Building a Productive Candidate Pipeline The Five Best Ways to Always Be Recruiting

Failure to attract and retain top talent is now the number one issue on the minds of CEOs, given even more importance than competition or the disruptive nature of technology. The same study, the Conference Board, also found that 82% of companies don’t believe they recruit highly talented people, and for companies that do, only 7% think they can keep them. These are sobering—but perhaps not surprising—statistics to HR professionals, who’ve had to work harder than ever during this unprecedented labor market. In this climate, if you only start your recruiting activities once a vacancy emerges, you will lose the talent battle. Companies must build recruitment activities into their daily agenda, whether they are hiring right now or not. In short, you need to always be recruiting. Here are five ways to get started.

Make it easy to apply

A recent review the Talent Board of the candidate experience found that more than one-third of all job seekers spend several hours researching a single job and an hour more to complete the job application. Candidates simply aren’t willing to participate in long and overly-complicated application processes—20% of candidates drop out of application forms that take longer than 10 minutes to fill. And if the time commitment weren’t enough, 56% of job seekers encountered a technical issue during the application process, and a shocking 83% of candidates rate their job search experience as poor. This is significant since 69% of job seekers who had a negative experience would rarely or never reapply, and nearly 70% are likely to share their negative employment experience.

Are you confident your organization’s application process encourages candidates to apply? Keep in mind that more than half of all job seekers fill out applications on their mobile devices.

Keep the resumes

Reevaluating your runner-up candidates is an excellent way to bring efficiency and speed to the recruiting process. Reassess their resumes, skills and interview notes to see if they’re a good fit for another open role. These candidates have already made it through your initial screenings, so keep them as a first resource for future openings. Keep the resumes of applicants on file and search your database of these vetted candidates as part of your always-be-recruiting strategy. Continue to communicate with these candidates promoting your brand and advising them of open positions. Hint: an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) makes this task much easier.

Spread your net wide

Social media has become a de facto recruiting tool—used 84% of companies. Your company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts can help you spread the word about new job opportunities. Social recruitment decreases the time-to-fill for positions at every level.

In addition to social media recruiting, feed and follow professional networks and social networks, create industry referral partners and expose your organization at job and career fairs. Also, leverage your employees’ professional network encouraging and rewarding referrals.

Grow your own

There are substantial benefits associated with an organization’s training and career development initiatives, and not the least of which is the effort’s ability to grow the next generation of talent in house.

Today’s workforce is eager to get better, contribute and grow in their jobs, in your company, and in their long-term careers. Establishing a multi-career ecosystem through training and development not only entices new talent and provides a clear career progression but also plays a major factor in retention. Investing in your existing employees helps establish an ecosystem that attracts new talent. Remember, you’re hiring talent from the “what’s next?” generation—they want room to grow backed the tools and training to help them succeed. In fact, more than half of millennials (53%) say that career pathing has the most impact on their decision to stay with their employer.

Fine-tune your recruiting practices

Today’s candidates have higher expectations for communication, logistics, and new hire onboarding during their job search process. To succeed with an always-be-recruiting initiative, you’ll need robust, effective and efficient recruiting tools and workflows. The recruiting process is your chance to make the right first impression on applicants and future applicants. Communication is the vehicle for conveying and establishing that first impression—yet many employers are still not getting it right. Consider these statistics:

  • More than 45% of candidates never hear anything back from the employer
  • 63% of job seekers are dissatisfied with no or poor communication after applying
  • 81% of job seekers say employers continuously communicating status updates to them would greatly improve the overall experience
  • Only 47% of employers say they have a formal process in place for communication during the post-hire but pre-start date time period
  • 68% of employees believe their experience as a job candidate reflects how the company treats its people
The time is now
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that the time to hire is increasing—the average time to fill a position is now 36 days (this LinkedIn research hints that most companies take much longer). Combine this challenge with the fact that voluntary turnover is at a ten year high and it’s easy to make the case to always be recruiting. And it’s effective: 55% of companies who continuously recruit throughout the year say this reduces both their time-to-hire and cost-per-hire. Moving to an always-be-recruiting strategy needn’t be burdensome. With the right strategy, cultural mindset, applicant tracking system and recruiting toolset, your organization can keep the candidate pipeline fueled for the long-term future.