The following post is being shared with permission from our friends at Avancos. View the original post by Dave Hickman on the Avancos blog.

What if you could predict what type of talent is needed, exactly when they are needed, and in the ideal locations every month and quarter? Sounds like a nirvana, right? However the reality is recruitment is reactionary to the business and an imperfect science in an imperfect world. When it comes to predicting the future, most people will miss the mark. So how can companies be more predictive in their recruitment in order to access talent faster, on time, and with the right skills better than their competition?

The old model of reactive recruitment is killing companies who need talent to grow their business. And with the gazillion tools to target active and passive candidates, the net effective gains of adding another 50,000 candidates in your ATS is minimal with only 10% as remotely qualified to be potential future employees. All the extra resources spent on attracting the unqualified just adds more work for a recruitment department that already has a limited bandwidth. Hence, the business starts to get upset and make noise about not getting enough qualified candidates. The reality is reactive hiring is a symptom of a bigger cause. So what do most companies do?

First, recruitment start tracking everything they can to demonstrate their value. Then they spend whatever they have left in a minimal budget on low cost options to generate more candidates, and when the problem isn’t solved, they start hearing rumors that executives are talking to RPO firms who purport they can add process, people, and technology to increase efficiency and cut costs by 10-20% (a short term solution by the way). It’s a vicious circle that never solves a long term problem.

The foundations of business hasn’t changed since the beginning of time…. Increase revenue, decrease costs, equals more profit. But over the last economic downturn, the velocity of change has impacted business needs dramatically, thereby causing stops and starts for needed talent. The old recruitment model has had a hard time keeping up and needs to rapidly evolve from being reactive to more proactive and predictive. Meaning, recruitment will be more agile, targeted, and focused on movement vs. motion to get better outcomes. The following are the core principles to achieve this goal.

  1. Identify—Where is the talent? Who do you need? What skills? Where are they? Why are they there? What are their push and pull factors? Using Talent Intelligence tools that capture this information so know where the talent is today, in 2-3 years, and what their drivers are. All of this not only will help set your strategy, but it’s valuable insight you can provide to the business during Talent Planning Sessions.
  2. Organize—It’s critical that access to talent inside your systems and outside your company is critical for future hires. The problem is how most companies organize their talent in their Applicant Tracking Systems. Most ATS’s are being used a catch all for anything that moves and therefore, accessing talent becomes more cumbersome by the day slowing down the process like walking through 10 inches of mud. Ideally, Talent Pipelining will help you identify, record, and organize the talent by roles, skills, and stage in recruitment process. Then you have a built- in proactive and predictive system that provides the business what it needs at the right time.
  3. Evangelize—for this article, I’ll focus on the human side of the equation vs. the marketing side. The energy your recruiters spend to source, recruit, and be an admistrator may look efficient, but it’s not. Your best recruiters are fantastic at building relationships, selling the best talent on why they should join your company, and being a brand advocate to connect now or later. Change your process to change the role, which will positively impact your image insight and outside of the business. The goal is to market and sell your company, the opportunity, and a better future in an authentic and truthful way. Having them shuffle paper doesn’t achieve that goal.

It’s baffling how the current recruitment model hasn’t changed for the last 50 years. I could never understand that every year we get better at predicting weather, economic conditions, and business conditions, but we still struggle on predicting talent acquisition outcomes. The good news is that organizations are now looking at different ways to improve recruitment outcomes. They recognize that in order to compete now and in the near future, they will have to be more proactive in order to be more predictive.

Want to talk more recruitment best practices? Join us at the next Employers Connect event or check out the 2015 DirectEmployers Annual Meeting & Conference.

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