Make Room for Exceptional Talent
Recruitment is often seen as a task carried out when there are specific vacancies that need filling. However, this view can mean you lose out on exceptional talent. This post suggests some ways you can benefit from top candidates even when you have no vacancies.
Think of hiring as a process, not a series of events
If you only ever think about your recruitment process when you have vacancies to fill, you could be letting high-quality candidates slip through your fingers.
A smarter strategy is to expect exceptional talent to become available at any moment and to prepare your company to rapidly respond when they do make an appearance. There are a number of ways you could do this. The most basic action should be to add any promising candidates to your talent pipeline. If a truly talented candidate becomes available, you might want to consider creating a new role in your company so you can bring them on board as soon as possible.
The worst thing you can do is to remain blind to their presence and allow a competitor to snap up their services.
By treating recruitment as an ongoing process rather than a series of discrete events, you will always be prepared to receive high-quality talent.
Maintain a rich talent pipeline
A talent pipeline is designed to ensure you always have a ready supply of suitably qualified candidates you can approach should a vacancy arise.
Whether you manage your talent pipeline yourself or outsource this to a recruitment agency, your talent pipeline should always be kept up to date. When a high-quality candidate receives a new industry qualification or certification you should be made aware of the fact. You can then decide whether it’s time to proactively reach out to them and make plans to bring them into your organization.
Your talent pipeline should also be tightly integrated with your overall business strategy. That way, you can start preparing to approach high caliber prospects for future roles that have yet to be created. By the time the vacancy is ready to be filled, you will already have ‘warmed up’ your most promising candidates.
Your talent pipeline should also be data-driven with metrics such as turnover rate per role and time to hire used to plan your recruitment strategy.
Stay aware of external events
If your company only ever reacts to internal data and its own business strategies, you might miss opportunities arising from the wider industry. For example, if a rival company downsizes or goes out of business, there is a high likelihood high caliber former employees will enter the marketplace.
This might not be ‘convenient’ in terms of the vacancies you currently have but by being adaptable and proactive you could position your business to take full advantage of this situation. For example, you could consider setting up an internship for young and talented people in a specific role. Even if you don’t currently have any positions in that role, you will be building a strong talent pipeline that could serve you for many years to come. At the same time, you will be removing the opportunity for your rivals to benefit from the changes.
To take things a step further, consider writing up a contingency plan for potential future industry events so you are ready to hit the ground running.
Use social media to engage with talent communities
Social media provides a way to connect with both active and passive candidates but to truly benefit from this resource you need to look beyond the popular platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Is there a social media hub used specifically by exceptional talents in your industry? For example, the best developers are likely to be active on GitHub and Stack Overflow. Ensuring your business is represented on those platforms (in a genuine way, of course), will make it easier to approach potential recruits when vacancies arise.
In general, you should also make sure your social media activity reinforces the message you’re always on the lookout for exceptional talent.
To summarize, by treating recruitment as an ongoing process, maintaining your talent pipeline, keeping an ear open for external events and diving deeper into social media, you will always be ready to snap up that elusive perfect candidate when he or she appears.
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