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IMA Human Resources Blog

Why your hiring approach may be limiting your candidate pool

by Nicole McAndrew

The Overture Group is an IMA B2B Partner

The pressures of a hiring manager can vary from day to day, however when a critical position opens up an almost immediate thought is how is this vacancy going to affect the organization and how can we fill this position quickly and effectively.

When looking at filling critical positions you may consider a few different hiring approaches:

Internal Hiring

Hiring internal candidates usually results in a win-win for the both the company and the candidate. The company does not have to worry about onboarding and getting someone immersed into their company culture and the candidate feels eager to take on a new challenge.

Internal hiring is becoming more and more common in companies as they view it as a way to keep top talent engaged at their organization, however it does not mean it is always the best hiring approach for your open positions. If your organization is lacking specific skills which are needed but currently unavailable, if you are looking to bring in new ideas and perspectives, if your culture has in-depth processes in place which support onboarding and training, and if you are experiencing high turnover you may be better off looking outside of your current organization’s walls.

Consider these points when contemplating hiring internally for your next critical opening:

  • Does the internal candidate represent the best in the field or are you settling with what you already know?
  • Will the internal candidate look at the job change as a promotion or simply a shift in responsibility? A shift in responsibility does not guarantee your employee will be there long-term.
  • Was the internal candidate being targeted for a promotion or shift in responsibility before the critical position became available?
  • Did the internal candidate approach you or did you approach them?
  • Who will take over the job responsibilities of the internal candidate if they were to take on the open position?

The Post and Coast Strategy

Maybe there is no one who is a good fit internally and you decided to look externally for your next hire. You do not have the time to put in the hours to find top talent for your open positions so you flood the job boards in hopes to find that perfect hire, also called the “post and coast” strategy.

Posting and coasting creates a database of active candidates, candidates who are actively looking for a new career and may be applying to more than just your job posting which can create a variety of negative outcomes for you.

  • The average active candidate applies to 2-3 jobs per week.
  • By targeting active candidates, you are creating an environment where you may not be their first option, but you are an option.
  • Active candidates can have multiple interviews and may already have offers on the table; it is not uncommon for offers to be used against each other for negotiating purposes.
  • Declined offers are not uncommon, going through the entire interviewing process for a candidate and having a declined offer can be discouraging.
  • Active candidates make up 30% of the global workforce; what about the other 70%?

Passive Candidate Recruitment

Skillfully targeting passive candidates means focusing on the top 25% of the talent market. Passive candidates are not actively looking and are content in their current position. Passive candidates make up 70% of the global workforce.

Passive candidates aren’t scouring job boards looking for the next step in their career, they must be sought out, sourced, and connected with so they can share their story. The Passive approach takes active listening, while you are ultimately selling your company and position, they have no reason to leave their current job so you need to listen to discover what their career goals are, what they may be lacking in their current situation and how your open position fits their needs.

Passive candidate recruitment takes time so it is important to remember the right hire saves time and money, while a quick wrong hire can cost a lot of money and can cause more harm to your organization overall.

  • Passive candidates aren’t applying to jobs, if they are genuinely interested in your position and company it’s because it’s where they see themselves growing and making an impact.
  • They normally do not have a timeline, interview processes can range from 8 to 60 days depending on the position and industry. This does not mean you can take several months to make an offer, however this can allow you to be more confident in your hiring decisions.
  • You are hiring the best candidate for the job and not only picking the best from the pool of applicants who applied to the job.
  • You are showing genuine interest right from the start by initiating the conversation, the selling starts with you as an organization vs. the candidate stating their elevator pitch.

No matter which hiring approach you decide to utilize, remember the easiest and least expensive route is not always the best solution. With a national unemployment rate of 3.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you are going to have to implement a variety of strategies to secure the best talent in the market. The Overture Group understands the importance and urgency in filling your critical positions, we utilize our vast network of professionals, conduct multiple thorough interviews, and skillfully find and secure those passive candidates for you to ensure you are getting the best candidates for your team.

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