Finding the right person for the job is a constant headache for any business. No matter whether you’re trying to staff up to deal with an increasing workload or hunting out that specific someone to tackle a longstanding weakness – securing quality can feel close to impossible.

However, undertaking proactive recruiting actions can help reframe your approach and make sure that your business is perfectly set to find the right hire and optimise your actions when it truly matters most.

So, what exactly is proactive recruitment and how can you start?

What does proactive recruitment mean?

An essential part of the modern recruitment pipeline, proactive recruitment involves capturing information and approaching potential clients before positions open in your business. This is done in advance of a concrete role being created or – ideally – as part of ongoing recruitment practice, allowing you to earmark candidates long-before your company has need of them.

This can involve bracketing your search by desirable criteria such as geographic location, educational background, professional skill set and more. Once these parameters have been set, your business can actively reach out and build relationships with the professionals before you have need of them. This can range from building connections with universities, centres of professional excellence, or actively letting clients come to you through social media advertising.

While it is essential to follow the letter of the law when it comes to recruitment actions, earmarking professionals in advance can help refine your candidate selection process and allow you to develop a better understanding of their professional skillset, motivations, and how they would potentially fit within your company culture.

How does it help?

Taking the time to carry out proactive recruitment or adopt elements of the strategy in your approach can come with a range of benefits. Some of these positives include-

Accelerating Your Timeframe: Earmarking candidates in advance ensures that you can get running with your project or tackle an ongoing issue as quickly as possible. While this may be less of a concern for some businesses, this can be a critical value-add for time sensitive or competitive industries and help supply the winning edge you need.

Developing Loyalty: Contacting a candidate in advance will allow your business and the new member of staff to get the measure of each other. This can allow you to offer incentives that match their career goals and allow you to secure a long-term hire and reduce the risk of losing embodied skills and knowledge.

Advance Vetting: Skilled or high-value hires will often require extensive internal review and vetting. Getting approvals out of the way in advance can help minimise the onboarding process and get your new hire up and running quickly. This can be attractive for the candidate and allow you to make use of their skills quickly and with a high degree of efficiency. Out of all the benefits, this can provide the most significant long-term advantages as issues around screening, background checks, and logistics can be squared away in advance.

What do I need to do?

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to proactive recruitment, there are a number of approved strategies that work for a range of businesses. These include, but are not limited to-

Networking: If you’re looking to attract the best possible hires it’s important to take the time to understand the current marketplace and maintain place of prominence. This means attending regular trade events, networking meetings, and more. This can help you earmark groups, entities, or individuals that would be great to add to your conversion pipeline for employees.

Headhunting: Finding the right hire can be challenging when it comes to high demand roles – this means sourcing quality over quantity, which makes it helpful to make initial overtures to potential employees. This can involve asking professional partners or contacts for introductions and inviting individuals for coffee or lunch to discuss their current position and future goals. While this can be exacting, treating it as a rolling process can help you easily embed it in your work and quickly develop a roster of vetted professionals you have a pre-existing relationship with.

Online Prominence: If you want to attract the right candidates, your marketing materials and copy must be of the highest possible quality. This means taking the time to highlight the benefits of working with your business and creating an engagement funnel that potential employers can use to contact your company, which can then be used as part of an active approach. This can be supported by a sustained social media campaign, allowing you to use Twitter, Facebook, or platforms to improve your approach. This can also be bolstered by targeted engagement through Google AdWords or other SEO tools, letting you reach out and analyse your approach to help refine your work.

Pursuing Digital Innovation: One of the biggest advantages open to businesses is combining a qualitative engagement approach with the quantitative power of digital platforms and systems. This can quickly allow you to acquire and update a database of potential contacts – taking a great deal of effort out of the process and allow you to be more accurate and efficient with your regular engagement. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, any reliable provider will be able to work with you to deliver a package that supports your key business actions.