Proactive recruitment: plan ahead, attract the best talent
This article provides employers insights into how they can 'work smarter' in their recruitment process.
As a recruiter, I have heard lots of reasons why a new hire might not have been “the right fit” for a company and found myself lamenting in hindsight with my clients on their recent unsuccessful hiring process. I also suspect, that while reading this you are thinking and recalling the same. But regardless of this, many businesses remain reactive in their talent search. Today, it takes an average of 82 days to fill a vacant position, a number that has been on the steady incline since 2010, and when you add to that the reported decrease in applications and the skills shortage, it is no wonder hiring managers face pressure to choose quickly, rather than wisely.
Reactive recruitment focuses on the ‘what is needed now', usually where the business 'reacts' to the resignation of an employee, quickly attempting to replace them. This approach places pressure on existing staff, picking up slack due to the vacancy, and also those sourcing and selecting candidates. Proactive recruitment, in comparison, involves planning ahead and taking measures to attract candidates before they are needed to fill a gap.
Employer Brand Strategy
Now, time-to-fill data remains an important measure for both the success of my efforts as a recruiter, but also in satisfying my client needs. But rather than just watching the days tick over and waiting for the right candidate to appear, businesses can do more in the lead up to the recruitment process. A good place to start with your proactive recruitment approach is developing (or readdressing) your employer brand strategy.
A good employer brand strategy can not only improve your retention rate, decreasing the need to hire, but should also help to build your reputation in the market, and subsequently increase your applicants who are both active and passive in your industry. This means focusing on two things: up-skilling your current team and ensuring their development is in line with your business needs, but just as importantly (but less considered), the candidate experience.
The candidate experience encompasses everyone who does and has come in contact with you as an employer.
A positive and personalised candidate experience, along leveraging well maintained data gained in the candidate sourcing lifecycle, is also part of a proactive recruitment strategy.
Collecting and storing your candidate data
To improve the candidate experience I encourage my clients to firstly consider how they collect and store their candidate information. Most organisations today use or have access to a recruitment software solution, whether it is through an agency or inhouse, but are only using them when the recruitment process starts. But this software can be a wealth of candidate data for businesses that take the time to diligently capture and record information on the talent who have connected with them over time.
By maintaining and cataloguing the skills and capabilities of the people who are applying for your roles and considering these attributes alongside your business strategy over time, you improve your outcomes in finding the right candidate for the job today, while also staying connected to the right candidate for your future.
Positive and personalised candidate engagement
For every time you engage with a candidate in your database, either during or after the recruitment has closed, you are not only personalising their experience, but also building a positive engagement and your reputation in the talent market. A timely and efficient process is a key part of a successful recruitment, but when companies make the time to proactively manage and engage with their candidate pool, year-round, they will not only decrease their time-to-fill but have a deep and expansive pool before the recruitment even starts.
Of course, the Reimagine Talent team are always here to assist you in your recruitment process, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.