Diving into the Talent Pool

An Employer’s Guide to Finding the Right Candidates in Today’s Job Market
Current figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that nationwide we are averaging an unemployment rate of about 7.3%. Based on these figures, employers should expect to get a good number of candidates applying for any opening they post. As an employer, you might be wondering why you are either not getting enough candidates or not getting the right candidates.

In all honesty, it is most likely a combination of errors that are to blame.

Timing
Don’t wait until your “talent pool” is empty to start filling it back up.

The most effective employers are pro-active and always on the lookout for talent. They realize that hiring costs, as well as the cost of lost production, increase tremendously by waiting until a position is vacant to start seeking the right candidate. These employers realize that even though a candidate might not be needed immediately, developing a pool of talent and keeping in touch with that pool will make their life easier when someone is needed. Pro-active employers also tend to cultivate candidates – so even if they are currently not a perfect match, they can be with a little mentoring.

Job Description / Job Posting
Often times when the “right” candidates are not applying for a job, it is the job posting that is the culprit. Creating a great job posting usually starts with having a great job description which is usually created through a team effort. Managers, supervisors, and employees who hold that position or similar positions get together to hammer out daily tasks and come up with a core list of responsibilities and desired characteristics. The important thing is to be concise and very specific.

Keep in mind that the hiring process is a two-way street. If you want to attract the best talent, you have to get in front of that talent. Spice up the job listing to grab their attention. Give them a glimpse of what the company culture is like, use required technical language and industry jargon – if the candidate doesn’t know what it means, he or she is most likely not the right fit!

Seeking Perfection
Sometimes companies have long standing, multiple openings because they haven’t found the “perfect” candidates.

Today’s market is filled with experienced professionals who are looking to transition from one profession / industry into another, often due to market changes. Consider this strategy that has helped some companies fill their positions and reduce hiring costs– look for candidates that have a strong work ethic, transferable skills, and are a cultural fit. Then provide training to turn them into “perfect” candidates.

Brand Recognition
If you want to attract the best talent, then you must build a reputation of being an employer of choice. To help build this type of reputation ensure that your hiring process is user friendly and that you communicate posting status with candidates. Share the company’s mission, vision, values and goals with them, and provide a welcoming new hire process.

Also consider that a majority of job seekers are using mobile devices to conduct job searches. Are your job postings and hiring methods easily accessible and up to date with today’s technology? This could be a reflection of your brand.

Posting Location
Instead of just using the most popular locations to advertise a job opening, consider posting the position in specialized outlets that cater to the type of professional that you are seeking.

Recruiting Sources
Are you utilizing every avenue available to you to help build your talent pipeline– current employees, professional associations, social networks, recruiters and agencies, etc? As I mentioned in an earlier blog geared towards job seekers, The War for Human Capital, having a multi-pronged plan of attack is normally the most effective in today’s market.

Hopefully these tips have given you ideas on ways that you can find the right candidates by opening up your positions to the pool of available talent in today’s market.

Bobi Cook is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She currently conducts job skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region utilizing her MBA and over ten cumulative years experience as a professional educator, quality systems manager within the automotive industry, and small business administrator to help job seekers develop and implement successful job search campaigns.



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