When solving a problem, there are usually two positions from which to attack — reactive and proactive. There was a time when a reactive approach was sufficient to fill open positions in a timely manner. However, as the competition for top talent continues to increase, Human Resources professionals have to incorporate a more proactive approach to staying on top of recruiting needs.
Today’s HR professionals are normally swamped with responsibilities such as benefits administration, time tracking, regulatory and compliance reporting, payroll management and other reporting projects. These additional tasks leave little time to adequately recruit for an opening before the position must be filled. Therefore, you may not always end up with the best candidate due to a shortage of time. “Often times companies enlist the help of temporary staff to help free up staff, so they can focus on these types of longer term needs,” states CAI’s Molly Hegeman. “Assessing your team’s bandwith upfront will be critical to your success.”
Recruiters have begun thinking beyond the immediate needs and are taking steps to identify and plan for the long-term with regard to staffing. Using data already available, HR professionals are forecasting future job openings months, or even years, in advance to proactively begin recruiting now. This provides an organization with a recruiting advantage when competing with other companies for top talent.
Here are a few things you can do to help create a proactive recruiting strategy:
Identify Strategic vs Tactical Roles
Every role is important to the organization, but some roles are more important than others. Take each role within your company, from top to bottom, and define it as strategic or tactical. Strategic roles incorporate the overall strategy and vision of the company. Tactical roles are responsible for executing the plan by working together on the goals of the company. This distinction will help to assign priorities when recruiting for multiple positions.
Define Ideal Candidate Traits
List the traits of your ideal candidate for a specific position. In addition to technical skills, education and experience include characteristics that are important for the candidate to fit in with the corporate culture, values and principles. Look for the ideal soft skills for the best overall fit in a new recruit.
Research Supply and Demand
Some HR professionals with years of experience at a company, and in a specific area, may already have a working knowledge of the availability of candidates for open positions in their industry. There is no substitute for hard data, however. Take advantage of surveys and statistics regarding in-demand job skills, which competitors are hiring, compensation figures and other data to understand the level of difficulty required to fill each in-demand role within your organization.
Create Your Pipeline Now
Begin to create your long-range pipeline of candidates now by starting discussions and building relationships with “passive” candidates via social and professional networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Posting information about the types of positions your company routinely recruits for is a good way to attract candidates to your website and open a channel for communication. Searching these networks for skill sets will lead you to potential candidates who may not be looking for an opportunity, but would like to hear more about your company. Starting conversations and interaction early will create “warm” leads when you begin to actively recruit.
CAI Advice & Resolution team member Renee Watkins is a seasoned HR professional with a diverse background in Human Resource. Renee provides CAI members with practical advice in a wide-range of human resource functions including conflict resolution, compliance and regulatory issues, and employee relations.