The other week, I attended a webinar put on by Career Builder, Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn, and Scott Helmes. It was all about the talent acquisition trends that we should be watching out for in 2018. The webinar was awesome and there were a ton of takeaways, but one that I think organizations both large and small can benefit from is the notion of Talent Discovery, and the way that job benchmarking can affect how organizations find job candidates.
In the webinar, Sackett defined talent discovery as the process of mining your database of applicants who have already shown interest in working for your company – but weren’t hired – to fill newly opened positions. The idea here is that these individuals have already raised their hands to say I want to work for you. That instantly makes them a warm, or maybe even a hot, lead. It’s possible to re-engage these candidates through a personal reach-out or with an email marketing campaign – and it’s significantly easier (and cheaper) than trying to engage with someone who’s less familiar with your company.
If you’re really ahead of the game, you may already have a regular cadence of emails that go out to previous candidates, with current openings or employer brand content. The better you stay in touch with those who have expressed interest, the easier it is to re-kindle that relationship when you want them. It’s all part of this greater trend of recruitment marketing. We now need to treat candidates the way our Sales teams treat leads, providing relevant and timely content to keep them engaged. This also goes hand-in-hand with candidate experience: if a candidate doesn’t get hired but still has a positive candidate experience, it’s more likely that we can consider them for future needs.
But where does benchmarking fit in?
The relationship between job benchmarking and the hiring process has been a big topic here at McQuaig lately. The idea of talent discovery ties in perfectly, since job benchmarks can be used as criteria for mining your database of previous candidates. This way, along with searching for relevant skills and experience, it's easy to see if they have natural personality traits that may help them succeed in the position.
We've found that most personality profiles tend to stay the same over time. This means that although your job benchmarks may change as your organization grows, the process of comparing candidates against those benchmarks will remain accurate and helpful to the talent discovery process. Same goes with newly-created jobs: as you create all-new benchmarks, your candidates' profiles are likely to remain valid. That’s some pretty powerful information to have at your disposal – and best of all, it doesn't bring up your hiring budget by a single cent.
But why would I want to go back and look at someone who wasn’t hired? There must be a reason why we didn't bring them aboard. Sure – some candidates might be marked as “do not touch,” but there’s probably a large chunk of them who were just slightly behind the person you did hire. When you’re trying to fill an open position, you might find a surprising amount of value from your pool of strong contenders who already want to work for you.
Check out how the University of San Diego used job benchmarking to set more than 300 students on a path for career success.
Enterprise organizations will have the budget for fancy data mining tools to pull out the best candidates, but smaller companies can employ this practice too. Even if you’re rocking the CTRL-F function in Excel, it’s worth your while to take a look at past applicants. Of course, if you haven’t started this process yet, you may not have much to draw from – but it’s never too late to start! Building your database of applicants and following the trend of talent discovery is a practice you’ll be hearing much more about throughout 2018. It’s a straightforward process that can save you hours, maybe days, down the road.