How We Create a Deeper Candidate Pool


By Keith Harper

Hiring the right candidate starts well before the interview stage.

Utilizing the right targeting strategy ensures we are able to fill the pipeline with the types of candidates that our clients will actually want to hire. Here are just some best practices for candidate targeting:

Invest in the Right Technology Tools  

Want to know what industry-leading talent acquisition platform we use to find and submit more high-quality candidates faster than anyone else?  Sorry, I’m not sharing our greatest trade secrets.  Let’s just say I’d have an insurrection on my hands if we switched platforms. I will tell you that aside from investing our Recruiting Staff by hiring the most talented, hardest-working recruiters in the industry (which we do ), making the right investment in your technology is THE most important step to drive success. So it is important to take your time and choose wisely. More than anything, that technology will determine if your candidate pool is Olympic size of kiddie-friendly.

Tap Into Social Media

Social media is not the silver bullet some make it out to be for staffing and recruiting, but it is an increasingly important channel for candidate targeting. Don’t expect to get a meaningful return by chucking a few open posts onto Facebook or LinkedIn. But some of those hard-to-finds can be found socializing with their peers in groups online. Chime in where appropriate and where you can actually add value, and build out your network. Again, it likely will not be your top channel for targeting, but it can complement your overall efforts and make your recruiters much more savvy for when they do get in front of quality candidates.

Show the Passives Some Love 

Staffing can become a numbers game for many.  Solely focusing on volume and numbers can cause you to miss that “diamond in the rough”.  Be more than a body shop and build relationships that may pay dividends down the road. I’m not saying you should take every passive candidate you come across out to lunch, but if they’re not willing to jump ship immediately, be sure not to simply move on. Sure, you’re busy filling reqs and they’ve already got a day job. Take a few moments to interact, gather some screening information to enter into your tracking system and establish a relationship. Make it easy and give reason for them to reach out later to reach out to you when they are available. Start cultivating your garden and you’d be surprised to see how it grows.

Communicate More Meaningfully

I know it sounds obvious, but some recruiters sometimes don’t realize how poorly they communicate. With each conversation concluded and email sent, you should be honing the arsenal of communications you have in your quiver. You don’t have to start from scratch. You can cut-and-paste to re-purpose emails and phrases from previous interactions to save time, constantly improving as you go. Spending a bit more time on your messaging and collaborating with fellow recruiters will help you identify viable candidates and ultimately make more placements.

Ultimately, if you’re not effectively targeting to develop the right candidate pool, you’ll be missing out on key opportunities to better serve your clients.


Keith Harper is a Managing Director at Axelon Services Corp. Keith began his career at Axelon Services in 1998 and consistently produced record-setting profits. Having joined the firm as an IT recruiter, he quickly rose through the ranks and today leads the highest revenue generating division at Axelon. He directs key accounts such as Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, BNP Paribas, TD Bank and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. He has built a high-performing team of talented and dedicated recruiters and account managers, to whom he provides hands-on training and guidance.

To contact Keith directly, please email

To learn more about this topic or to request a consultation and explore how Axelon can provide your organization with more high-quality candidates faster than any other staffing services provider, call us 877.711.8700 or email


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