Today, when time to fill is at the highest level in 14 years, it is extremely important for hiring managers to be constantly maintaining a strong pool of pre-qualified job candidates. This means that you have to continue recruiting at all times, even when there are no positions available.
Proactive recruiting can be costly and time-consuming and is not always perceived as a good investment of a recruiter’s time. But the best hiring managers know that having a handful of good, quality candidates available to fill an open position at any given time is worth the effort.
Suppose a key employee has just resigned, forcing you to fill his or her position right away. As a proactive recruiter, you will have a pre-qualified replacement ready to take over the job without jeopardizing the quality of hire. Not only do you save time and reduce costs by immediately supplying candidates who are most likely to fit your company culture, but you also reduce the likelihood of hiring the wrong people.
So how do you keep great candidates interested in a position while it’s still unavailable? This is where it gets tricky -- you don’t want to keep your candidates waiting for too long or lose them to another company altogether. Here is what you can do to keep them attracted to the job:
Stay in Touch
Once your new candidates have been pre-qualified, systematically follow up through emails and phone calls to express your willingness to hire them. Make your communication personal. A thoughtful email saying how much you appreciate their effort and time can go a long way. Keep a calendar with milestones and follow-up reminders to ensure that everyone has been contacted in a timely fashion. Utilizing a quality project management system like Basecamp or Teamwork may not be a bad idea either. These platforms are designed to keep all of your calendars and reminders in one place, so nothing falls through the gaps.
Leverage Social Media
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for keeping the conversation going. It offers various ways to communicate -- from sending personal InMail messages to commenting on status updates and endorsing candidates’ skills. In addition, LinkedIn has recently released a new mobile update that is extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate, so you can reach out to your contacts anytime from the convenience of your phone or tablet.
Keep Candidates Warm with Talent CRM
For many years, sales and marketing professionals have been utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) for nurturing leads and closing customers. As a hiring manager, you too can leverage the power of CRM to “sell” your company’s employment brand. A talent CRM is a great way to facilitate your proactive recruitment efforts. For example, you can segment your candidates based on their skillsets and geographic locations and send follow-up communications to various target groups via email automation. These communications ultimately create excitement around employment in your company and allow you to nurture your candidate experience with ease.
As time to fill rates grow longer, it’s extremely important for hiring managers to maintain the focus necessary to move things forward. Following the above advice will keep your costs down while driving the best results in a timely manner.