“The early bird gets the worm” may be one of the most commonly used phrases for encouraging proactivity. There’s a reason why—in many instances, it holds true. And when it comes to recruitment, the early bird can get several worms. Keep reading to learn why your HR team should be employing a proactive recruitment strategy—and tactics for building out a strategy that works for your business.
What Is Proactive Recruitment?
Proactive recruitment is, simply, a recruitment practice in which you aim to engage and seek out potential candidates before you might need them. It is the opposite of reactive recruitment, a practice where you are only actively recruiting once hiring demand hits.
Many organizations may unwittingly fall into reactive recruitment, particularly if the people team is short-staffed. It’s understandable: Reactive recruitment is easier when bandwidth is tight. Recruiters can wait until someone applies to engage them—in other words, to react. However, this tactic won’t yield the same results as proactive recruitment.
Why You Should Have A Proactive Recruitment Plan
There are several reasons that your organization should have a proactive recruitment strategy. For one, proactive recruitment is important for fostering goodwill and interest among qualified candidates. If you only ever wait until you have hiring demand to engage candidates, you might lose out on highly desirable prospects. It should come as no surprise that the most qualified candidates will also be the ones with the most competition, which is why it’s important to practice proactive candidate engagement.
You can’t know a potential candidate’s mindset until you engage with them. Maybe they haven’t heard of your organization but are intrigued by what you have to say. Maybe they were already slightly interested in your company and your engagement has them eager to learn more. Or maybe they’re not interested right now, but might be in the future. This leads to a second main point—proactive recruitment enables you to build out a talent pipeline. Since you’re often looking for qualified people before you actually need them, you can build up a pipeline for the long term and the short-term, a resource that shouldn’t be undervalued in today’s competitive job marketplace.
How To Recruit Proactively
As we mentioned, reactive recruitment is particularly widespread among companies that are low on resources. However, even the smallest of businesses can use proactive recruitment tactics by taking advantage of modern technology and tools—and by streamlining their communication. Several methods for building a strong proactive recruitment strategy are listed below.
Align across the board. You don’t want to reach out to everyone you can find on job boards and online marketplace hubs—it wouldn’t be realistic or efficient. Think about the candidates you need per department, both in the short-term and long-term. Aligning on company strategy can help inform your needs, so you know exactly who you should be proactively recruiting.
Build a strong employer brand. Having a strong employer brand is helpful for all manners of recruitment, including proactive recruitment. That’s because the more attractive you are to a candidate when you engage them, the more likely they will be interested in your organization—even if they weren’t planning to move or you don’t have the job role open just yet. You want to stand out. Your first engagement is your opportunity to make a strong first impression and stand out from the crowd—a task made easier with a strong employer brand.
Target with programmatic recruiting. As mentioned, proactive recruitment used to depend on an HR team’s resources. But now with modern technology like programmatic recruiting, HR teams can complete recruitment tasks that used to take hours and hours of tedious work. For example, PandoLogic’s own programmatic recruitment software, pandoIQ, helps HR teams by predicting the optimal job advertising campaign and getting your job in front of the right candidates—without any guesswork from recruiters.
Use an applicant tracking system (ATS). These systems can help ensure you are properly nurturing candidates. Maybe a passive candidate is finally ready for a career change, or a previous candidate is a perfect fit for a new role—by using proactive recruitment you will have built a pipeline of candidates that you can then manage with an ATS.
Competition in the job marketplace isn’t lightening—which is why engaging proactively with candidates is more important than ever. And proactive recruitment is made all the easier with today’s modern tools and technology.