| 3 min read
Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim to it”. “Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow”. There are more than enough quotes out there encouraging individuals to live proactively, to think ahead and to plan for the future.
So why then, do companies do the exact opposite when it comes to their hiring strategies?
So often, businesses hire in response to a problem – whether it’s a new headcount due to growth or needing to backfill due to a resignation – the success of an organisation is dependent on its ability to identify and bring talent on board, and to do it quickly. That’s because, at a time when digital and technology is evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, the one thing that can confer a significant competitive advantage is having the right talent in place. Without this, companies remain unable to adapt quickly and to transform at the speed needed, and risk falling behind in the world of digital transformation.
The problem, however, with hiring in response to a problem, is that position tend to be open longer; it takes time to scope the market, interview the potential candidates and find the right fit. And the longer a position remains unfilled, the greater the impact on the company.
Proactive recruitment, on the other hand, is the process of identifying, engaging and building relationship with qualified professionals long before the need arises. It’s taking a step back to the days of networking, and building genuine connections with candidates in your industry, rather than suddenly bombarding them with messages in response to an urgent need. It’s knowing who does what, and how they could potentially help your business, so that when the time comes you already know who you’re picking up the phone to and inviting for an interview.
So, whilst few companies choose to adopt this strategy, here’s a few reasons why you should consider it:
1. Market yourself effectively: Many professionals in the talent acquisition today are focusing heavily on their company branding – Head of Strategic Recruitment at Wipro, Yasar Ahmad, being one of them. In line with this, proactive recruitment enables you to evaluate market demand, understand what’s important to new hires, and learn what is engaging them. It provides the opportunity to understand your market prior to actually having an open requirement and gives you time to get your house in order – in terms of identifying your top selling points and most attractive attributes - before you start reaching out to candidates.
2. Engage passive talent in advance: Passive talent – that is, candidates who are not actively seeking new opportunities – can take time to engage than someone whose ‘open to new opportunities’ on LinkedIn. Unfortunately for businesses, however, this passive talent pool is where you’re most likely to find the individuals with the skill set you need. By proactively searching for candidates before you’re actually looking to fill a role, you can build relationships with these individuals so that when they are eventually on the market, and when you do eventually have a role, the whole conversation becomes a lot easier.
3. Retain your current staff: It’s pretty simple math – the longer a vacancy is open, the more likely your current staff will be working overtime to cover the workload. And one of the biggest causes of staff turnover is burn out. So, by proactively recruiting you can keep your current team happy by bringing in the support they need as soon as that need is identified.
4. Bring people on board quicker: By working proactively businesses can plan their hiring needs in advance and define the requirements before the need actually arises. Then, when the job does need to be filled, the focus can be on finding the right individual and not on determining what said individual needs to be brought in to do.
5. Improving your interview process: In today’s candidate-driven market, it’s all about the candidate experience. And a huge part of that is the interview process. A proactive recruitment strategy affords you that time to work with your hiring managers and develop an interview process that works for you, and that ensures your potential talent has a positive experience throughout. Hiring on a needs-must basis can often mean the experience and process is overlooked and rushed, because the sole focus is on getting someone in, but that can be highly detrimental to the success of your initiatives.
Proactive recruitment is all about relationship building and understanding the market you are recruiting from before the need arises. Although it might seem unnecessary to invest the time and effort before a job exists, choosing to do so will save you a lot of stress down the line. When you take it all into account, you will be more likely to engage with a higher calibre of talent, and more likely to see success both internally and externally as a result of your initiatives.
Proactive recruitment might not be for everyone; it takes time and it takes commitment, but if it’s for you, then get in touch with our specialist consultants to learn how we engage passive candidates and build relationships better than anyone else out there to deliver the talent you need, as soon as you need it!