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How to Be a Proactive Recruiter

Darren Bounds

There is a war for talent happening right now, with 45 percent of employers struggling to fill roles. The low unemployment rate and increase in millennials in the workforce demands a change in recruiting tactics. The talent market is tight, recruiters are expensive and job seekers are choosier than ever. Contributor Darren Bounds, CEO –  BreezyHR 

Nearly 90 percent of companies featured on the Fortune 500 list have disappeared since it began in 1955. Today’s landscape is changing as millennials take control of the workforce and we see the rise of the on-demand talent economy. Small-to-midsize employers are now going up against top brands in the hunt for talent. 

There is mounting pressure on everyone to secure the best available talent. So how can you get ahead? It’s all about a shift from reactive recruiting to proactive recruiting. This is best done by leveraging today’s technology. There are a couple of ways technology can help you be a proactive recruiter.

Start searching now
Gone are the days where you can begin searching for a candidate when there is a position open. If you know you are going to need another designer in two to three months, start searching now. An applicant tracking system (ATS) can connect you to a pool of talent to search through. Utilize a Boolean search to find hundreds of quality candidates broken down by background, skills and geography. Through this search, you access the entire professional and educational background, contact information and social media right in your ATS. This will save you hours of time crawling through Google. 

Nurture the leads
Recruitment is a long game. Just like in sales, snagging your dream hire is all about building relationships. Once you have your pre-screened talent pool, begin showing them a little love to win them over. Nurture your candidates with fun, friendly texts or emails to introduce them to your brand and culture, and let them know you are interested. Send a simple note sharing a company resource like a VP speaking at a conference. Ask them if it is okay to reach out about future opportunities for them to come work with your company. It’s that easy. 

The nurture game is a great way to stay on top of the constant struggle of turnover. According to a report by, turnover in the US is at an all-time high of nearly 20 percent. Recruiting in this high-stakes world does not come with instant gratification. Start nurturing your leads now, and you will have a pool of A-player talent ready when the next position opens. 

Boosting a posted role
But what if your position is already posted? You can still leverage technology to gain more momentum and ensure a higher ratio of quality candidates. After a role is posted, go back to the same talent pool in your ATS. Use it to cherry-pick potential applicants with whatever skills, education and/or background you have established as the baseline for the position. You get to set the bar, so feel free to aim for the sky.

Once your search is complete, instantly add these leads to your open position or talent pool and begin reaching out with a friendly intro email to let them know there’s a fresh new role that’s absolutely perfect for them. Make sure you let them know you are not assuming anything about their happiness at their current job. Since you can access their social media from your ATS, you can easily find something relevant to personalize your message and begin to form a genuine connection.

The talent market is tough right now, which makes it easy to be intimated. But with some proactive recruiting you can get ahead of the game. Don’t be afraid to utilize the technology available to you. It can save both time and money as you find the right candidate for your position.

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