Throughout the course of my recruiting career, I can't even begin to count the number of times I witnessed a key employee leaving the organization to work somewhere else. And, the same thing happens every time they leave. The hiring manager freaks out, and we are forced to kick into reactive overdrive.
We dust off the job description - which is probably outdated. We post to every job site we can, and pray for the most amazing candidate to apply. Meanwhile, we search job site databases for anyone that looks like they can do the job.
We hustle, stress, and pull our hair out in the process. After three-to-four weeks of hustling, we find a candidate the hiring manager likes, and we make a hire. The problem is solved, and now we have someone in place.
We return back to our normal everyday business operation, and forget about recruiting until we need to do that vicious cycle again.
Sound familiar? You're not alone. Many companies focus on the reactive needs of the organization, while the proactive recruiting strategy (or lack thereof) falls to the wayside.
Although there are times where the above cycle is unavoidable, the need for organizations to proactively recruit candidates is higher than ever. As the economy continues to strengthen, candidates have the ball in their court.
The magic question is - how can companies proactively recruit candidates so they aren't going insane when that key player decides to leave? Here are three ways you can step up your proactive recruiting strategy.
Don't just focus on current hiring needs, predict future needs too We can all agree that it's critical to know the current hiring needs of the company, but it's equally important to predict anticipated hiring needs over the next three-to-six months (at a minimum).
You can do this by truly understanding the departmental structure and positions of the company, and calculating which positions have higher turnover rates than others (i.e. sales, recruiting, customer support). In addition, start thinking about who may be retiring soon, upcoming promotions, and those individuals who may be managed out of the company in the near future.
Network and engage with now and future candidates Now that you have a grasp on your current and anticipated hiring needs, it's important to begin building relationships through networking and engagement activities. Most importantly, engage with candidates where they live - on social media.
It's not all about social media though. Join niche groups that focus on those career fields in your company. Go to meetups, get involved in the local community, and go to events. Take the time to brand yourself and your company as a place that potential candidates will be drawn to when they are back on the job market in the future.
Then, when the time comes - you'll be able to tap into those same relationships to find your next hires. At the very least, you'll probably get some amazing referrals.
Drive organic growth by investing in your employees I am a firm believer that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of the company in return. Your current employees are invaluable. They can help to drive growth through employee-based referrals, or they can quickly turn prospective candidates in the other direction if they aren't happy.
Take the time to highlight your rock star employees, let them tell their stories, and show potential candidates how great your culture is through your current employees - their actions, smiles, and testimonials.
How do you proactively recruit candidates to your company?