Category: Team Member Posts


What is a pipeline of candidates?

April 27th, 2016

A common definition: A pipeline of candidates also referred to as a ‘candidate pipeline’ or ‘talent pipeline‘ is a pool of candidates who are qualified to assume open positions when they are created or vacated through retirement, promotion, or someone leaving the company.

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To clear up any misconceptions of what a candidate pipeline is, let’s discuss what a pipeline of candidates is not.

A pipeline of candidates is not…

  1. A Resume Database: Any company with an Applicant Tracking System or file of resumes collected over time technically has a ‘database of candidates.’ Likely those same candidates sent their resume to other companies, which means just having the resume isn’t worth much of anything. Has anyone qualified those candidates or built relationships with the people behind the resumes? Without at least a phone screen, a batch of resumes is no more helpful than a pile of blank paper.
  2. A Static, On-call List of Candidates: In the world of recruiting, you’re not buying a thing, you’re buying a person. People have wants and needs, and they often change and evolve. People are promoted, switch jobs, change paths, have different priorities, etc., etc. It’s important to stay in touch with candidates and move people on and off the list of qualified candidates. If you’re buying a pipeline of candidates, you should expect that a Recruitment Consultant is staying in touch with the humans on the list and updating the talent pipeline.
  3. An Exclusive Access Pass to Top Talent: No recruiter has ‘a list of people that no one has. LinkedIn is public and the world is small. Lists may be different but don’t expect that your money can buy something that the company down the street can’t.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, I hope you’ve also learned that developing a pipeline of candidates takes time and requires consistent relationship building. This is what makes a ‘list of names’ investing the time in or worth paying for. Instead of a pile of resumes, a talent pipeline is a list of qualified candidates that have each shared their background, skills, career goals and and interests with a Recruiter and those things line up with your company’s ideal candidate profile.

Building a talent pipeline is a shift from reactive recruiting to proactive recruiting, or recruiting in advance of your hiring needs. So instead of waiting until a position opens or is vacated, you work to fill future openings with talent that is a fit for your business. It means that when you have a new job open or an employee leaves, you can tap your talent pipeline to fill your jobs faster. That’s how a talent pipeline improves your recruiting process.

Engaging Quality Candidates

March 16th, 2016

Attract-engage-talentLast month we examined the preference of sourcing quality over quantity. The catch; however, is that those quality, and often passive candidates, are far more difficult to engage from a sourcing perspective. In turn, approaching engagement with quality candidates strategically can differentiate you from the market and land you the top talent you or your client seek.

So what can you do to separate yourself from the competition?

  1. Be specific and creative: Take the time to research your target’s experience and their footprint. Knowing where the candidate has worked, where they went to school, or what their personal interests are could go a long way in gaining his or her trust as a recruiting partner.
  2. Focus on the opportunity and growth: Put the focus on the talent. Show your expertise in the details about the opportunity and what making a move could mean long-term for your candidate. It’s not just a new job, it could be a crucial progression in a their career, taking he or she to new heights.
  3. Build Relationships: It can be easy to simply sell the job and your company to active candidates who are looking to make a move. On the other hand, passive candidates will need more convincing to even have a conversation. Find out what he or she would be open to hearing about before presenting the opportunity. Try delving into likes and dislikes about their current role, positioning yourself as a consultant, while conveying your industry knowledge and the current state of the market.

Looking for help with your talent strategy?

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Sourcing Quality over Quantity

February 17th, 2016

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Quality Candidates over QuantitySourcing talent is often a sprint to find as many candidates as possible, as quickly as possible. A hiring manager’s starry-eyed expectations drive sourcing specialists’ motivation for speed and quantity. However to deliver quality talent, it’s important to manage those expectations as the best sourcers know that identifying the highest quality talent wins every time. Accordingly, those same sourcers are the ones who can not only source quality candidates, but can do so in a timely manner.

With the lowest national unemployment rate since February 2008, sourcing with efficiency makes the difference in quality hiring. For example, it’s easy to allow active candidates, about 21% of candidates according to LinkedIn, to dominate a majority of your new search. But it’s in the other 79% of candidates where the highest quality candidates hide. The 79% of passive candidates who are not actively searching for opportunities — but if approached strategically, are willing to listen and consider a career change. Choosing to spend time identifying high-quality talent over reviewing resumes that are on the top of the pile is an example of how an efficient sourcer can make a difference.

As a hiring manager: wouldn’t you rather receive a set of three high quality candidates instead of ten run-of-the-mill resumes?

Great sourcing requires digging and strategic thinking to identify a set of passive, high-quality talent. Passive talent is 120% more likely to want to make an impact than active candidates (LinkedIn). Talented sourcers skillfully market their open jobs to passive talent to generate interest in the opportunity, proving time after time the value of quality over quantity.

In the next CBI Way Blog, we’ll examine the strategic ways to market your open job to quality passive candidates.

3 Thoughts for RPO in 2016

January 20th, 2016

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

RPO 2016Another year has passed, and the labor market has continued to be strong as we kick off 2016. There were 2.7 million jobs added in 2015. And we ended the year steadily with the lowest unemployment since 2008; dropping 0.7% from January to December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So what can you expect for RPO providers engaging and recruiting talent in 2016?

Talent Pipelining:  With increased hiring comes increased pressure to find the right talent, and find it quickly. This is especially true with 5.4 million open jobs (BLS). RPO Providers will be focused on talent pipeline services in 2016 to help provide clients talent as fast as possible and helping reduce time to fill.

Technology: Technology, our old friend from our 2015 RPO Thoughts. Yet again, technology is a sticking point for this year’s recruiting trends. With the fast paced nature of RPO engagements, technology can streamline processes, saving each partner time and energy. Look for providers that offer real time reporting. Wouldn’t it be nice to have access to your provider’s activity on your hard-to-fill job on a real-time basis? With today’s technology, you shouldn’t have to wait for the next status update from your RPO partner.

Big Data & Analytics: I’m sure you’ve read or heard the words “big data” when looking at trends or predictions. But it’s here, and it’s been here for longer than you might think, driving growth in some very mainstream industries. Data and analytics experts are highly sought talent. Don’t get left behind by partnering with an RPO provider that lacks experience sourcing and engaging these experts successfully.

Looking for recruiting advice in 2016?

Working on recruitment planning? Making changes to your recruitment process? Schedule an info session to discuss your talent acquisition goals and receive recruitment advice from our team – at no cost to you.
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How to catch the attention of A+ talent that ignores you

November 25th, 2015
Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

As a sourcer of talent, when I find a rock star candidate, sometimes it feels like I’ve won the lottery. That’s when I remember that finding the candidate is only half of the sourcing battle. Next you have to get them to engage. Without engagement, it’s pretty hard to call finding that perfect fit, a win at all.

But, I’m here to tell you that all is not lost. While you may have tried every method you could think of six months ago, there’s certainly an opportunity to resurface and breakthrough the wall of engagement.

Here’s a few strategies to revisit those perfect candidates who seem to have ignored your emails or LinkedIn connection request:

allstar candidate talent sourcingTiming: When you think back to how you tried to get your star candidate’s attention, you remember a desperate attempt of countless emails, LinkedIn messages and voice mails. But every time you worked up the energy to try just one more reach out, you still never captured their attention. Or at least that’s how it felt, and then you made up some reason to rationalize the situation so you could move on. But now that some time has passed, why not try again? Perhaps they actually did see your messages but timing was really bad.  Think of all the events in our lives that we try to juggle. It’s a new day, a new month, or a new year, give it another go!

Woo them: Yes, woo. While you may have told them before, don’t be afraid to reiterate how impressed you are with his or her background. Share that you wanted to try to reach out again, noting your previous attempt. Re-introduce how incredible the opportunity for them would be considering their expertise, and even in the (X) amount of time since first reaching out, he or she is still your ideal candidate.

Show your expertise, ask for theirs: You’re the recruiting and research expert. Explain your understanding of the job market and where the candidate’s particular industry is going. Remember, when working with passive candidates, you need them more than they need you. Maybe he or she is not interested, but would offer their ideas or suggestions for you. They are a ‘rock star’ in their field after all — which means they have deep industry knowledge and likely have some good referrals.

So, when you’re in the valley of desperation during your sourcing journey, don’t lose all hope. There are any number of ways to go back after a “lost” candidate. And in reality, what’s the worst that could happen?

Great sourcing isn’t about just building lists of names or grabbing resumes wherever you can. Great sourcing is about identifying and engaging business-changing talent and passive candidates.

Sourcing Needles in a Haystack – My Journey to Find Arjun

October 28th, 2015

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Sourcing Needle in a haystackSometimes sourcing talent can become frustrating. But great sourcing means breaking through to find that needle in a haystack. And every so often, breaking through means trying something simple or different, and just seeing where your sourcing journey takes you. This approach can be refreshing for a very hard to fill job, and as I experienced recently, ultimately rewarding.

I have been working on sourcing for a high level management consulting role in business analytics and strategy. This is a very hard to fill role and the other day I was beginning to feel like I’d never find another qualified candidate. What did I do? Instead of giving up, I went back to sourcing basics. I revisited the job description, pulled the most important keywords, and put together a boolean string that could be plugged into almost any source. Specifically, the three most significant keywords that I thought best represented my target. In this case, ‘business development, ‘advanced analytics’, and ‘electronics’ were my top choices.

With my keywords identified, I chose my favorite search engine (Google), and gave it a shot. There was no shortage of hits, of course. But to my surprise, much of what I saw was very relevant. Articles, publications, companies, and even a few random resumes. I dove right in, letting the web take me on a ride for about twenty minutes.

All of a sudden, in front of me was the needle. A resume. Not just any resume. Arjun’s resume. A name I hadn’t seen, nor experience I had identified anywhere else during my sourcing on LinkedIn, job boards, social media, company targets, and every other source you could imagine.

On my journey to find Arjun, I was reminded of a few things: Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, simplify your strategy, and sometimes, take a sourcing journey through the world wide web.

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How do you handle peak hiring?

September 30th, 2015
Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Last quarter, an average of 221,000 jobs were added per month, which means many companies experienced and are experiencing increased hiring. After a recession and many years of slow or stable growth, companies with or without HR teams have been able to handle the steady hiring. But now, for companies that are experiencing fast-growth, those same teams are entering unknown territory. Some don’t have the time to add more recruiting to their plate. Others don’t have their recruiting process ironed out and the increased hiring shines a spotlight on those gaps. And, many aren’t sure whether to hire new recruiters to their staff because they aren’t sure when the peak hiring period will come to an end. No matter what the recruiting challenge is, companies are left to wonder, “How do we handle peak hiring?”hiring peaks

If you’re thinking, “this is too much for us to handle, let’s outsource” — then you may consider an RPO solution to meet the needs of a new office, new product, or quick growth. While Recruitment Process Outsourcing can be quite effective, it’s not the best solution to jump into when you need quick results and expect it to take all your pain away immediately. Getting the internal support and dedication to fully engage with your RPO partner is important and takes time, and it also takes longer to implement this type of outsourced solution.

The good news is, if you are experiencing a spike (whether you expected it or not) you are not alone. There were five million hires in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adding to more than 10 million in the previous two months. So, how are companies handling all that hiring? The contract recruiter model is well-designed for peak hiring. An on-demand recruiter with experience in your recruiting niche, is used to coming into an unknown environment and is able to get up to speed quickly. Additionally, at CBI Group, our contract recruiters have their own technology “tool-kit” to utilize and are backed by our Outside-In® team and therefore able to rely on our recruiting and research teams. As an alternative to a complete outsourcing model like RPO, on-demand recruiters can be project-based support that fully integrates into your team and culture.

The inevitable peaks and valleys of hiring can create an unbalanced workforce. A specialized recruiter can provide unmatched flexibility and expertise for just about any situation, including hiring spikes. With varying levels of experience, industry expertise and cost, strategic approaches to talent acquisition partnerships can help shape your business immediately and down the road.

Want to discuss your hiring strategy for peak hiring?
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CBI Way: Thorough Intake Leads to Successful Sourcing Strategy

August 26th, 2015

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

In the last CBI Way blog, we discussed improving sourcing efficiency by cutting out defects and weaknesses throughout the sourcing process. So where can your sourcing strategy go wrong? When do you start wasting your time? Let’s start from the beginning of the process; the intake call with the hiring manager.
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Your intake call should be used to gather as much information as possible about the responsibilities and qualifications required for the role. The more questions you can ask the better. Ask why the job is open, what the target fill date is, and everything in between.

An overview of the position can lead you to more probing and specific questions about the desired candidate profile. Use this time with the hiring manager to fully understand what he or she is really looking for in a great candidate, which can often differ from the formal job description and and listed requirements.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the profile of someone who has been hired previously. The closer you can pin down the ideal profile before you begin sourcing, the better. Not only should you think about sourcing the right candidate during the inquisition, but also find out the best selling points for the position itself. These selling points will be important if you’re targeting passive candidates who need to be engaged or motivated to make a move.

Creating an effective sourcing strategy directly depends on the quality of your intake call with the hiring manager. Don’t take it lightly or breeze through it. Think critically, plan your questions, and reach back out after the intake if you feel something may have been missed. A thorough intake conversation will prime your sourcing strategy for success, and create a strong rapport with your hiring partner.

CBI Way: Improve Your Sourcing Efficiency

July 15th, 2015

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Sourcing and identifying qualified candidates can sometimes be tedious, frustrating work. While this isn’t groundbreaking news to many in the talent acquisition world, it is also a pain point that can be resolved by taking a step back, and examining your sourcing process. By identifying the defects or weaknesses in your sourcing process or strategy, you can create a more polished, more efficient method to your sourcing madness.

Creating a sourcing strategy can contribute to smooth, effective, and efficient sourcing. However, if there is a defect in your process prior to executing the strategy, a well thought out plan can only do so much. For example, it’s important to completely understand the job requirements, specifications and responsibilities before moving forward. When you jump into sourcing without a total comprehension of the job, your time invested can easily become a wasted effort. And that wasted effort will likely negatively impact your overall success. sourcing-efficiencyBeyond the initial strategy, you may also want to look at your sourcing metrics to measure how different sources are performing.

Posting job opportunities can be a great way to have candidates quickly pipelined. And job boards can still be effective, with 25% of job seekers saying that found their job by responding to a job board posting (International Association of Employment Web Sites). However, in 2006, that same survey said more than 31% of job seekers had the same response. So, how can you improve your efficiency with posting jobs? Think about your sources for posting. Not all resumes or applications are a fit for you position, and when you have a lot of “rejects” it will negatively impact your efficiency. While it doesn’t seem like a huge problem, every resume you must review as a sourcer, takes away from time you can be digging for candidates you know are an ideal fit. Can you eliminate a source that doesn’t produce quality candidates?

Sourcing is critical to the recruiting process and strong sourcing practices help ensure you meet critical metrics with regularity. Ultimately, weaknesses in your sourcing process can hurt your efficiency as you continue to execute your strategy. Don’t be afraid to take a breath, step back, and identify any defects that you may be overlooking while digging deep in the depths of the world wide web. Afterall, information is the critical ingredient to improve efficiency.

Have you heard about our talent pipelining service, talentSOURCE? Learn about the sourcing service and benefits by downloading the talentSOURCE PDF.

CBI Way: Engaging Your Talent Pipeline

June 17th, 2015

By Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

Just as important as getting your talent pipeline started is keeping that same pipeline engaged with your business. Long before a position that needs to be filled quickly opens, you should be building relationships with the talent pools you’ve created or identified. There are number of ways to engage your pipeline. The methods that will work best for your talent pipeline will probably depend on the type of candidates that are in your pool. Let’s take a look at two strategies for engaging those candidates; social media and in-person networking.

According to a survey by ERE, just 38% of employers continuously recruit throughout a year. Talent pipelining is almost exactly that; keeping in touch with quality candidates, and forming a relationship that could pay dividends in the future. Your pipeline is like your business’ network. Think about sponsoring live networking events at a local college and give young professionals an inside look into your business, its values, and its goals. If you’re recruiting healthcare workers, promote an event for healthcare workers to your healthcare talent pipeline. Set a meeting place, a speaker, and an interesting presentation on new trends in the medical field, and explain the value the information could provide. Follow up the event with an email survey to the attendees in your pipeline and ask them to rate their experience and if they would attend another similar event for medical professionals.

The combination of personal networking and social media content can go a long way in keeping your pipeline engaged. The candidates could be interested in the next event or may be looking for more relevant content about their industry or even your company. Don’t forget to use social media and web content to your advantage. It’s easily accessible, simple to send out, and is a critical tool for keeping your pipeline aware and engaged.

Have you heard about our talent pipelining service, talentSOURCE? Learn about the sourcing service and benefits by downloading the talentSOURCE PDF.

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