Improve your time to hire by having a quality talent database
Tiaan Dwyer | HR Specialist
September 10 2021
Planning is essential when it comes to recruiting candidates. Ideally, recruitment should be a continuous process wherein recruiters source candidates on a regular basis so that they can have a great database of talent that can be utilised when the actual need arises. But most companies and recruiting teams have a reactive approach to employment rather than proactive. They will frantically start searching for candidates only when a need arises and they are under pressure of deadlines.
However, the window of opportunity for employment a talented candidate is so small that the last minute rush can result in unstructured job postings, resumes piling up and you praying that the perfect candidate finds you quickly. If you wait until the last minute to fill the position it might be too late. Chaos often results in such a situation wherein you end up making hasty decisions by recruiting people who are good enough for now but do not have the required skills to make your organisation grow. This results in a never-ending, vicious circle.
You can save yourself from facing such situations by having a database of talented candidates in reserve waiting to be hired by you. These talented individuals need to be those who are already interviewed and vetted and not people who need to go through the screening process from scratch.
Think about recruitment, as a part of your daily activity. Even if you believe you have the “perfect” staff in place, it may not take much time for the scenario to change. Your business might expand, resulting in the need for additional staff. Someone might unexpectedly leave your organisation for a better opportunity or even worse, one of your current team members might plan to stick around in your organisation but perform below par. All these scenarios warrant the need for a planned recruitment process that does not settle for the second best talent.
Given below are the steps to building a talent database that can help you stay ahead of the employment game rather than playing catch up all the time.
1. PLAN YOUR RECRUITMENT NEEDS IN ADVANCE
In order to build an effective talent database, it is important for you as an HR manager to know the manpower requirements of your organisation, both current and future. Before you kick-start the process of building a talent database it is important to understand the different roles that are extremely vital for the success of your organisational objectives.
By scrutinizing the future requirements of your organisation and the critical roles that are vital to reaching the organisational objectives, you can prioritise where to concentrate your employment efforts. It is also very crucial to visualize a scenario and think about what would happen if a crucial team member leaves the organisation. If you have a suitable replacement readily available it showcases the current talent database strength and vice versa. This is the best way to assure whether you are having an abundance of talent at bay or are facing the shortage of quality talent that can take over critical positions in your organisation.
You also need to set up KPIs and monitor the success of your current talent database strategy – turnover rate by a department, time to hire, offer-to-acceptance ratio, sources of hire and open jobs vs. filled jobs. For example, even if you are able to find a good candidate, if your offer-to-acceptance ratio is low, you may need to work on the pay package that you are offering or on your employer brand.
2. DRAW THE RIGHT TALENT THROUGH A PUSH OR PULL APPROACH
The next step is to attract the right talent which can be done successfully through a push or pull approach. A push approach is when organisations are trying to attract passive candidates who are interested in the job but are not actively looking to join your organisation. One way to successfully attract passive candidates through push strategy is by posting your jobs on social media or actively sourcing candidates on LinkedIn.
While a pull approach is effective when the candidates are actively searching for jobs. The best way to attract the right talent through the pull approach is by promoting your jobs on a job board, career website, etc. Your employer brand is key for both the push and pulls approach to work. It also assists the right talent to self-select your organisation as a target employer for their next career step.
3. USE THE RIGHT MIX OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL CANDIDATES TO FIND THE RIGHT TALENT
Irrespective of the industry you are working in, your talent database should comprise of the right mix of internal and external candidates. Initiate the process by building a talent database of internal candidates who have the potential to succeed in any role or take on a new role as the organisation grows. The vital thing is to recognise their talent gaps which can be improved through the right training approach. This can be done through a talent review session throughout the organisation.
YOU CAN SEARCH FOR EXTERNAL TALENT BY PARTICIPATING IN:
Joining industry groups on LinkedIn and pushing your organisation’s news as news feed, congratulating key members in achieving a career milestone, or wishing them a happy birthday;
Recruitment campaigns like graduate campuses and roadshows
Take advantage of your existing contacts by encouraging employee referral programs and making them share any jobs in their own channels and giving incentive to those who refer high-quality talent.
4. GAUGE THE TALENT FOR FUTURE RECRUITMENT NEEDS
Once you have built your talent database, the next step is to evaluate their potential to fill critical positions. The assessment can be done based on qualitative and quantitative needs by answering some of these questions:
a) What are the particular skill sets and expertise required by the candidates to succeed in critical positions in the near future?
b) What are the challenges they can face in the near future?
c) Which experiences can help them overcome these challenges?
d) What specific knowledge do they need to acquire to succeed?
Answer these questions by discussing with senior management and refer back to them while evaluating the candidates in your talent database.
5. IDENTIFY SKILL GAPS AND PROVIDE ONGOING TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT
The process of building your talent database does not end once you evaluate the talent for future recruitment needs. It is an ongoing process that requires constant upgrading from the talent database in order to succeed in crucial positions in the near future.
Devise a program through which you can identify the skill gaps and correct their skills through ongoing training for further development. This can be done with the help of cross-functional experiences, internal assignment opportunities both nationally and globally along with internal and external coaching.
6. DETERMINE KPI’S AND MONITOR THE OVERALL INTEREST OF THE TALENT DATABASE APPROACH
After providing successful training opportunities to the talent database the last step is to evaluate the overall interest of your talent database approach. This can be done with the help of KPI’s for different areas.
For example; if you want to measure the effectiveness of your employer brand when it comes to creating a talent database, you can do that by measuring the number of unwanted expressions of interests received for crucial roles. If you want to measure the effectiveness of the development programs it can be done by measuring the employee turnover rates.
Make it a habit to review the outcomes every quarterly, half-yearly or annually. Based on the outcomes you can adjust your model to ensure that your talent database continues to have a major impact on your business needs.
Keeping your talent pipeline full is a continuous process. Never stop even if you feel you have enough candidates for your organisation. Always think about the future. You never know when you will strike gold while getting in touch with a new candidate.
If there is something I want you to know about me right away, it’s that I have a passion for supporting business owners. I believe in the future of South Africa and that there are so many opportunities out there to be successful and to make a change to our economy.
I want to be part of that change by providing businesses with core HR and Labour Solutions that will not only result in legislative compliance but actually positively impact their bottom line.
Over the years I have gained practical HR experience working in various sectors such as mining, construction, financial services, and corporate legal. As a business owner myself, I can relate well to businesses and what their needs are.