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Beat the Skill Gap: Reduce Time-to-Fill & Find the Best Candidates - Whitepaper

What Every Recruiter Should Know About Proactive Recruitment and Talent CRMs

Reduce Time-to-Fill & Find the Best Candidates

One of the biggest challenges facing recruiters today is a skills gap. While there are plenty of people looking for jobs and plenty of jobs to be had, few candidates have skill sets that fit the positions recruiters are trying to fill. For example, more than 12 million Americans are unemployed, yet 7 million jobs requiring skilled workers went unfulfilled.

While the skill gap is a challenge for recruiters, few can argue that it is the result of positive changes in business; changes that will continue to unfold in the future. With that, we can expect the skills gap to get worse before it gets better. Additionally, the skills gap is a primary contributor to high cost per hire. Keep in mind, cost per hire is heavily influenced by the skill level required for the position, with the average cost-per-hire in the U.S. hovering at approximately $3,479.

Further, depending on the complexity of the job and the industry, the average time to fill a vacancy ranges from 4.5 to 14.4 weeks. Every day that a job remains vacant, the company pays in terms of productivity, revenue, and employee morale/engagement.

Proactive Recruiting

These problems demonstrate the need for recruiters to be implementing proactive recruiting activities. Proactive recruiting activities include identifying the skills your company needs to achieve strategic goals. Once those skills are identified, you must be constantly on the lookout for top talent with those skills whether a position is currently available within the organization or not. The goal in proactive recruitment is to create an arsenal of skilled talent from which you can draw during times of need.

Once you find these candidates, you must engage them, network with them, and educate them on your employment brand, industry, and products/services. At the same time, you must be completely honest as to your goals and reasons for engaging them. In this day and age, few people will turn down an opportunity to network with people who have the ability to further their career.

Talent CRM

For years, sales and marketing professionals have used CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) to build and nurture relationships with sales prospects. As today’s recruiters struggle to hire the best candidates despite the skills gap, recruiters are turning into marketing professionals as they “sell” their company’s employment brand in an attempt to attract the best talent. Now, just like sales and marketing professionals, recruitment professionals need to build and nurture candidate relationships with the help of a Talent CRM (Candidate Relationship Management).

A Talent CRM is a great way to facilitate your proactive recruitment efforts. For example, how many times have highly skilled, highly qualified, intelligent, entrepreneurial spirited candidates visited your career portal, found no jobs matching their skills currently available, and went on to visit your competitors’ career portal? How many talented people have you met and lost contact with? No one can actually answer those questions, but the point is clear. Successful recruiters and sourcers must have a way to keep track of candidate information, even when a candidate is not ready to apply for a job with your organization. A Talent CRM is the key and it has two parts about which you should be aware: the candidate experience and the recruiter experience.

Candidate Experience
Candidates access the Talent CRM from your company’s career page, social media profile, or other resource. Using the Talent CRM, candidates can send their information to you when no job matching their skills or experience currently exists. The best Talent CRM will allow candidates to send their information using a social media profile, so that the information the recruiter sees is always up to date.

Recruiter Experience
On the recruiter’s side of the Talent CRM, candidates are grouped into ‘talent pools’ based on similar skillsets, functional roles, geographic location, or whichever way your company segments potential candidates. The best part of the CRM is, of course, the ability for the recruiter to nurture those candidate relationships with communication tools. Using the CRM, your organization can keep candidates warm by automating personalized, branded communications candidates. These communications ultimately create excitement surrounding potential employment with your company.

Keeping Talent Warm with a Talent CRM

In addition to collecting candidate information and facilitating talent pipeline searches, a Talent CRM helps companies keep talent warm and engaged until the time is right to invite them to apply. The best Talent CRMs have an email campaign feature that facilitates designing, scheduling, and sending targeted communications en masse. These communications serve to build and maintain candidate’s engagement with your organization.
Here are a few examples of content that an organization can send via automated, scheduled email campaigns to engage candidates from their Talent CRM:

  • Employment newsletters including spotlighted jobs, pictures or videos with happy employees, social media links, positive news about the company as a whole or individual department, and/or new professional development programs at your organization.
  • Company updates or press releases pertaining to new products, expansion, growth, or social/civic activity.
  • Industry news explaining how the news is likely to have a positive impact on your organization.
  • Professional development ideas relating to your industry or a specific field in which the candidate has expressed interest through membership in one of your talent pools.
  • Notifications about your upcoming job fairs, MeetUps, or other events at which the candidate can network with members of your team.

Talent CRM and LinkedIn Recruiter

A Talent CRM is not a replacement for LinkedIn, nor is LinkedIn a replacement for a Talent CRM. Rather, they are complimentary solutions. LinkedIn is just one of the many tools for finding passive candidates. The best way to understand this is to compare the most important features in both, and how they complement one another.
For example, LinkedIn allows recruiters to send In-Mail, one-off, non-branded communications to individual people. Because the number of In-Mails a recruiter can send in a given period are limited, recruiters must use these wisely, sending In-Mail to candidates for which there is an immediate need or requisition to fill. A Talent CRM, however, allows the recruiter to send automated and unlimited, fully-branded messages that are designed to build a relationship and educate candidates for the purpose of creating a pipeline of warm candidates for future hiring needs.

Another area where LinkedIn and a Talent CRM complement each other is in terms of talent pools and areas of interest. With LinkedIn, the recruiter can source wholly passive candidates based on skills, experience, job title, and more. This, however, is not necessarily indicative of what the candidate wants from their employment! Once you have a candidate interested in your employment brand, the Talent CRM lets you group candidates together based on areas in which the candidate has expressed interest. Once candidates are grouped in the CRM, sending branded mass communications that show the value of your employment brand is easy and unlimited. 

As you can see, by leveraging LinkedIn and a Talent CRM together, you are able to find, then classify and communicate en-masse with candidates that have expressed some level of interest in your employment brand. In this way, you maximize your sourcing activities to maintain a constant pool of warm candidates.

Driving Traffic to Your Talent CRM

Clearly, you will want to drive as much talent to the CRM as possible so you have a sufficient pool of candidates from which you can draw. Here are some ideas on how to drive more traffic to your Talent CRM.

  • Incorporate an attention grabbing, graphical link to your Talent CRM in all of your company’s career microsites, corporate social media pages, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, outbound email, business cards, banner ads, and all other recruitment marketing materials.
  • If your Talent CRM has a kiosk mode, use a tablet or iPad to collect candidate information when you at tradeshows and career fairs.
  • Import your LinkedIn connections.
  • Tweet or post social media updates to other sites inviting people to connect with the company.
  • Encourage employees to refer their friends and connections.

How iCIMS Can Help

iCIMS is the leading provider of talent acquisition solutions that help businesses win the war for top talent. iCIMS empowers companies to manage their entire hiring process within the industry’s most robust Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Built on the foundation of a best-to-market talent acquisition software suite, iCIMS’ PaaS framework, UNIFi, allows employers to expand the capabilities of their core talent acquisition technology by integrating with the largest partner ecosystem in talent acquisition to help them attract, find, screen, and manage candidates. Offering scalable, easy-to-use solutions that are backed by award-winning customer service, iCIMS supports more than 3,500 contracted customers and is one of the largest and fastest-growing talent acquisition solution providers.