media sites like LinkedIn or through your recruiting efforts. You must build a network of top talent in advance of your client's needs.

Become an "insider"

Learn what the candidates want

Ask your candidates to identify the trade publications they read and associations they join. Also identify blogs and social media sites they read.

Once you have identified where they "hang out," you need to go there. Subscribe to receive the trade publication at home and read the articles that are filled with candidate leads. Comment on blog articles or start your own content rich blog. Join professional associations that help you learn about your niche and the candidates you represent. Consider joining the membership committee to interact with new as well as existing members.

Interview more than once

The internet has made it easy for candidates to schedule interviews on their own. In today's competitive job market you need to send candidates to at least two or three interviews or they will book interviews on their own. The only exception to this is retained search or some vendor management system agreements.

Ask each candidate to identify the companies they most respect and market their talent to those companies as well as similar clients. Most candidates prefer to have choices, rather than only considering one opportunity.

Referral Program

If you have been in this profession for longer than 18 months, over 50% of your candidates should be the result of referrals. If that is not the case, you need to create and implement a consistent referral program. You are probably not obtaining referrals because you are not asking for them.

Conduct revenue modeling to determine where most of your business is coming from

Technology has caused employers to have very high demands when it comes to our ability to identify top talent faster than our competition. It is important to fill your pipeline of candidates with the titles you normally place in advance of writing orders, contracts and assignments.

By conducting revenue modeling, you are studying where you actually made fills or placements in the past two years, not what business you wrote. This helps you identify the job titles you need to pipeline in advance so you can react with top talent faster than your competition.

Focus at least 85% of your marketing and recruiting efforts on the job titles that represent your firm's best business.

Focus on the 5% of candidates that you will actually place

As a profession, we place 5% of the candidate we attract. Unfortunately, the other 95% are often not placed, but deserve to have a positive experience when interacting with you and your firm. The average recruiter spends in excess of 90 minutes a day taking incoming calls and providing free career advice to individuals who represent the least placeable candidates.

You need to focus on the 5% of candidates you will place and provide resources to help the other 95%. If you have no resources, you can set up a Career Portal for them (that has your company name) in less than 30 minutes. This resource teaches them techniques utilized by recruiters, provides live weekly webinars to help them and also generates passive income for your company. Check out more here.

The next time you hear yourself complain that talent is hard to find - be grateful! Your services are needed now more than any other time in history. With top talent difficult to find, baby boomers retiring l every 6 seconds and companies facing the challenge of retaining their high achievers, it's a great time to be in the Recruiting Profession.