Top 4 Reasons Talent Pipelines are A No-Brainer

Let’s take a look at the U.S. labor market, shall we? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in February 2016, the U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at a low 4.9 percent; in addition, 1.8 million people were “marginally attached” to the labor force, down by 356,000 from a year earlier. By definition, these individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.

Among the marginally attached, there were 599,000 “discouraged workers” in February, down by 133,000 from a year earlier. “Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.”

But then let’s add to those figures the whole realm of passive candidates, people who aren’t actively looking for a job. Older definitions of passive candidates included people who weren’t on the hunt, but would be willing to listen to a relevant offer. Now, everyone is a passive candidate. In February 2016, about 121.76 million people were employed on a full-time basis, and let’s assume every one of them is up for grabs.

So, my math tells me that there are quite a few people out there who may one day be on your radar for employment. So how do organizations attract and hire the right people?

  1. They nurture them. Like baby chicks. If they don’t, someone else will. The candidate journey is a whole ball of wax, but I highly encourage you to think of a talent pipeline as a warm, nurturing, holding space for people who may be your next employee. It’s absolutely critical to have a functional, up-to-date, communicative talent pipeline for several reasons, but here are my top three.
  2. They use Talent Pipelines as major time-savers. Having potential candidates in a pipeline where you know their contact information, skill set, job and salary requirements (and more) obviously saves a whole lot of time. Starting job searches from scratch and going through the entire interview process is lengthy and apparently getting longer. Last June, Glassdoor released a study that stated the average overall job interview process takes 22.9 days in the U.S., up 80% from 2010 (when it was 12.6 days). The thought that any company starts at ground zero for each new job opening makes me twitch.
  3. Talent Pipelines Make Business Sense (in Dollars). According to Bersin by Deloite’s Benchmarking Talent Acquisition: Increasing Spend, Cost Per Hire, and Time to Fill report in April 2015, the cost per hire in 2014 was nearly $4,000. There are built-in costs here that would likely still exist in hiring from your talent pipeline, but a reduction in cost is evident. Paying to complete a search when there could be a properly loaded talent pipeline is simply wasteful. It makes business sense to manage this expense with frugality in mind. There will always be opportunities to utilize the recruitment function, but once a search is “complete” (that’s a subjective term), the remaining candidates need to be placed somewhere. Where, you ask? A talent pipeline, of course!
  4. Talent Pipelines are a place for nurturing leads. Like I mentioned before, if you properly build a talent pipeline, access to quality candidates allows you to communicate effectively. From job openings to employer branding initiatives, this pipeline of people can (and should) be treated with respect and dignity – which a lot of job seekers crave.

The TalentBoard’s 2015 Candidate Experience Report reports data collected from 130,000 candidates who applied to over 200 companies. According to the report, “communication with candidates is very weak.”

It states, “Although most companies send an immediate ‘thank you’, nearly half of candidates never received an indication of the status of the application, or information about why gender, race and ethnicity questions were asked or the option to save their application for a later date.”

Hmmm. I think we can do better than that.

If you build it, they will come. Build a talent pipeline and use all means you can to fill it up. Think of those millions of people in different stages of employment. A talent network on your career site is a great way to encourage people to opt in to your pipeline.

According to SmashFly, make your career network accessible from as many ways as possible and keep it simple. “Ask for a few key fields: name, email and job family they are looking into it. Once they opt in, you have time to build on their preferences, their skillsets and their interests. You can send preference emails asking the types of content they want to receive and the types of job positions they are interested in, as well as track what emails they are opening and which links they are clicking on.”

Depending on your employer brand, build a talent pipeline that suits your needs. Are you global? Do you have a wide or narrow variety of job reqs? Are you in demand as an employer? How can you communicate effectively with proper cadence? Whatever your nurturing style, just remember to keep it warm.

Click here to download an extremely helpful eBook on this topic, “Nurturing Candidates from Attraction to Hire.”

This post is sponsored by SmashFly. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more content like this, follow SmashFly on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.

photo credit: Week 4 via photopin (license)

Employer Brand Doesn’t Depend On One Candidate Experience

A candidate’s perception during the application and hiring processes remains and will stay a major topic of conversation in the field of HR and recruiting. As most perpetually popular discussions go, the ideas fluctuate, mature, and change with the demographic that populates the workforce. Unfortunately, we’ve been talking about it all wrong. The candidate experience focuses on the applicant. While that’s certainly not a bad thing to do, what’s wrong with relating it to the employer brand? You can’t devise an entire brand off of one candidate experience. Your employer brand is formulated by all of your candidates’ experiences.

There Is Something To Be Said…

There is something to be said for how candidates as a whole see your branding. Nike isn’t famous for selling shoes to one person – yes, Michael Jordan promotes Air Jordans, but that’s not what I mean. Just the same, Apple isn’t famous for selling a single all-in-one computer system. These two companies are so well known because millions of people know and love the brand. Their customers have a positive experience with their brand. The customers of your employer brand are your candidates. If candidates are displeased with the employer brand, they aren’t going to want to work for you – i.e., buy your product.

So, evaluate the employer brand as a whole. The candidate might have a wonderful time during the interview, but what about the application process? How did they finally find your career page? Out of the roughly 7 billion people on this planet, there are 1.75 billion smartphone users. You cannot afford a non-responsive website anymore; at least create a career page. In the long run, 65% of job seekers who apply for new employment from their phone leave if the site is not responsiveForty percent leave with a negative opinion of the employer brand. Take a look at the traffic on the career page. How many visitors? How long do they stay? These questions can give insight to what needs to be changed.

Then The Question Is…

Who are the employers that are nailing their branding efforts? Those organizations that take the time to develop relationships with candidates and communicate. The businesses that don’t take candidate applications for granted and not respond. The companies that take the time and energy to develop a career site that represents what applicants want from the organization. And it’s not just the big companies. They may have the big-brand name, but smaller businesses often offer more flexibility in schedules and the work-life balance new talent desires. Sometimes it’s even the smaller details that attract coveted talent. Many employees would rather work at a company between six and 100 people, 46% to be exact.

It doesn’t take an expensive budget to create a strong employer brand, either. Most of the employer brand doesn’t cost a dime. These following suggestions from give a good starting point to restructuring or developing your employer brand:

  1. Clarify what you’re all about – define company culture before you experiment with it in the recruiting department.
  2. Leverage employees your employees are your best ambassadors. Treat them well, and they will spread the word.
  3. Perfect your hiring process clear and concise communication will help keep your hiring process painless.
  4. Make the most of social media most platforms are free, so with a little time and dedication, it is a way to not only promote the employer brand but also to encourage employees to do so as well.
  5. Aim small, spend small there is nothing wrong with targeting your job openings to niche job boards; in fact, they are less expensive and the candidates will likely have more specialized training.

Employer branding is critical to attaining top talent. That candidate experience is what has the most say in developing the brand. Invest the time and energy into creating a social media profile (and keep it relevantly updated), communicate with candidates, and update your career site. The tech-savvy candidates sending in applications to dozens of businesses will exit your website as soon as they realize it isn’t responsive.

Your candidates’ experiences say a lot about you… do you know what they are saying?

About the Author: A 20-year veteran of the recruiting industry, Greg Rokos provides strategic direction for GreenJobInterview® and is responsible for marketing its virtual interviewing solutions through client meetings, conferences, speaking engagements, key channel partnerships and other activities. Alongside fellow co-founder, Theo Rokos, Greg is one of the pioneers of cloud-based virtual interviewing.


photo credit: Julie70 thanks for 9 million hits via photopin cc

Recruiting: Going Mobile By Demand? #TChat Recap

This week at #TChat Events, the TalentCulture community explored the emerging role of mobile recruiting in today’s world of work.

First, let’s clarify — what does the term “mobile recruiting” mean? CareerBuilder defines it this way:

“The ability to market to prospective talent with or on a mobile device. More importantly, mobile recruiting is about the opportunity to connect with job seekers anywhere, and at any time; provide a better candidate experience; streamline your own process; and engage job seekers in entirely new and unique ways.”

It sounds like a lofty goal — but how do we get there from here? And how are employers overcoming key issues in implementing mobile strategies? To keep the conversation grounded, we welcomed two experts in talent acquisition:

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, Founder and Chief Blogger at Blogging4Jobs and
Rayanne Thorn, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at Technomedia, global talent management solutions provider.

(Editor’s Note: See highlights from the #TChat events and related resource links at the end of this post.)

Mobile Is Everywhere — Why Isn’t Mobile Recruiting?

Many #TChat participants agreed that mobile recruiting is becoming a necessity, as individuals increasingly rely on smart phones and tablets to connect with information and people in our personal and professional lives.

The convenience of mobile access is rapidly translating into job search behaviors, even though many employers haven’t yet optimized their websites for mobile access. SimplyHired says that the number of workers looking for jobs via mobile devices has skyrocketed, from 2.3 million to 9.3 million in the past year. Talemetry, says that 70% of job seekers are using mobile platforms, while estimates even higher, at 77%. (See the article and infographic.)

However, as the Wall Street Journal explained earlier this year, most companies aren’t moving fast enough. According to a recent CareerBuilder study, only 20% of Fortune 500 companies have mobile-optimized career sites. What is everyone waiting for? Read the full report, “Trends in Mobile Adoption: An Analysis of Mobile Recruitment Efforts Across Industries.”

Mobile Excellence: What Does It Look Like?

So, what does it take for employers to be “mobile recruitment ready”? Ideally, it starts with a website that is that is optimized for mobile interaction. SnapHop, a company that provides mobile talent management solutions, says these elements are necessary for a great candidate experience:

Support for all mobile platforms — access to sites from anywhere using, any mobile device;
Location awareness — automatically sense the candidate’s location and filter information accordingly;
Personalization — tailor information and recommendations by uncovering candidate preferences;
Social media presence — leverage social channels to connect with candidates and share relevant, timely content;
Responsive design — ensure that on all platforms, content is easy to skim and consume, and navigation flows with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling.

Upward Mobility: Advantages of Mobile Recruitment

If you’re still not convinced about the business case for mobile recruitment, CareerBuilder for Employers developed a helpful presentation that outlines key issues and opportunities:

And what did the #TChat crowd say about the pros and cons of mobile recruiting? Check the highlights slideshow and other resource links below for great facts, real-world stories and ideas from across the TalentCulture community.

#TChat Week-In-Review: Mobile Devices + Recruiting = Perfect Match?

Jessica Miller Merrell

Watch the preview hangout now

SAT 10/26:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured a brief G+ Hangout video with one of our guests, Jessica Miller-Merrell, Read the Preview: “Mobile Devices + Recruiting = Perfect Match?

SUN 10/27: Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro recommended ways that employers can gain business advantage by embracing mobile strategies. Read: “5 Ways To Use Mobile To Recruit Top Talent.”

MON 10/28:

Related Post: Dan Newman, author of Millennial CEO, offered a broad perspective on the changing of the leadership guard — and its implications for business. Read: “Another Kind of Revolution: Social, Mobile, Cloud.

WED 10/30:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rayanne Thorn about how mobile adoption is revolutionizing the recruiting process today’s world of work. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and guests moved over to the #TChat Twitter stream as I led the TalentCulture community through a conversation focused on 5 key questions. For highlights, check the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Recruiting Is Rockin’ Mobile Platforms

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rayanne Thorn for helping us explore the potential of mobile platforms in the recruiting process. Your knowledge and passion are infectuous!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about mobile recruiting trends or issues? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we dive into another fascinating topic — the role of social media in building brand influence. So save the date (November 6) for another #TChat double-header!

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: GailJadeHamilton via Flickr