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The talent market is more competitive than ever. In the past year, the U.S. unemployment rate went from 5.3 percent to 4.9 percent—and the number of employed individuals rose by nearly 60 thousand (Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is great news for the U.S. economy, however, it’s a challenge to talent acquisition professionals trying to convince happily employed people to make a change. Where to begin? Make sure you have an optimized, and healthy pipeline of candidates from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Here are six ways to optimize your outbound recruiting, to build sustainable sources of talent.
Align and calibrate
Manage your hiring manager’s expectations. A great way to foster better alignment with your hiring managers is to develop sample candidate profiles that include the skills, experiences and other intangibles that the hiring manager would like to see. Next, review a few sample candidates to gauge how well they match up to your hiring manager’s expectations. The more everyone understands what makes a candidate a good fit, the more efficient your hiring process will be.
Know your key metrics
Measuring outcomes at every stage is a key part of an effective recruiting function because it allows you to see where you’re shining and where you need more support. Work with your team to solidify this process by identifying at least one key metric for each funnel stage including your employer brand, sourcing efforts, candidate experience and so on. Then simply keep track of these key metrics so that you can report on exactly where your team was able to win or lose a great hire -- and adjust accordingly.
Identify the best talent pools
As roles become more specialized, the best candidates with certain skill sets are putting themselves out there on vertical job boards and social media networks. Finding and engaging them in those places can be the difference between a three month and a three-week search. This is where your talent sourcing tools really come in handy. Entelo, for instance, aggregates data from dozens of different online sources and communities like GitHub (developers), Kaggle (data science), Outbound.org (marketers), and Dribbble (designers) to deliver in-depth candidate profiles. With newly released, Entelo Envoy, you can use the power of artificial intelligence to take that process a step further and actually have the system reach out on your behalf, with an optimized message, so that your qualified talent pool is delivered directly to your inbox. All you have to do is nurture it from there.
Build a critical mass
How many candidates does it take to fill a role? 100? 200? Always know how many candidates you’ll need at the top of the funnel to make one hire. Having a firm number in mind will allow your sourcers to better assess prospective candidates against a baseline and set goals to deliver what you need. If you’re not finding enough candidates for the top of the funnel, consider investing in technology that can help you source candidates from across the web, and focus your efforts on qualifying them and bringing them through the funnel to hopefully make a hire.
Sell the opportunity
For talent pros, our organizations are our products and candidates are our customers. With more company information available than ever before, it’s no surprise candidates are showing up to interviews more informed and prepared to ask the tough questions about the organization’s reputation, where it’s headed and what its greatest challenges will be. As talent acquisition professionals, it’s our job to stay up to date on our company’s reputation and that of our competitors. When you know what’s being said about your company and where you rank among your competitors for talent, you’ll be able to deliver an informed argument for why a candidate should select your organization over another.
Great recruiters and recruiting teams build up talent networks over time. It’s not just about your next role, but about the role after that and the role after that. Sometimes it doesn’t work out with candidates, but by keeping the relationship active, you set yourself up to be their first call when they are ready for something new. Creating email drip campaigns and maintaining an active social media presence are great ways to maintain a strong talent network of warm leads that come in handy down the road.
A lot of success in outbound recruiting boils down to analysis, persistence, and being proactive in maintaining talent networks. Doing your research, tracking the right metrics, and investing in the right technology to support your goals will help you develop strong communication channels to attract the right candidates. What else can teams do to optimize outbound recruiting? Share in the comments!