- Employers should look for diversity not just in the traditional umbrella (e.g. sex, age, etc.), but also in thoughts, behaviors, and goals (not everyone can be the CEO)
- When filling key positions the competencies required to execute the activities that lead to realizing the performance objectives are more important than what someone looks like
- Write a great job profile that clearly markets the benefits of working for the company as well as the exciting opportunities and challenges that the selected person will face, include a list of the most critical competencies that candidates must have or are preferred
As the profile is circulated in a viral method you will hit passive as well as active candidates. In your strategy you should clearly define the route you wish to go based on the timing and strategic nature of each hire. If you need someone fast you will need an active candidate. If the position is more strategic you will probably benefit from a more passive candidate. Those take longer to source and may require some research into professional associations, white papers, conference presentations, and other resource pools that indicate someone's expertise, philosophy, and methodology.
Also, don't forget to evaluate the value of each referral source as part of your plan. If you are doing a great job of screening candidates you should end up with a forced-ranking profile of each. Look retroactively at the source of each candidate to also force-rank the quality of each source. For example, if three of the top five candidates were sourced through employee connections on LinkedIn then LinkedIn should be a strategic priority and you should invest accordingly (e.g. pay for some employees to have account upgrades). If none of the top 50% of your candidates came from a specific job board then you should stop wasting time and resources on that board.
If you are shopping for an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to use in order to execute your strategy, look for a product that either closely matches the plan you have created or one that can be setup to follow your plan. If you want to incorporate the three strategies mentioned above, I suggest you look into Jobvite. A quick search of LinkedIn Answers about ATS's indicates that Jobvite is the preferred ATS that fully leverages social networking as well as source ratings.
One final point, The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs administers a number of laws and regulations. Make sure that your strategy (and your ATS, if you use one) complies with those laws.