Get creative to keep your talent pipeline full

Successfully meeting clients’ needs for qualified, reliable personnel takes planning, preparation and a certain amount of creativity. It’s even more challenging in a competitive, near-full job market.

Here are seven tips for maintaining a steady flow of job candidates.

  1. Utilize technology. The latest talent acquisition technologies help staffing firms run smoothly by putting all the information you need at your fingertips. To make life easier:
  • Choose software that combines recordkeeping with job experience filtering and communications capabilities. It is worth the investment.
  • Embrace mobile. Use your smartphone or iPad to streamline communication from candidates and clients and make faster decisions for your business.
  • Post jobs on social media (while at the office or when you are on the go) to reinforce your brand while expanding your reach.
  1. Thoroughly vet employees. Clients want to know that firms go the distance in recruiting, explains John Rossheim, writing for “Anyone can Google for candidates,” Rossheim notes. “To win new business, agencies must show that they will go deeper than the competition or the client to field the right candidates, whether for a temp role, a direct hire or something in between.”

How can you feel confident sending new employees on assignments? Use a referral bonus program to connect with more high-quality candidates, and develop detailed, accurate job descriptions to ensure strong skills matches. To streamline your selection process further, use skills testing and be adept at conducting two-step interviews by phone or videoconferencing.

  1. Keep employees engaged. Nurture relationships with past and current employees through regular communication. When they are on assignment, call to verify the job is what you had described. Ask them how things are going. For those not on assignment, send an email, call or text to let them people you are thinking of them. Find out what they are doing and whether they have gained any new marketable skills.
  2. Inspire loyalty. Is your compensation package competitive for your area? Build a loyal pool of talent by offering competitive wages, training opportunities and performance incentives, such as cash bonuses, entertainment or sports team tickets, restaurant or spa coupons. Also, don’t forget to recognize employees for a job well done.
  3. Start at the source. According to the American Staffing Association, the U.S. Department of Labor places manufacturing and information technology professions at the top of the most in-demand professions in 2018. If your staffing agency specializes in either of these areas, it’s important to maintain strong relationships with local trade schools, colleges and community workforce development entities that will supply future talent. Strengthen these connections by attending events, visiting with local students and businesses, and offering information about career opportunities.
  4. Get creative with branding. Attracting new candidates often requires staffing agencies to broaden their creative horizons. Supplement traditional marketing and advertising efforts with some of these ideas:
  • Post positions on specialized online job boards (New ones are cropping up all the time.).
  • Create and offer “expert” presentations for professional and community audiences.
  • Post flyers and leave business cards in unexpected or unique locations.
  • Search for new industry publications that offer print advertising. In addition to mainstream media, consider advertising in arts and entertainment weeklies, and online or specialty publications that target your audience.

7. Find cultural fits. Enthusiastic employees who understand expectations and enjoy the challenges of their assignments tend to be the most productive. So, familiarize yourself with your clients’ companies and employees as much as possible. Then accurately communicate the company’s culture to prospective employees to find the best matches. Is it a button-down atmosphere or one with jeans and hoodies? A casual person may not feel at ease in a conservative office and vice versa. Some candidates can fit in well in any environment.