As you consider your hiring needs, you want to make sure you have access to a constant flow of talent so when you need your next employee, you already have quality applicants waiting in the wings. It may seem difficult to create, but doing so will create a quality pool of candidates ready to pull out when you need them. So how do you make your pipeline more than a pipe dream?
Plan, plan, plan.
If you want to create a solid talent pipeline, you first need to know what you’re looking for. Consider your needs and values: What sort of employee do you want? What are your company growth goals, short and long term? Can you get your senior management involved in the process and what sort of candidate will best line up with your company’s needs and values? Do you have a strong enough brand to bring in the sort of talent that you want? Once you have answers to these questions, figure out what core competencies you want to bring in, and start attracting the talent.
Don’t beat around the bush.
Want great talent? Reach out to them. Use social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and a company blog to hone in on top choice candidates. You may even want to consider upping your LinkedIn profile to premium so you can join groups based in your industry and personally send direct messages to prospects who seem interesting and a good fit. Use a bit of subtlety in sending them an article or link of possible interest rather than turning the message into a cold ask. Once you’ve established a relationship, it’s that much easier to reach out later when something opens up.
Use your referrals.
Remember that you have a great network right at your fingertips: your current employees. Consider putting together some sort of reward system for referrals and talking up the company to prospective talent, which can include friends and any potential candidates they may meet through their work. Word of mouth often works as well or better than putting up an online ad, and you have the benefit of bringing in a candidate whom a valued employee can vouch for.
Work your internships.
If you want to create a solid pipeline, look no further than the person who’s already with the company. Employers (and the interns themselves) should consider any internship a long-range working interview where you can try each other out and see how you fit. Plus you don’t have to make any extended commitments; consider it a sort of “try before you buy” option.
As you put your talent pipeline together, consider building a relationship with a quality staffing firm like PrideStaff. They’ll know how to add the best candidates to your pool of potentials.