Employers are facing an unexpected talent recruitment challenge after the massive unemployment of last year: the pool of qualified talent is shallower than ever. To ensure that they can fill empty roles, MP’s HR services team and talent acquisition solutions team suggest that among their talent acquisition and retention strategies, employers focus on keeping a warm bench of talent ready. To achieve this goal, here are five talent acquisition tips:
1. Build a long-term relationship with candidates, even if they don’t get hired this time.
Sometimes during the HR talent acquisition process, the final few candidates are all excellent fits. The final choice might come down to a small difference, meaning the second or even third-choice candidates would still have been excellent hires. Instead of simply rejecting these candidates, employers should build a longer-term relationship with them. They can begin by sharing some feedback about why the candidate didn’t get the job in this particular case, then note that they could be a fit for an open job down the road. The employer should ask the candidate if they’d like to keep in touch—and then take action. The employer should check in around every six months and reach out when a role opens that the candidate could be an excellent fit for. An applicant tracking system (ATS), like MP’s, could help hiring managers store the resumes and contact information of candidates who weren’t a fit this time, but may be later.
2. Ask the team for referrals for future talent acquisition.
HR providers and talent acquisition services experts always note that talented people know other talented people. People who went to excellent schools or worked for high-performing companies will have many people in their network who are talented and would make great hires. An employer should put out an open call to its internal team for referrals, even for positions that aren’t currently open. If employers don’t already have a referral bonus program, they should consider implementing one. Hiring managers can go so far as to set up calls with referred candidates and interview them, whether they have open roles or not. The employer can then ask if the candidate would like to stay in touch and reach out when a role does open up. Employers should note that this tactic will only work if everyone is honest. Candidates should know from the start that there aren’t currently open roles. Then, they can decide if this abbreviated hiring process is something they’d like to engage in.
3. Start recruiting before positions open up to prepare for future talent acquisition needs.
Many employers have certain roles that are cyclically open. To ensure a faster and better hiring process for these roles, employers can create job postings ahead of time. They can even post their ads, saving resumes of candidates who could be a suitable fit when the role does open up. This process might also be occasionally applicable for roles that aren’t often open, but are key to the organization. If an employer loses a star team member, it can make the loss less impactful if there are already candidates lined up to call for the hiring process.
4. Make a practice of communicating more frequently with star candidates through the talent acquisition process.
If an employer makes it a best practice to share frequent updates with impressive candidates during the hiring process, this will help them to build a roster of people to call in the future. (Sometimes, this may even mean sharing that there is no update for the candidate. Another tactic is to check in with the candidate to see how their job search is going and if they have any other offers lined up.) Even if a candidate wasn’t hired, if the employer treated them well and kept them updated through an interview and hiring process, they may want to stay in touch for future open roles. If the candidate decides that they don’t want this particular job at this particular moment, they may also still want to stay in touch if the hiring process was a positive one. There are many scenarios in which candidates aren’t hired, but the company may want to reach out to them about future roles. This will be much more possible if the candidate felt as though they were treated with respect and given frequent, honest updates about the hiring process.
5. Encourage candidates to take viable offers if they get them.
Keeping a bench of warm talent will only work if an employer is honest and acts with integrity. If candidates have a good offer on the table, the employer should let the candidate go. They may still be able to hire that candidate later or get a referral from them. If they are misleading and suggest the candidate wait for an open opportunity, this may sour the relationship. Employers should also be aware that acting with honesty and integrity is always of the utmost importance for their employer brand. Candidates who have a bad experience with employers will post about it online and other candidates will read it!
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