Traditionally, many companies relied on a recruitment strategy where they are waiting for an opening in their organization before seeking out a candidate to fill the role. This is called reactive recruitment. This method may not be working as smoothly as you would like, so you may want to switch your strategy to proactive recruitment. Proactive recruitment is when you seek to recruit employees for positions in your organization that are not yet open. It is gathering a talent pool of prime candidates, so you will be prepared when a job opens and get a quality candidate in the role as quickly as possible.

Why Would You Want to Switch to Proactive Recruiting?

Filling a role that has just opened requires a lot of time and resources. You must advertise the position, select the interviewees from a pool of newly gathered applications, interview the chosen candidates, and decide who is going to succeed at the role and fit into the company. There is also the pressure of bringing in someone new before the previous employee vacates the role to ensure a smooth transition without interrupting the function the role serves. If you are unable to fill the position immediately, your business’ efficiency may suffer. This may leave the work of the vacant job to other employees, who may already have enough work on their plate. Also, if one department is not running smoothly, other departments may be slowed, which like a domino effect, can put the entire company under strain. Imagine if you already had someone in mind to fill a role that is about to be vacated. Perhaps you would have already interviewed the person, and all that would be left to do is make an offer and bring them in! That would be so much more efficient and less stressful.

On the Road to Proactive Recruitment

It does not have to be complicated to change your entire strategy to proactive recruitment. Some of these may be steps you have already begun to take.

Step One – Hone a Positive Candidate Experience

Candidates want to feel important, so be sure to create an experience for them that is positive and personal. You are likely using software to do the bulk of the work, but you will want to make a personal connection with them. By establishing an authentic relationship with them, they can feel you really want to work with them. If you use automated software that communicates with applicants, let them know a human is available when needed, and use language that reads personal.

Step Two - Assemble a Talent Pool

It is crucial to proactive recruitment to gather a good-sized collection of potential candidates to fill jobs as they open. Ask current employees for recommendations and offer an incentive for successful referrals. Scour social media and other websites to see who the next mover and shaker in your organization might be. Other places to find viable candidates are online communities and local events relevant to your industry. Once they are in your system, you may ask them if they may be interested in other opportunities as they become available. If so, you can keep their contact information on file. Be sure to stay connected with them to maintain a good relationship and keep them interested in your company. If you use automated software that communicates with applicants, let them know a human is available when needed, and use language that reads personal.

Step Three - Nurture Your Online Presence

Some candidates do not even know they may want to join your organization but being online and willing to chat is a terrific way to establish an online presence to reel in potentially interested candidates. Learning the most effective SEO and developing your presence on social media is crucial to being seen by the talent you wish to bring in. Host networking events and job fairs both on- or offline. These are some creative ways to reach candidates you may not have reached before.

Step Four – Poach!

There are always going to be job candidates out there who have turned down offers due to a bad fit or negative candidate experience. There are also currently employed individuals who may be unhappy and attracted to a company that offers a better situation, such as a culture more in line with their values, or better pay and benefits. Prepare to reach these people! Using your career page on your website is a prime place to advertise the kind of opportunities your company has to offer. Beyond job listings, you can include information about the culture, current employees, and fun events your company may host. Use photos to help the potential candidate envision themselves as part of your organization. Look at other companies’ websites and be sure your organization will appeal to potential candidates more than where they currently work.

Step Five – Easy Application

Many applicants will abandon the form halfway through if it becomes too complicated or the process takes too long. In the beginning, request the basic information you need just to get the applicant into your system. When the candidate moves farther along in the process, more information can be obtained. This will unclutter the application process and improve the candidate experience. You will be able to get interviewees in the door sooner.

Conclusion

By implementing these five steps, you will be prepared for whatever job openings that may arise in the ever changing recruitment world. Proactive recruitment is a more effective and efficient strategy than reactive recruitment – that is, recruiting only when a vacancy occurs. Changing your strategy will improve not only the candidate experience, but also the recruiters’ experience!
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