You know that feeling of dread when you’ve got an urgent position to fill but you can’t seem to find a suitable candidate anywhere? Panic and stress sets in while you desperately search through a mountain of applications which don’t quite fit the bill. If you recognise this scenario, you might know what usually happens next.
You revisit the job description, change a few lines here and there and go to post it wherever you can online. Now, you sit and wait for the ideal applicant to come to you. And you wait, wait and wait some more, because this reactive manner of posting just isn’t cutting it in today’s job market.
Reactive hiring is how most organizations go about their recruitment process. While it seems to make the most logical sense in only hiring when the need arises, the competitive candidate market requires a different approach. It means getting proactive in your hiring efforts in order to reduce your time to hire.
Not only that, you’ll naturally focus more on hiring quality candidates, rather than prioritising quantity, as there won’t be as much pressure to make a quick hire. Plus, you can wheedle out the best candidates by finding those who might not be actively looking for work at all. If you’re wondering how to get the process started, have a read of our guide on how to be proactive in your hiring efforts.
1. Set Your Recruiting Goals
Being proactive starts with setting goals for you and your team. Whether this is a series of goals which you set out to achieve over time, or one key focus per quarter. Write down what you want to achieve to clarify your goals and steer your team toward the desired result.
For example, you might say that you want to reduce your time to hire by X%. Or, you might aim to make X new hires by the end of the month. However, try not to set too many different goals, or you risk losing direction. You might even dishearten your team if they simply don't have the time to make these changes.
At the same time, don’t set the deadline for achieving the target too far away. Or you risk your team forgetting about it! Remind them every week what they’re setting out to achieve to keep everyone on track.
2. Dedicate Time to Your Hiring Efforts
While it’s great to have a goal to work towards, you won’t achieve it unless you dedicate your time and resources to it. As such, encourage your team to set aside time every so often to regroup and specifically focus on reaching out to passive candidates.
Your team could source candidates through increasing their social media content, attending events and conferences to expand their professional network, or simply harvesting your internal candidate database. Alternatively, give them time to sit down and plan a completely new strategy. Taking risks is all part of being proactive!
3. Contact Potential Candidates Before Someone Else Does
If you want to be proactive with your hiring efforts, you’re going to have to reach out to candidates who maybe weren’t considering a career change. This includes making tough sells from time-to-time.
Some of your best wins may come from reaching out to those in the market who have a great professional reputation. These will also be difficult candidates to persuade, as they may have other companies and recruiters getting in touch with them. However, if you don’t try engaging with passive candidates, you won’t get your brand out there at all and you could miss out.
4. Stay Engaged With Prospective Candidates
However, it’s not enough to simply reach out to prospective candidates. Be sure to keep them informed of your schedule and timeline, as failing to keep them appropriately informed could put them off and ruin your hiring efforts up until this point.
With most people having professional profiles on sites like LinkedIn, staying in contact shouldn't be too difficult. You can email, phone, anything which keeps them engaged with the process. Especially when you’re waiting for a role to open up, or don’t have a particular position in mind, staying connected is crucial.
When the candidate comes to make their next move, you want to be the first business they contact to investigate their potential prospects!
5. Always Maintain Honesty
No matter how proactive you are in your hiring efforts, you won’t improve your application rates if you damage your company’s reputation. Giving unrealistic expectations will only leave a bad taste in a candidate’s mouth.
So if there isn’t an active opening available or you aren’t sure when you’ll need to fill a role, be honest about it. Let the candidate know that there isn’t an immediate opening and aim to give them an accurate estimate of when there will be.
Chances are, your timeframe may suit them. And if not, then it just wasn’t meant to be! Sure, an unexpected role may arise along the way, but giving a candidate false hope just isn’t the way to go about your hiring efforts.
6. Maximize Your SEO and Job Postings
The more people that view your job description, the better chance you have of finding the right candidate for the position. SEO is a key aspect to consider when thinking of how to move your job adverts higher up in Google’s search rankings.
This includes writing effective copy which will appeal topassive candidates, utilizing key words and making sure your job advert is purposeful. Think about how you can make your advert stand out, whether that’s through opportunities linked to the position, or a competitive benefits package and excellent salary.
Your goal is to engage the candidate from the very start, so show them why they should be working for your business. With any luck, you’ll secure the right person for the job in no time!
Are You Successful In Your Hiring Efforts?
If the answer to that question is no, or you’re not sure, chances are you need to consider a proactive hiring strategy. As we’ve demonstrated, taking a proactive approach and planning for every possible outcome future-proofs your hiring efforts.
You’ll reduce your time to hire, attract higher quality candidates and potentially even reduce your cost per hire. Not to mention, you can remove the stressful side of the recruitment process by yourself and your recruitment team some breathing space.
We appreciate that proactive hiring isn’t always possible, and you may have to resort to reactive hiring at times. However, hopefully this guide has shown you the benefits of proactive hiring and why it can really benefit your recruiting efforts!
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