There were 5.7 million job openings in May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With such a high number of job opportunities available, recruiters need to think outside the box when pooling for talent. However, getting creative doesn't have to mean taking risks with the organization's resources. It's possible to identify new recruitment strategies for growing your workforce while being effective and efficient.
In the book, "Build, Borrow, or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma," authors Laurence Capron and Will Mitchell suggest thinking about your recruitment strategy using three broad tactics of building, borrowing and buying. Here are ways to find the candidates you're looking for, and understand their interests, using the "build, borrow, buy" framework.
Strategy 1: Buy
This tactic involves bringing talent into an organization from the outside. The organization benefits from new thought processes and a fresh set of eyes coming into the operation. The downside is that bringing talent in from the outside can be expensive in terms of starting salaries and, possibly, signing bonuses.
1. Find New Sources
The Wall Street Journal notes how Airbnb used the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to recruit women and people of color into their business. Now, this doesn't mean you have to advertise at Cannes, but it also doesn't mean you have to use traditional job boards or industry publications. Think about where your ideal candidate hangs out and post job openings there. Maybe they listen to podcasts, read blogs or watch movies.
2. Create Strategic Partnerships
When I worked in the hotel industry, I discovered that many of our hotel employees had similar additional jobs for local sports teams (landscaping, custodial, food and beverage, etc.) More importantly, I discovered these industries' busy seasons were the opposite of each other. So, when hours were slow at the hotel, employees could work at the sport's stadium and vice versa. (I'm not talking about co-employment, here. Employees still have to apply, get hired and follow the rules of each employer.)
3. Cultivate a Talent Network
A "buy" tactic has a certain numbers game to it. Recruiters need to constantly be looking for talent. The best way to build a pipeline is by creating a talent network. But instead of just building a list of emails, send job openings or send information about the business. Or, videotape managers talking about your organization and the work you do as a way to get job seekers excited about the business.
Strategy 2: Build
If an organization has very specific skills they're looking for, it could be easier to develop (or build) talent from within. Unfortunately, this approach can take a long time. Your organization needs to have the resources in-house to do it. However, developing talent internally is typically less expensive and can be specifically tailored to the needs of the business.
1. Work with Colleges and Universities to Bridge the Skills Gap
According to the Association for Talent Development, 87 percent of executives say the skills gap is impacting business performance. Businesses may need to identify critical skills and develop public-private educational partnerships to address the gap. Recruiting professionals should be part of the conversation.
2. Conduct a Robust Onboarding Program
Developing talent begins on the first day of employment. There's no better time to start training and developing employees than in orientation and onboarding. Think about the organizational competencies that every employee needs to know and use on a daily basis — teamwork, managing change, effective communication and collaboration.
3. Develop Employees Internally
For some positions, the best candidates are already inside the organization. They just need the training and experience. The answer doesn't have to be more training programs. Teach employees how to identify their own learning needs, then allow them to explore how they learn best.
Strategy 3: Borrow
Every task that needs to be completed doesn't need to be assigned to a full-time employee. Organizations can "borrow" (aka hire) outside talent to help on an "as needed" basis and get on-demand specialized skills. However, your organization will need to think about how it will retain freelance talent so you're not continuously training new people.
1. Create a Contingent Workforce Strategy
Organizations need to identify the tasks that would be ideal for contingent workers. Include how often the task needs to be completed and the skills necessary to do the task. In addition, think about how the organization will be able to engage freelancers so they can be retained.
2. Identify the Correct Type of Freelancers
Not all freelancers are the same — some work as freelancers full time, while others take on freelance projects part-time. Others are only doing freelance work until they can get a full-time job. Hiring managers must select the right type of freelancer for the job.
3. Engage Former Employees
For freelance opportunities, one of the first candidates that should come to mind is a former employee. Depending on the circumstances of their departure, they might be willing to do your tasks. Former employees are also great sources for customer and candidate referrals.
Innovative Recruiting Fits Any Organization
No matter the size of your organization or the industry you serve, innovative recruiting comes down to understanding the jobs that need to be filled and the ideal candidates for those jobs. Organizations should challenge themselves to use the resources at their disposal to find the best candidates, including current and former employees, community partnerships with educational entities and other businesses and their own sourcing strategies. The real key is to make sure that once an employee is hired, they are trained properly and remain engaged so they can continue to move up in the organization — instead of out for another job.
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