Does the phrase “workforce planning” make you long for a fully staffed and centralized recruitment team? Does it make you think twice (or three times) about every technology system you use to recruit candidates? Or is workforce planning something only “large” companies do? Actually, companies of all sizes can benefit from workforce planning – and it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think!
Businessdictionary.com defines workforce planning as the “systematic identification and analysis of what an organization is going to need in terms of the size, type and quality of workforce to achieve its goals.” In other words, workforce planning is about creating a database of pre-qualified candidates ready to be contacted and called in to interview, otherwise known as a talent network or talent pipeline. Consider how much time and energy you would save by not having to create a new job description, post a job advertisement, screening applicants and reviewing resumes every time a need opens up.
As the job market gets more competitive, it becomes increasingly important to take a proactive approach to recruiting, which not only gives you an edge over your competitors, but it could also save you time, money and frustration in the long run. A recent survey found that companies that recruit year-round save significantly on both time spent recruiting and average cost-per-hire. In my previous post, I discussed the importance of engaging candidates on a continual basis, and how building a talent network can help with that. Below, I’ve provided four more reasons you should consider building your talent network.
- You’re long on candidate needs and short on time. Whether you’re part of a large organization or a fast-growing one, if you are continually trying to fill positions, you need a talent network. Imagine how much time you could save sourcing candidates who you know are not only qualified, but are already interested in your company. Having qualified candidates in your database will also take the pressure off during those times when you find yourself with an immediate, unexpected hiring need – eliminating the temptation to make a hasty (and regrettable) hiring decision.
- You have high turnover. High turnover occurs when a company fails to meet the expectations it sets for candidates during the recruitment process. While this can be an indication that something in the culture is inherently wrong, it can also be an indication that the company is sending the wrong messages to candidates. For instance, say your culture is very high pressure (some may even say “cut-throat”), but you’re sending out the message that your workplace environment is laid back. Not only are you going to end up attracting the candidates who aren’t the right fit, but you’re also ultimately setting them up for disappointment – and failure. Having a network of talent that you engage on a continual basis enables them to get to know your company, its culture and the expectations you set for your employees. When you source from this group of candidates, you are reaching out to candidates who are already familiar with your company and, therefore, know what to expect.
- You’re constantly losing candidates to the competition. Maintaining a network of talent with whom you engage on a continual basis will help you stay front of mind with candidates, thereby giving you an edge over competitors who do not put forth the same effort. Keeping the lines of communication is key to maintaining your talent network – and it’s key to providing a good applicant experience, which research has shown to affect a candidate’s decision to accept an offer with that company.
- You’re relying on fewer resources than in the past. Talent pipelining enables employers to save overall time and costs associated with hiring. Think about it: How much money goes down the drain in lost productivity when hard-to-fill positions remain open? How much time and effort goes into filling just one position when you’re forced to start from scratch (writing a job description, posting an ad, waiting for applications to come in, sorting through resumes)? If you already had a pool of qualified, interested candidates at your fingertips, you can cut down significantly on the time and costs associated with recruiting.
Finally, remember that your talent network will only benefit you as far as the efforts you make to build and engage the candidates within it. Look out for my third and final article in this series, in which I’ll go over best practices for building and maintaining your talent network.
Learn more about CareerBuilder’s Talent Network Solution – Your always-on recruiting engine.