There are a number of strategic checkpoints that you can constantly work on, and they can help ensure that you have a quality talent pool at your fingertips as soon as you’re ready to hire.
1. Start Talent Sourcing Before You’re Ready
Hiring takes a long time, and that’s unlikely to change. In fact, it’s a safe bet to assume that the waiting period is going to increase as technology enables hiring managers to become pickier. In June of 2015, DHI Hiring Indicators found that the average time to hire a new employee takes more than 27 days. However, this is across many industries, and more specific roles often take significantly longer.
One of the best ways to avoid this delay is to anticipate growth. That way, you’ll you have some candidates ready when you get the investment or make the change. You may not be able to have them start working the specific day you want, but the gap will be much shorter.
But, don’t take our word for it. Listen to this advice from the team at Impraise:
“Start recruiting even if you don’t have open spots! It can take a great deal of time to find the right candidates once you need them, so make sure you start looking for new talent way ahead.”
2. Keep a Watch List
Even if you don’t need to hire someone, start keeping a list of potential employees. This is especially useful for very specific roles. For example, if you come into contact with a talented mobile developer but don’t yet need an app, save their contact information for when you do.
Keeping this list will save time when you actually do need to hire. Instead of starting from scratch, you already have a short-list of candidates, and you can start moving forward with them.
You don’t have to contact these people when you find them, but sometimes that can save time. If you have an informational interview, you will now be on the candidate’s radar, and they might already have an internal desire to work for your company by the time there’s an opening.
Glassdoor did some research, and they found that phone interviews lengthen the hiring process by about 8 days, one-on-one interviews by about 5 days, and presentations by about 3 days. So, pre-screening a watch list can really, really work to speed things up.
3. Every Employee is a Recruiter
Studies routinely find that referrals have the highest interview to hire ratio of any hiring strategy.
Knowing this, don’t forget to empower your most valuable recruiters: your employees.
After all, with the exception of your HR department, it’s unlikely that the new hire will be working closely with the recruiter. So, isn’t it logical that the people who will actually be interacting everyday have a say? Friends of current employees are often a natural fit for the company culture, and they might even already have good relationships with their future co-workers.
Also, if you make an effort to work on your employer branding, potential hires get the impression that you care. Glassdoor found that 94% of people are likely to apply to a job if the company regularly updates their online image, such as responding to reviews or creating videos about employee life.
But, before you let your employees loose, set some ground rules. Tell them what they are (and aren’t) allow to say to potential hires. Plus, be very clear about any incentives they’re going to receive for recommending friends.
4. Maintain a Career Site on Your Website
Having a career site on your company website is an extremely valuable hiring tool. Many people looking at it are already interested in your company, so it takes less convincing work on your part. Plus, you have complete control over your image.
If you do this correctly, it will save your time. All you have to do is to let people know about your company culture, and they won’t apply if they don’t fit it.
5. Source Outside the Box
Like all other areas of running your business, don’t be afraid to do some innovative thinking about candidate sourcing.
Willem Wijnans (Sourcing Monk / Improbable) has highlighted some really clever methods that companies have used to attract talent. One company advertised inside online video games, another put a hiring notice on a billboard (in ASCII code) next to a competitor’s office, and it’s not unheard of to advertise hiring on the name of a WiFi network.
While most of these ideas are pretty specific (and tech related), using creativity can really put you ahead of your competitors.
As you can tell from all of the ideas listed above, candidate sourcing isn’t something you do when you have an open position and then stop. It’s an ongoing and constantly evolving practice, but it can save your company significant time and money if done right.
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