by Melissa Bissing on April 18, 2019
3 min read
Due to candidate shortages, reactive hiring is risky on a number of fronts. Know the dangers and consider swtiching to proactive hiring.
Reactive hiring is another riches-to-rags story in the modern business environment. When employers had their pick of great talent, starting the hiring process after a position opened up was an effective recruiting strategy. Not so today, when candidate shortages are the new normal. Reactive hiring is risky on a number of fronts:
Lower talent quality – waiting until positions open to start your search means you’re limiting your talent quality to just those candidates available at that time. It could work out if your recruitment efforts happen to coincide with a high-performer just starting his or her job search. The odds are against it, though. Top candidates are off the market within an average of 10 days, which is a small window that’s easy to miss if your timing is off. With reactive hiring, you’re less likely to hire one of the top candidates in your industry.
Risk of a poor hire – in situations where you’re under pressure to fill a position quickly, “good enough” hiring is more likely to happen. Worse, the risk of making a poor hire increases.
Transactional hiring – time-to-fill pressure can have other negative impacts, too. There’s less time to spend building relationships, which can leave a poor impression with your entire candidate pool and damage your employer brand. Reactive hiring is highly transactional. Candidates who’ve experienced relationship-based hiring will notice the difference.
Slower hiring – recruiting that starts after a need becomes known actually stretches out time to hire, especially if you’re firm about waiting for the right candidate to become available.
Increased costs – reactive hiring costs both your TA function and your organization as a whole. Starting recruitment from scratch ad hoc requires more time and resources from your team. The indirect hiring costs range from loss of productivity due to unfilled positions to expenditures for temporary or contract workers.
In the current environment of intense competition for talent and changing candidate preferences for the hiring experience, reactive hiring is going the way of the dinosaur.
Proactive hiring means actively seeking and hiring candidates, even when there are no open positions. TA teams are also building communities of talent with candidates who’ve expressed their interest in being hired. They’re ready with qualified candidates from this pool as soon as a requisition comes in. Many companies need a blend of proactive and reactive hiring because unanticipated changes in the workforce do come up. To move toward more proactive hiring, consider these strategies:
Successful proactive hiring requires on a modern, branded candidate experience that keeps candidates engaged at every stage in your hiring workflow. If you’re unsure about the quality of your candidate experience, take our brief quiz to benchmark it against the Talent Board’s CandE Award winners. You’ll get immediate results and some ideas for elevating your candidate experience to support proactive hiring.