Recruiting new employees can be challenging. If you’re constantly hiring, you’ve got to build a talent pipeline and keep it full. And if you only recruit occasionally, it may feel like starting all over again. Every. Single. Time.
But what if you had a secret weapon to help you find awesome people super-quick?
You do! It’s your employees.
Tapping internal talent
When we think of recruiting, we often start from the outside in: Job listings, career fairs, staffing services, LinkedIn. And while these are all good ways to go about finding quality candidates, you may be missing out on your most obvious source.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in expanding the search and/or finding that magical unicorn candidate that we forget to look at what is right in front of us.
Sure, your internal candidate may not have 100% of the skills needed to take on that new promotion, but there are many advantages to hiring from within:
- Faster, easier (and cheaper!) recruitment
- Pre-existing company knowledge and relationships
- Candidates are known entities, lower risk of bad hires
- Cultural fit is a match, increased likelihood of retention
- Less training required on organizational systems and processes
- Creates viable career path options for motivated team members
Promoting from within may not always be the right answer, but before you automatically launch a search for external candidates, it’s definitely worth looking around to see who on your team might be interested in and capable of moving to the next level.
Hiring internal candidates won’t magically solve all of your recruitment problems, because at some level, you’ll still have an empty spot left to fill. The good news is that there are many other ways you can use your existing workforce to help you find excellent new additions.
How about those interns?
There are lots of great things about internship programs. Not only will you get some extra stuff done, you’ll also get to feel good about training and mentoring the next generation of workers. And chances are good they’ll teach you a thing or two as well.
If you have an effective internship program in place, it can be a fantastic breeding ground for talent.
Hire an intern for an open position and you’re already half way through your onboarding process! They’re already familiar with the organization, partially trained, and usually well-liked. After all, who doesn’t want to see the intern succeed? It’s like rooting for the underdog. It just feels good.
You know what else feels good? Referrals from trusted employees.
Because employee referrals are personal, everyone has a stake in the outcome, which means you’re more likely to get quality candidates. Cousin Ed isn’t going to suggest hiring cousin Ted if he’s a total flake. Ed is no dummy. He knows that will reflect badly on him as well.
Many employers rely heavily on employee referral programs to keep their teams full of happy, dedicated people.
Some companies reward those who refer talent with payouts upon hiring and/or after the new hire meets certain milestones (six months, one year, etc.). Even with a reward-based system, employee referral programs can be extremely cost effective, saving lots of time and money for both HR and employers.
Recycle past employees
It may sound odd to suggest inviting former employees back into the mix, but this can be an efficient way to fill certain positions.
Capable employees leave for a variety of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the organization. A move. An illness. A life change. All of these things can temporarily derail career paths. Don’t assume that these star performers are out for the count. They may be looking for the right opportunity to get back into the game.
Retired staff members can also be good source of talent. Who knows? Maybe they secretly miss being part of the team and would love to help out temporarily or on special projects. Even employees who left or were let go for other reasons can be a good fit later, depending on the circumstances.
If you’re still feeling squeamish about this idea, here’s something to consider: Howard Schutlz. No? Okay. Steve Jobs, then.
Reconnect with former candidates
Let’s face it. Sometimes you find the right person at the wrong time.
Like when that awesome applicant wasn’t the most qualified person for the position, but somehow you just knew they’d be a great hire. Or when that final hiring decision came down to an agonizing choice between two candidates— and you wished you could hire them both.
No need to toss these near-misses aside, never to be seen again. Keep a file on past candidates that won you over and when a position comes up, look through it to see who might be a potential new hire this time around.
That perfect person might just be waiting inside.
Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Raffa, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health. Get in touch to find out how we do it.
Photo by Artit Fongfung