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I talk with a good number of recruiting organizations about their recruiting goals and on several occasions I’ve asked the question “what are your main goals for a recruiting campaign?”. The answer is almost always straightforward: “to make a quality hire.”
You can’t argue with that. If getting quality people into your organization is not a priority, then you have more problems in your organization than just recruiting. But when you are looking at the main goals (emphasizing plural) of your recruitment marketing campaigns, there is a tremendous missed opportunity that I see for most organizations. Many recruiting organizations enter a new open job position with blinders on, focusing solely on finding that one person that fills the job requisition.
When you switch your focus from filling that one position to finding as many qualified candidates for that type of job position, you start to think in a way that can help you build your Talent Network and should help you not only fill the current open job position you have but also help you fill job positions down the road.
The key is to make sure that the goal of building your Talent Network doesn’t get lost in the shuffle and that you have the internal processes in place to capture, filter and search candidates in your Talent Network to make it useful to your recruiting organization.
Building your own internal Talent Network can help drive recruiting success at your organization in a number of ways. Here a few reasons why continuously building up your Talent Network can be almost as important as making the hire:
Why not?: By enabling candidates to opt-in to your Talent Network with every job ad, you are continuously building a database of potentially qualified candidates. Best of all, there is little to no extra cost or effort needed to do this, so you are getting more ROI out of every job distribution campaign without changing much of anything.
Once set up, these opt-in channels will essentially take care of themselves, while exponentially building your Talent Network with each subsequent job campaign.
A Free Growing Recruiting Channel: The contacts that you add to your Talent Network then turn into a free recruiting channel that you should utilize. Whenever a new job position opens, you should make sure to utilize all the job boards, social networks and other channels you typically use but also ping the appropriate contacts in your Talent Network via email or mobile recruiting about the open job position.
We’ve seen companies increase the number of applicants for every job position by 25% just by adding this last step to their process.
Build Relationships: A high functioning Talent Network will not just contact their contacts about new job openings but will also provide value in other ways. Sharing great content such as blog articles, news stories, education opportunities, etc. can be a great way to keep engaged with your Talent Network. Also, make sure to point them to your social recruiting profiles if you have them for more immediate engagement.
The more that your recruiting contacts value you as a valued source, the better they will view your employer brand and the more likely they are going to apply to open job positions that you send their way.
Bypassing the Opt-In Barrier: Recently there’s been talk of Facebook, LinkedIn and Google being the future of recruiting as they will be the largest databases of career information on the web and therefore be a one-stop shop for when you need to recruit and source candidates.
While I don’t disagree with the potential of these sources, I do disagree on the value of having your own Talent Network. By building your Talent Network through opt-in channels, you are bypassing the first important step of conversion: obtaining permission of the candidate. With this permission, a candidate not only shows interest in the opportunities you offer but also extends the olive branch to begin engaging with them.
The other benefit is that having your own Talent Network provides you with access to candidates that your competitors don’t necessarily have access to. Activity with these contacts on regular basis can make your company the employer of choice when these candidates decide it’s time to move on.
Build into your process a way to capture candidates through opt-in and make sure to include this option on all your candidate-facing channels. This includes having dual-purpose job ads, having opt-in form on your Career Site and having a opt-in link on your social recruiting channels. Once you have this ingrained in your process, you should be able to put this on auto-pilot while reaping the benefits for every job campaign you run.
There’s no doubt that hiring a quality candidates is goal #1 for any job campaign. But Building your Talent Network should be goal #1A.