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Donald Trump’s High-volume Recruiting Lessons
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017

As the host of “The Apprentice,” billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump made it his signature to fire the reality show’s contestants, but President Donald Trump will hire thousands of people to staff his administration.

From Cabinet positions and the White House staff to confidential assistants and schedulers, Trump faces roughly 4,100 vacancies as former President Barack Obama’s appointees leave office with him. Of those, more than 1,000 require Senate confirmation.

Ideally, Trump should finish filling the top 100 leadership positions, including the Cabinet secretaries, shortly after Inauguration Day. After that, he should complete the staffing of another 300 critical posts scattered throughout federal agencies roughly 200 days into his presidency, according to The Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition.

Regardless of whether high-volume recruiters supported or opposed Trump, they can certainly appreciate and relate to the enormity of the hiring hurdle that stands before him. They do not need to staff the federal government of the most important nation in the world, but they can still learn plenty from the man who does, most notably the following lessons.

Be Proactive

As a lifelong businessman on the campaign trail, Trump touted his record as a political outsider, which struck a chord with many politics-weary Americans. However, while Trump’s lack of ties to Capitol Hill benefitted him as a candidate, it may challenge him as a president in need of allies to fill thousands of government jobs. On another note, Trump admitted after his victory that he actually expected to lose the election in light of public polls that showed him trailing Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton heading into Election Day. Despite those circumstances, Trump and his campaign still searched for, met with, and vetted candidates for top roles.

For high-volume recruiters, Trump demonstrated the importance of proactively building a talent pipeline of passive candidates, also known as full-time employees who aren’t looking to make a move, but would still think about doing so. In fact, 52 percent of people would consider a new job if approached by a recruiter with a relevant career opportunity regardless of whether they sought it, according to iCIMS. High-volume recruiters need as many of those passive candidates as they can get, especially given their growing demand for a dwindling supply of job seekers amid an improving economy with more job openings and higher turnover rates. Fortunately, they are insiders in talent acquisition unlike Trump in politics, which means that they have plenty of the time that he lacked to build connections. However, they are not filling highly sought-after government jobs like Trump, so they cannot expect candidates to approach them the same way that some went to him. Instead, they need a candidate-relationship management solution like iCIMS Connect, which will allow them to attract and engage passive candidates by providing a single place to store all of their information, as well as the ability to target them through branded emails about job recommendations and recruiting events, among other capabilities.

Stay Organized

With thousands of vacancies to fill, Trump needs as many applicants as possible, so he established a website where those interested in working for him can apply. Less than a month after Trump won the presidency, he had already received nearly 66,000 applications from men and women hoping to serve in his administration. Clearly, Trump’s not hurting for applicants, but he’s got his work cut out for him when it comes to keeping track of who’s applying, as well as screening and interviewing them, and quickly at that.

Similarly, high-volume recruiters need as many applicants as possible, so they constantly deal with a large influx of applications under tight deadlines. Like Trump, they also need to stay organized, but homegrown methods, spreadsheets, and low-functioning applicant tracking systems provided by existing ERP or HRIS vendors simply won’t do the job. Instead, they need a robust ATS specifically built for the task like iCIMS Recruit, which enables them to post open positions to thousands of job boards with a single click, create a mobile-friendly application process, track all of their recruiting information in one place, and automate communication with candidates through branded email templates. iCIMS Recruit also provides a social distribution tool that publishes job openings to more than 300 social networks, as job seekers submitted 3.3 million applications through social media in 2015, according to iCIMS. The solution additionally provides an employee referral tool, as it automates job publishing to employees’ social media profiles, therefore allowing high-volume recruiters to seek help finding qualified candidates from existing employees. More than 65 percent of employers agree that employee referrals fit better with their company culture, also according to iCIMS.

For more recruiting lessons from Trump, check out this article.