HR professionals & recruiters can now proactively contact large numbers of candidates through professional social networks. But while online sourcing has enabled access to a seemingly infinite number of candidates, it has also resulted in very shallow talent pools.
What good is a database with thousands of potential hires if they don’t respond to a position, are uninterested, or turn out to be unqualified?
A history of high-cost personalized vetting
In the past, headhunters interacted directly with scarce and highly skilled talent to learn what they are looking for in their next job; minimum salary, willingness to relocate, desired industries and potential deal breakers. Depending on what companies were looking for with their next hires, headhunters could provide pre-vetted, right-fit matches.
Much recruitment is now done in-house to save costs, and the average recruiter does very little curation and filtering of candidates beyond the writing of a job spec and the manual screening of applications for individual jobs.
While a candidate might lack the exact skills or experience for a particular job, the person could be ideal for another future role. Failing to keep in touch with a great, previously short-listed candidate could cause the potential hire to fall through the cracks. This breakdown in efficiency slows down the time-to-hire process, and puts a stranglehold on business growth.
Recruiters need to build, manage and engage a pipeline of qualified candidates before they need to hire them so they’re on hand and ready to fill future vacancies. Recruiters must be proactive in following through with implied intent of “we’ll keep your CV on file”.
The basic process of building a talent pipeline can be summarized as follows:
- Target: Audit the current and future skills the business needs, so you know which groups of candidates to target.
- Source: Build and implement campaigns to source relevant candidates – but instead of random text-only job descriptions, develop robust content that truly engages the candidate with the context of the workplace and the employer brand.
- Store: Screen and store good applicants selected from the campaigns, thereby creating a pool of relevant talent for future use.
- Engage: Communicate with the talent pool on a continuous basis, offering useful updates and information and communicating relevant job openings as they occur. Ensure that candidate details are kept up to date.
How technology can help
Many businesses lack easy-to-use, integrated, centralised pipelining tools to organise the recruiting process. If you’re in a medium-sized enterprise it could get quite difficult to juggle thousands of candidates whom you’d like to keep up with – especially if the business comes from a background with a lot of manual processes.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) can provide a unified private database for all of your candidate data – meaning you won’t have to juggle PDFs, faxed CVs, or other applicant information as it’s all stored centrally and can easily retain an applicant as a future candidate. Most ATS tools feature built-in Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) functionality, making it easy to build efficiency into the pipeline process.
Once you select candidates for a talent pool, you can use these CRM tools to send or schedule personalised bulk or individual emails to the candidates from a communications library, asking them to confirm their current details, or provide them with job openings. This makes it simple to communicate and interact with candidates.
If you’re considering using the pipelining tools built into professional social networks, just keep in mind that it won’t be able to include candidates you’ve sourced from outside this ecosystem, or export candidates to other systems easily. It will also have limited filtering and search functionality compared with an ATS, and won’t have reporting for your integrated recruitment campaigns.
Finding, nurturing and hiring the gems
Recruitment has changed from a limited-duration interaction between company and candidate to a continuous cycle of engagement. By taking proactive steps to break through the noise, building a talent pipeline will help you quickly find great people to help make your company productive and profitable.
Whether you’re a larger organisation or a SME,
If you’d like to find out more about how an ATS could help you cut costs and time to hire, send us a mail to email@example.com or give us a call on +27 (0)21 424 8111.