SourceCon reported that job vacancies in the United States are now in excess of 25 days. This is the longest time to fill numbers we have seen since 2001. Personally, I find this number extremely low. I expected much higher as organizations are struggling with voluntary turnover. With the economy improving, employees are leaving companies in greater numbers. They are looking for new opportunities for their career as well as leadership and employee development opportunities. Companies abandoned these activities during the recession and have been slow to adopt due to the high cost of development programs for employees.
Companies can increase their time to fill and amount of effort spent sourcing, interviewing and qualifying candidates for positions simply by building a talent pipeline before, yes, before there is a job opening.
Create content & conversation around a job candidate community.
The best way to attract future applicants to your talent pipeline is to create engaging content that helps the candidate. Companies like Google don’t always necessarily hire based on skill, but potential and passion. Building a talent community for future candidates allows recruiters to see who is passionate about your community and who just wants a job. A Gallup study suggests that those who are passionate about a company or job will pour their heart and soul into everything. While that is true the candidate needs to possess both skill and passion to be the best fit for a job. Having a talent community will allow recruiters the opportunity to finding out more about the candidate before hiring, finding those who are both passionate and skilled.
Engage and build relationships with job seekers in targeted groups.
Building relationships with job seekers in targeted groups will allow you the ability to hire at lower costs and higher quality. Recruiters are able to get to know more about their candidates before the application process even starts. This allows them to recruit more directly with job seekers they think would be a perfect fit for the job. When job seekers see recruiters heavily involved in the process they’re more apt to ask questions and be a better candidate once they submit their application.
Build a funnel and talent community where candidates can research, engage and learn about you and your company.
Employer branding is huge right now and rightly so. Candidates who are just as educated about your company as they are about your open job positions are ideal candidates. No surprises when they start working for your company usually means lower turnover rates and higher productivity levels.
If you hired a candidate who was cultured shocked once they accepted a position with your company and quit a ninety days later, you’ve wasted not only the time and money in hiring them, but training them as well. It’s important to create a place where candidates can learn about all faucets of your company. Knowledge is power and will help both the candidate and your company in the long run.
Focus on relationships and less on reactive recruiting.
Reactive recruiting leaves lots of room for error. In reality a recruiter has five potential matches for a job before they even open the job up. Reactive recruiting generally means you need to hire for a position and you need to hire for it yesterday. You’ll want to quickly fill the position and you won’t always find the best candidate. When you have a fully operable talent community and you’re focused on building relationships you won’t need to partake in reactive recruiting.
Talent communities solve several problems and help the recruiter do his or her job a lot better. Putting the focus back on building relationships with job seekers will give your recruiters the ability to pick out rock stars from the crowd instead of having to fill positions without second thought.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell.