Bigger and Better Recruiting: How to Increase the Quality and Quantity of Your Talent Pool

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Bigger and Better: How to Increase the Quality and Quantity of Your Talent Pool

Now, more than ever, it is important for organizations to understand that the face of today’s active job seeker has changed. Most notably, as unemployment continues to decline, reaching an all-time low at 4.4% in Ohio, the number of active job seekers has also decreased. This requires companies to take a more proactive and creative look at how to attract top talent.

Recruiting has become an initiative for an entire organization rather than just a function of the Human Resources department. Today’s recruiting efforts include working with your marketing team to establish an innovative and mobile-friendly career site and social media campaign, engaging employees to provide referrals, coaching hiring managers to understand transferrable skill sets, and helping executives navigate the fluctuating employment landscape.

A Creative and Proactive Approach

Modern recruiting has gone from being a very transactional process to much more of an art. Gone are the days when Recruiters could post new positions and be inundated with qualified applicants from which to choose. Over time, we’ve seen a need for organizations to take a much more aggressive approach in sourcing candidates.

Recruiters must employ creativity, innovation, and ultimately a sales mentality to not just identify candidates to fill roles, but also to entice them to accept a job offer. This direct sourcing and cold calling of prospective candidates is now the norm. Networking and referrals are still just as important to filling the talent pipeline, however expanding a pipeline beyond first and second level connections requires a preemptive effort.

Tips to Grow your Talent Pool

Companies struggling with a lack of qualified candidates may not be doing anything “incorrectly,” but with the current job market being so competitive, we often have to take a closer look at our efforts. Some things you might want to consider if fulfillment is difficult:

  1. Where is the job posted? Is it an appropriate forum? For example, a high level employed executive may be passively searching for greater opportunities, and a LinkedIn Job posting may catch his or her eye as they scroll through their morning feed. A machinist in his/her industry for 20 years may not be active on social media at all, and Administrative or Clerical entry level jobs may receive great feedback from a Facebook or Twitter posting. Where should you be advertising to reach the right people? Where are the job seekers “hanging out?”
  2. What are the keywords in the job description? Do they accurately reflect the key words that an active job seeker might be searching? For example, you may title your customer service/call center positions as “Customer Experience Managers” and post your advertisements accordingly. Most customer service representatives are not going to search any of the key words in your job title.  Consider altering the title, just for the external job postings. 
  3. Why would a candidate want to work for your company? What is the brand reflected in your advertisements telling prospective candidates about what it’s like working for your company? What makes a Manager want to work at your company versus one of your competitors? 

These small and inexpensive (often free) tweaks can really open up your candidate pools.

Leveraging Technology to Stand Out of the Crowd

Information about your company, your customers, your financials, and your hiring processes is more accessible than ever. When considering multiple offers, job seekers are consulting Glassdoor for reviews of your organization and websites that offer competitive salary information. Candidates have a lot of power in their job search. This changes the landscape of what organizations and Recruiters need to address and ultimately sell to prospective new hires.

Because of this, organizations need to give Recruiters something to “sell” about the new opportunity or the company overall. Who are you trying to attract? What does your brand say about your company? What are candidates’ motivators for seeking new opportunities? Why would they consider a change in employers?

It’s might not always about providing top of the market compensation, which, not every organization is able to do. Maybe it’s a flexible work schedule, the ability to work remotely, or working for a company that values social or environmental responsibility. Maybe someone is looking for a shorter commute to work, or a company culture that is entrepreneurial or process driven. The main question you should be answering is: "what is my organization doing differently that job seekers will not find in another organization employing the same skill set?"

Building a Network

Never underestimate the power of a well-established network! Having a personal network of trusted business professionals is vital in generating a list of prospective candidates. Just as important as asking for referrals from your colleagues is offering your own referrals and expertise. If you are sharing your knowledge to help someone else, they will be more likely to return the favor.

Maintaining existing candidate relationships is equally as important as seeking out new ones. At Staffing Solutions we maintain pools of potential job seekers that we refer to as our “High Potential Talent Network.” These are individuals who have expressed an interest in making a career move when the right opportunity becomes available. Because we’ve identified their skill set and work history, we are able to periodically check in with those individuals so that when the perfect opportunity arises, we have the right person for the job.

Rethinking the Traditional Recruiter Relationship

It’s time for organizations big and small to rethink traditional contingency searches. Third-party recruiting organizations like Staffing Solutions Enterprises are in tune with the changes felt by both organizations and job seekers. These organizations can help you build the bridge between your budgets, time constraints and unique hiring needs and the desires of your prospective candidates.

If your current recruiting team is comfortable with taking a prospective candidate through your hiring process, but does not have the time or skill set to source potential hires, look for a search firm that can assist with the “up front” work of pipelining the talent to you.

You may also have a job opening that actually does receive a lot of resumes—so many in fact that you do not have the resources to screen every applicant. You can engage a search firm to do just the initial phone screening for you.

Sometimes, companies need to ramp up their recruiting  to fulfill a short term hiring spike.  A solution to ease the burden is a contract recruiter to supplement your staff for a short amount of time until all hiring is complete and things go “back to normal.”

When evaluating recruiting organizations, search for a company that will listen to your needs—where you need help, what you’re good at, what your short and long term goals are, before they provide you a “one size fits all” solution.


Rachel-MackRachel Mack is the Manager of Talent Acquisition Strategy at Staffing Solutions Enterprises. She holds a MLRHR (Master’s Degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources) and has spent her career with Staffing Solutions in a variety of roles focused on quality candidate retention.  Rachel works to tailor candidate sourcing to fit the diverse needs of every organization. She is passionate about delivering the right person to the right job further promoting the Staffing Solutions 43 year legacy.

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