Don't search for a candidate. Search for someone who knows a candidate.
Call people in your database and ask them for referrals. You will get plenty of good candidates in just one evening. (Yeah?)
"Hi Billy, I've got this opportunity I want to tell you about. I'm not sure it's quite right for you but I wanted to give you the option to say no". Then ask for referrals when he refuses.
But what if he doesn't refuse? And what if he thinks you're a jerk for continually presenting jobs that aren't right for him?
Recruiters Need Fresh Meat
Use the recession to fill your database with people you can use in the future as referral machines.
Hiring Managers Unrealistic
The recession has made Hiring Managers too demanding. They think the economy has put a lot of good people on the street so you can find lots of qualified candidates very easily.
In fact, it's hard to recruit people now. When you advertise a job you're buried in resumes but it's harder than ever to get the good people to move.
Over-qualified is code for over the hill.
A recruiter has to believe that she provides the most important commodity that makes a business successful.
Good Candidate Experience
Arrange a conference call for candidates once a week. For the first 20 minutes you offer career advice then let them ask questions.
(Then tell them not to bug you. You'll call when you have something).
If recruiting was simply finding people who have skills on their resume there would be no need for recruiters.
A recruiter is a consultant not a CV Shifter. To get in bed with your client put on your consultative head.
That starts with understanding what the customer does. And then? The guy kept talking about getting under the covers with your client.