Talk with any manager or leader, regardless of their company, industry, or size, and without a doubt, you will find one thing they all have in common – the struggle to find great talent. Building, and maintaining, a talent bank is not for the faint of heart.
Now imagine the added stress that occurs when you’ve made a heroic effort to build a great talent bank, and it runs dry.
An initial full-court press is needed to develop your talent bank, but you can’t stop there. And when you've found talent that you’re not ready to hire (yet), it’s important to think about how you can keep those individuals engaged and interested in your organization. Making constant deposits into your talent bank ensures you have withdrawals when you need them.
3 Ways Managers Drain Their Talent Bank
Here are three big mistakes we see managers make that drain their talent bank:
1. Forgetting About Referrals
Our annual Sales Superstar Study data shows us year after year that the number one way to find great talent is through referrals. During the past seven years of our study, leaders reported that they found top-performing salespeople through referrals more than any other recruiting method.
Create a list of people you know who may be able to recommend good candidates, including new hires and existing employees. Instead of asking them for someone they know who would be good for the position, identify the talents needed for the role and ask questions such as “Who do you know who is motivated and hungry for growth” or “Who do you know who has a never-give-up attitude?
Talent assessments are an excellent way to measure the talents of individuals referred to you to make sure they align with those needed for success in the role.
2. Neglecting Social Media
LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Facebook are only a few social media sites that are absolute go-to for job seekers. Leaders are using social media more than ever to recruit talent.
Glassdoor states that “79% of job seekers use social media when conducting their job search.” Beyond your own company website, these sites are where anyone interested in your company will learn more about you and decide whether they would like to be a part of your organization by joining your team. Share who you are by highlighting your company’s culture, core values and mission, and the talent and roles you are looking for.
3. No Communication
If you’re not in regular contact with people in your talent bank, they’re not really candidates at all. They may have forgotten about you, lost interest, or just moved on.
So take time to create a plan to ensure that you’re following up and staying in touch, to make certain they know you care about them and that they still care about you. A plan can be as simple as setting an appointment to call select candidates for a periodic check-in.
Here are some easy prompts for staying connected in conversations:
- “I wanted to see how things are going in your job search efforts.”
- “Has anything changed since we last spoke?”
- “Tell me about some of your recent success (or big wins) in your current position.”
- “What are you reading lately? What books or blogs do you think I should be reading?”
- You should also check LinkedIn to see if there’s a birthday or a job anniversary coming up. It’s an easy way to say, “I haven’t forgotten you.”
And f you decide not to move forward with a candidate, courtesy and respect when delivering the news that they didn’t get this job is always the gold standard. It’s unfair to lead someone through the interview process with no closure as to why they didn’t get the job.
Let them know you enjoyed meeting them and feel they have a lot of talent, but for the position available, you don’t feel it’s the right fit. Then explain you’d like them to be part of your talent bank for a position that is the right fit. It’s easier to keep candidates active and interested than it is to find new candidates.
For even more tips on how to find great talent, check out our Talent Magazine.
*Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in 2014 and has since been updated.