In the war for talent, online profiles won’t get the job done

by Greg Harper
Senior Vice President at Charles Aris Inc.

Are you missing out on top talent?

If you are exclusively relying on online search tools to find A-level players … the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Let’s be frank: The development of online search tools has made life easier for recruiters. But digital resources aren’t the be-all and end-all for finding talent – especially great talent. Many technology-oriented professionals (such as engineers, scientists and operational specialists) are typically at their desks or workstations with their heads down, fulfilling their roles effectively. And when they are online, they are generally conducting research or looking for solutions to a production issue, not posting their résumé to a job board.

Unlike salespeople and others in client-facing roles, who very much want to be found as they build their businesses, technical workers aren’t usually looking to dramatically expand their networks. They may have profiles online, but many times those profiles aren’t robust enough to detail their skill sets.

The results?

  • Outstanding pros with thin online profiles – or none at all – are often overlooked on social networks, just as with candidates whose résumés lack the keywords to match a specific job opening.
  • Further limiting their exposure online, technical candidates are often unable to list the details of their projects in light of their need to protect corporate and client confidentiality.
  • And as we all know from personal experience with the busy reality of productive lives, many candidates simply don’t update their information on a regular basis …
  • … much less read and respond to professional messages in their social-network inboxes.

All of which is kind of discouraging, right? But I’m here to say that there’s a better way to discover great candidates – or to decide whether the prospects you’re already considering have the requisite skills, both technical and soft.


Consider turning to a respected search firm whose team routinely makes outbound phone calls to passive professional standouts to discuss their backgrounds, skill sets and career aspirations. Without that approach, your reliance on a limited selection of thin online profiles likely won’t get the job done.