Recruitment has changed dramatically in the past few years. Seemingly overnight recruitment has turned into an employee’s market. This year US job openings have jumped to a record high and 34% of companies around the world report having difficulty filling positions. In this new age of recruitment, we don’t have candidates lining up at our door to work for us, and without a line, we may not be able to be successful in filling our open positions with qualified talent.

If we wait for candidates to flood our job boards with applications, you’re likely to be waiting a long time. However, we can build our pool of candidates purposefully and effectively through other efforts that our recruitment teams are already doing. Having this “pipeline” of candidates can significantly reduce the time it takes to fill positions and will ensure access to the talent your business needs for success.

“Not Hired” Doesn’t Mean “Never Hired”

Talent acquisition professionals know all too well what it’s like to have highly qualified candidates make it through the entire interview process and not be hired. Sometimes they lacked in small areas, other times it’s a coin toss, but either way they are the people you’d love to hire at some point. When this happens there are two important steps to take: 1. Immediately see if there are other open positions they are a good fit for, and 2. Take the time to let the candidate know the positives of the interview process, why you’d like to keep them in mind for other positions and get their permission to reach out when something opens up. Communicating with the employee that you see a future for them at your company when the opportunity arises will keep them positive and engaged.

Connect With Referrals Even When The Job Is Filled

Referred candidates are gold for filling your talent pool because they typically are already employed – meaning they are likely to not be actively looking for a new opportunity and will still be available when a position opens up. This combined with the inherent qualities of a referred employee can make them some of the best candidates to have “on deck” when a position opens up.

Network For The Sake of Networking

Building your connections in the industry and community can connect you with some amazing talent that can be sourced in the future. Often we network with an intention: I have a position to fill, I need to promote our brand, etc. Networking and attending events for the simple sake of connecting with others will keep you open and has big payoffs when you least expect it. This also helps you understand current trends and keeps you in the loop, giving you the edge you need when you really need to find that special hire!

Make a List, Check it Twice

Lastly, don’t let this live in your mind and in casual conversations. Create a process that includes creating a list of potential candidates, what they may be a good fit for, why they are a good fit and their contact information. Have your entire recruitment team collaborate on this list so that the talent pool can become as strong as it can be. It’s good practice to stay in touch with people, include them on your company newsletter, reach out to them every couple of months to see how things are going, show that you haven’t forgotten about them! Keeping your name and your company’s image on top of their mind will have them primed to talk when an opportunity opens up!

Creating your “On Deck” list is a little bit of work up front, but has huge payoffs in the long run. This simple practice can significantly cut down the time it takes to fill positions and dramatically increase the quality of employees you recruit!