Tag Archive: Talent Pipeline

  1. Nontraditional Talent Pools & How to Tap Into Them

    No matter which way you look at it, recruiting is hard work – especially in 2019. The jobs are plenty, the job seekers are few, and diversity is top of mind at many organizations. So it’s no surprise that gaining traction with potential candidates requires careful thought combined with a whole lot of action. 

    As a result, recruiters need to revisit their strategies, expand their reach, and tap into new or otherwise nontraditional talent pools. Of course, adding this to your current workload might feel like a second job, but thankfully, there are programs and tools that help facilitate the process. Here are three to consider adding to your existing toolkit:

    Returnship programs

    ‘Nontraditional’ applies to a wide variety of job seekers, including those out of the workforce for an extended period. Maybe they served in the military, spent a few years taking care of a loved one, or decided to pursue an advanced degree full-time. No matter the reason, a returnship offers these people the opportunity to slide back into the world of work.

    Felicia Fleitman, who manages strategic pipelines at Verisk, a data analytics company, explains the returnship experience as “an intern program for mid-level professionals returning to work.” Recognizing that returnees need help in specific areas, Verisk provides access to training, development, coaching, and mentorship resources designed to restart their career and get them up to speed. Sometimes this leads to a job offer. Sometimes their return isn’t the right fit – and that’s OK too.  

    In terms of recruiting, adding a returnship program provides direct access to countless candidates, who might go overlooked in an ATS. At the same time, you’re giving returnees the chance to get their confidence back while contributing to your organization. A win-win, all around. 

    Video interviewing

    Maybe you’re not in a position to implement a new program, such as returnship. Luckily, there are other ways to tap into nontraditional talent without building something from scratch. For a quick win, take a look at some of your most time-intensive recruitment processes. The administrative workload associated with scheduling and screening candidates is probably not the best use of your recruiters’ time. That workload, coupled with pressure to move fast, forces recruiters to stick with what they know and avoid looking outside the traditional mold. 

    With a tool like video interviewing to automate and streamline, recruiters are able to review more candidates in less time, while continuing to collaborate with hiring managers and other stakeholders. 

    As far as nontraditional talent goes, this technology enables all types of candidates to interview when and where they’re able to – rather than simply at the behest of the organization. Be it pre-recorded or live, video interviewing emphasizes convenience – an important factor in a tight job market, especially with so many job seekers either actively employed or else unavailable during office hours. Video interviewing is also mobile friendly, allowing you to reach candidates in different cities, looking to relocate, or those with mobility issues who can’t necessarily travel with ease. With this type of solution in place, you’re able to cast a wider net with fewer strings attached. 

    Soft skills assessment

    When it comes to finding and engaging new talent, you might still need to think outside the box – or in this case, your industry. Sure, it’s great when candidates fall into your lap having the exact resume and experience you’re looking for. But how often does that happen in 2019? Instead of limiting your search to candidates who’ve done the job before, you can use assessments to find people with transferrable skills that will work well in your industry. 

    Take sales, for example. The ability to sell isn’t contingent on years of experience in a sales position. It’s about having the soft skills and behavioral traits necessary to be productive. Using a pre-hire assessment, you can identify candidates with the highest potential for success, even if their background doesn’t correspond exactly. In fact, nontraditional talent may even outperform other hires because they’re a stronger match – and you won’t know until you assess. 

    It’s tough to say if and when the job market will change, but for now, it’s a candidate’s game and recruiters need to play through. To get candidates from those nontraditional talent pools you haven’t recruited from before, you need to shore up your resources and dive in head first. 

    Written by Greg Moran,
    CEO of Outmatch

  2. 4 Ways to Keep Qualified Candidates on the Hook

    We talk to talent acquisition teams all the time, and most of them say that qualified candidates dropping off is one of their top concerns. They don’t want to lose potential stars to things like a poor application process or an inconsistent employer brand. So what can you do?

    1. Step into the candidates’ shoes: The majority of candidates will quit the application process if it’s too long or complex. In most cases, if you respect your candidates’ time, you’re going to get higher completion rates. You also want to send some type of communication letting them know you’ve received their application. Many companies use an automated email that says something like: “Thank you for submitting your application.” If possible, also include information on next steps and what to expect, then follow up to let them know the status of their application. Also, letting candidates know when the job has been closed out is a small courtesy that can have a big impact on your brand.

    2. Test the application process. Sometimes the process can be fragmented with different systems powering different parts of the application. Have you actually gone through the full process from start to finish? Testing the process for flow, information accuracy, brand consistency, time, etc. is important. Work out any kinks you find and be sure to go back and test on a regular basis.

    3. Keep them in your talent network. If a candidate isn’t hired, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a poor fit for your company. They might be a great fit in another department or another role. When you can, provide some feedback on why they didn’t get the job, and let them know about other opportunities in your organization. This will help keep candidates in your funnel so you can source directly from your qualified talent community. Who knows—a runner-up candidate could come back to be your next great hire!

    4. Find out what candidates are saying. Another way to uncover a potential problems with your candidate experience is to hear directly from those who’ve been through it. Candidates often share their experiences online, so start with a Google search, go on Glassdoor, and browse different message boards to get a sense of what qualified candidates are saying about your recruitment process. You may find that a certain part of the process is causing grief or not meeting expectations, and you can make targeted improvements to greatly enhance the overall experience.

    Are you ready to ramp up your candidate experience? It will pay off in the long run. To learn more, watch our webinar: Employment Brand, Candidate Experience, and How to Gain Competitive Edge.

  3. Catch Some ZZZ’s (And We Don’t Mean Sleep)

    Spring and summer graduation ceremonies have welcomed another class of college graduates into the working world. But unlike other years, 2016 saw the first graduates from Generation Z walk the stage.

    While they share many characteristics with their brothers and sisters from Gen Y (Millennials), this year’s 21-year-olds represent the first wave of recruits from an entirely new generation of young professionals.

    If they haven’t already, members of Gen Z will soon show up in your talent pipeline. Here’s what you should know about them:

    • They’re a small demographic (for now). If you’re specifically targeting this generation, competition is going to be tough.
    • They’re natives of the digital age. They’re incredibly tech savvy, but they also have the shortest attention span (8 seconds).
    • They’re confident and assertive. They’re goal-oriented, and not shy when it comes to talking about career paths.
    • They’re fact checkers. With information always in arm’s reach, they’re much more knowledgeable about employers.
    • They’re interested in job security. After 9/11 and the financial crisis, the idea of building a career in one place appeals to them.

    As most members of this generation are still in elementary or high school, Gen Z may be a small blip on your radar now, but with each passing year, more of them will join the workforce. Keep an eye out for changing trends and be careful not to blindly apply what you’ve learned about Millennials to these young recruits.

    For tips on talking with candidates from Gen Z, see what Dan Black, head of recruiting for EY (formerly Ernst & Young), learned from his research with EY interns and Gen Z-ers worldwide. And remember, no matter what generation you’re working with, job fit—not age—is always best predictor of success.

  4. Pop Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know about Reference Checking?

    True or false?

    • Reference checks and background checks are basically the same thing.
    • Candidates usually tell the truth on resumes and job applications.
    • Employers can be sued for saying something negative about a former employee.

    Want to know what’s what when it comes to reference checking? Our new eBook will help you separate fact from fiction. You’ll also learn how to boost reference response rates, get better insight on candidates, and fuel your talent pipeline.

    6 Things You Didn't Know about Reference Checking eBook cover


  5. Reference Checking Is Old Hat… Or Is It?

    Every recruiter, hiring manager, and HR professional knows the ins and outs of reference checking. It’s a practice as old as hiring, and the concept is simple: talk to the people who know firsthand what it’s like to work with a candidate before you commit to hiring them.

    But sometimes it’s the most familiar things that we tend to ignore—especially when those things seem like a hassle. Most of the time with reference checking, the goal is to get through it. Gather the contact info, make the calls, leave the voicemails, follow up when you don’t hear back… And because it’s not easy, we keep it at arm’s length. We never get close enough to see reference checking in a new light.

    So I challenge you to look again. You may be surprised to find there are things you don’t know about reference checking. Like why references tend to clam up if you succeed in getting one of them on the phone. Or why many companies have fallen into the habit of checking references at the end, rather than earlier in the hing process.

    A recent post on Recruiter.com answers these questions and more. Read on in 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Reference Checking.

  6. 4 Reasons You’re Losing Candidates—And How to Fix It

    The job market is bouncing back, and that means employers aren’t just hiring to fill vacancies, they’re hiring to grow. With more jobs on the market than people to fill them, job seekers can be selective about the opportunities they pursue.

    All that to say, competition is fierce, and every time you lose someone from your candidate funnel, you lose a potential great hire. Possibly to a competitor!

    Here are 4 common reasons candidates jump ship (or don’t apply at all):

    1. Job ads are generic and make the position seem dull.
    2. Companies don’t sell themselves as a great place to work.
    3. The process is difficult, frustrating, or takes too long.
    4. High potential candidates get lost in the masses.

    Remember, active job seekers are probably applying for several jobs at a time, so they’re having to repeat this process again and again. The best way for you to stand out as an employer is to make the candidate experience a positive one. Not only will you keep more candidates, you’ll also create happy customers—nearly 70% of job seekers say they’re more likely to buy from a company that treated them well in the application process.

    Here are 6 tips for improving your candidate experience:

    1. Keep the application process short and sweet. Step into the candidate’s shoes and see what the experience is like from their perspective. Also see how your process compares to other companies. Candidates aren’t on your payroll yet, so lessen the workload as much as you can.
    2. Connect people to the purpose of your organization. As the job market evolves, we’re seeing that meaning really is the new money. Job seekers and employees are looking for the “WHY” in their work-life. They want jobs that are driven by purpose, not just paychecks. To attract and keep candidates, you need to give them purpose.
    3. Give candidates a reason to stick with you. Look at how theme parks like Disney have made waiting in line part of the ride. In the HR world, the end game isn’t a roller coaster, but you can certainly take something tedious and turn it into something that’s engaging and has value for the candidate, not just for you.
    4. Know how to pinpoint your best candidates. Top candidates may not be on the market long. You need a way to quickly separate high potential from the rest, before they’re snatched up by the competition. Pre-hire assessments are a great way to do this, especially if you’re working with a large pool of candidates.
    5. Lean on technology, but keep it human. Automating your process is the best way to create a seamless experience, but don’t forget to add a human touch. Candidates want to know that you’re interested in them as a person and that they’re more than a number in your system.
    6. Don’t leave candidates in the dark. A little communication goes a long way. Let candidates know what to expect at each step and what’s next in the process. And consider following up with all of the candidates who apply, even the ones who didn’t make the cut.

    The key is to keep as many candidates as you can in the funnel, and then narrow down to the very best fit. But don’t stress if you optimize your process and still see some candidate drop off. Be confident in your recruitment message, and know that the right people will stay.

  7. Will a Long Assessment Cause Higher Drop Off?

    Clients often ask how the length of an assessment will impact their candidate experience and drop-off rates. The screening process can be daunting, and many companies worry that an assessment will be a barrier to their candidate funnel.

    Also, companies want to be sure they’re providing a positive experience because candidates are often customers.

    It’s a reasonable concern, and just like anything, the trade-offs should be considered. Any kind of pre-hire insight, whether it comes from a screening call or an assessment or an interview, is an advantage for the employer, but it requires effort from the candidate. So the question is, how much effort are most candidates willing to put in?

    Let’s look at sample of hourly candidates across industries:

    Assessment Length Number of Questions Average Completion
    Short (under 10 minutes) 40-100 94%
    Average (about 10-15 minutes) 101-120 93%
    Long (about 15-20 minutes) 121-140 94%
    Very Long (20 minutes or more) 141-200 91%

    As you can see, assessment length has just a slight impact on the average completion rate, which falls by only 3 percentage points when the assessment exceeds 140 questions.

    The value of an assessment comes from its ability to measure work-related traits and predict how successful someone will be on the job. Too few questions, and the assessment becomes less reliable, meaning it may not be measuring what it’s supposed to be measuring.

    And keep in mind—some drop off is a good thing. If a candidate realizes part-way through the screening process that he or she isn’t the right fit, either for the position or for your company, then you’ll be able to concentrate on other, more serious candidates.

    If you’re still concerned about drop-off rates, here are a few other things to consider:

    • The candidate experience from beginning to end. What’s the very first interaction candidates have with your hiring process? Social media? Your career page? If the experience doesn’t start well, you’ll likely lose candidates before they even begin.
    • The length of your entire application process. Assessments are just one step in the process. It’s good to know what your average drop-off rate is, but look closer at each step and you’ll be able to pinpoint where the highest drop off is happening.
    • Where the assessment falls within your process. Is the assessment part of the online application, or does it come after the initial screening call? Either way, make sure you communicate the purpose and the time requirement before candidates begin.
    • Mobile support. 86% of candidates use their smartphone to begin a job search, and 70% want to be able to apply using their phone, according to talent expert Tim Sackett. If your goal is to cast a wide net for candidates, make sure you’re meeting their needs.

    This post is part of our FAQs series, where you can learn about the inner-workings of our assessments, as well as best practices to help improve your hiring process.