However, there simply aren’t enough qualified candidates to go around. Top-tier talent is in high demand, and has more offers to choose from – including counter offers. As a result of this increased competition for talent, time to fill is increasing.
Smart companies are taking a more proactive approach to recruiting, and reducing their time to fill, with candidate nurturing.
What is candidate nurturing, and why should I do it?
With each candidate search, you’re bound to find great candidates that aren’t hired for one reason or another. Maybe your top choice candidate accepted your offer and you didn’t have other positions for the runners up. Or perhaps your top choice candidate accepted another offer, or wasn’t ready to make a move.
Instead of wasting these highly qualified candidates, you can nurture them to keep them engaged for future opportunities. Then, when a new opportunity opens up at your company, you have a pipeline of qualified, interested talent ready to interview.
What are some ways I can nurture my candidate pipeline?
Candidate nurturing initiatives can range from very simple, manual processes to automated, yet personalized, programs. Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Set reminders to follow up with candidates at key milestones. If the candidate took another offer, reach out around the 90 day mark to see how their new role is treating them. If they decided to stay with their current employer to finish up a big project, reach out when that project is projected to be finished.
Many applicant tracking systems will allow you to set follow-up reminders, but you can also do this on your calendar or through LinkedIn.
- Engage with your candidates on social media. Connect with your candidates on LinkedIn and Twitter, and like or comment on their updates. LinkedIn is particularly great about reminding you when your candidate has a work anniversary, new job or birthday, so you can send them a congratulatory note.
If you’re already logging into these tools for sourcing, take a few extra minutes to keep in touch with your existing candidates.
- Send a talent newsletter. You can reach candidates with a one-to-many approach by sending a regular talent newsletter with information that is relevant to your candidates. You can create a general newsletter where you share company news, job seeker tips, and career advice, or develop a separate newsletter for each job function to share more targeted information.
This approach is best used in combination with one-to-one outreach, so you still have a personalized touch while staying top-of-mind in between personal conversations.
- Create a talent community. You can create a talent community on Facebook or LinkedIn (through Pages or Groups), or use an enterprise social intranet for a more formal program.
This allows you to keep candidates updated on job openings and company news, while also giving you a forum to engage with them one-on-one. Share career tips, company news and information about your company culture and employees to keep your community engaged.
Investing in your talent pipeline through candidate nurturing helps you build a more proactive recruitment process in which you develop relationships with talent well ahead of time.
When you can pull candidates into your recruitment process as soon as an opportunity opens up, instead of waiting to source and screen new candidates, you can shave time to fill from the very start.