3 Tactics Savvy Recruiters Use to Fill Roles Faster

July 14, 2016

If you feel like you’re the only one working harder and still struggling to fill your open roles, think again. A recent Bersin study found that the average time to fill has increased by 8%, reflecting an increased push to hire more while keeping the size and budgets of recruiting teams relatively flat. With unemployment rates dropping in the U.S. and more opportunities opening up for skilled talent—it’s taking more time and resources for organizations to quickly acquire the talent they need.

For recruiters who operate in constant hiring mode, the struggle is all too real. To help, we’ve pulled 3 particularly savvy tips that can help save precious time and boost efficiency in the face of that never-ending pile of open roles.

For more tips, check out The Tactical Guide to High-Volume Hiring.

Tip #1: Eliminate any confusion between you and your hiring manager.

Just a few minor upfront miscommunications between you and your hiring manager could cost you hours of unnecessary work down the road. Whether it’s a misunderstanding around candidate requirements, role expectations, or even desired soft skills—you risk losing time sourcing and engaging the wrong candidates, delaying the process, and seriously dragging out your time-to-fill.

Talent expert Lou Adler recommends these 3 steps to ensuring total upfront req alignment with your hiring manger:

  • Define 2-3 major performance goals for the new hire

In your first meeting with your hiring manager, agree on the 2-3 key performance goals that equal success in the role. For a sales position, they might be: “maximize territory growth” and “develop a complete account plan.”

Any candidate you consider for this role must be able to achieve these performance goals without a doubt. Knowing this helps you identify and deliver the right candidates, faster.

  • Drill into 2-3 tasks that lead to performance goal achievement

Now that you and your hiring manager have defined the 2-3 necessary goals for success in the role, ask your hiring manager what tasks must be completed to achieve said goals. These are more tactical in nature, and they are a good idea to include in your job description and focus on in your phone screen. 

  • Agree on desired skills and qualities

As you and your hiring manager work through the first two areas, pay attention to any skills, personality characteristics, strengths and more that might help a candidate be successful. Then, have a conversation with your hiring manager to confirm these skills and qualities are desired and helpful to success in the role. Convey these traits and soft skills in your job description, look for them within cover letters, and screen for them during your initial phone calls.

When you know exactly what you’re looking for, you’re better equipped to quickly spot the candidates who can get the job done.

Tip #2: Source candidates most likely to be interested in your opportunities.

Gone are the days of either active or passive talent. Nearly 90% of talent on LinkedIn reports being open to a new opportunity if the right one presents itself. This is great news for recruiters, but it also means you could waste time engaging more candidates rather than the right ones. Don’t fall into that trap.

The key to sourcing faster is to engage candidates who have already indicated some relationship with your organization i.e. your Company Page followers, past applicants, those who have interacted with your LinkedIn status updates (by liking, sharing, or commenting), and even those connected to your employees.

Did you know?

  • Your Company Page followers are 81% more likely to respond to your InMails.
  • People who share a former employer with you are 27% more likely to respond to your InMail.
  • Talent who share a LinkedIn group with you are 21% more likely to respond to your InMail.

If you are a LinkedIn customer, you can prioritize qualified talent to engage directly from within LinkedIn Recruiter. After running a search for the skills and experiences you’re looking for, use Recruiter’s “spotlights” to prioritize your search results by those who have a pre-existing relationship with your organization in some way.

You’re guaranteed to save time sorting through candidates and dramatically increase your response rates. 

Tip #3: Create personalized templates to reach more candidates, faster.

Sending that first message or InMail to a prospective candidate(s) is a fine balance between efficiency and personalization. On one hand, you can send out twice as many InMails about an opportunity, role requirements and your company culture if you use a standard template. But on the other hand, you know that personalized messages have a major impact on the likelihood of eliciting a response.

To strike a balance, craft InMail templates that allow for a healthy level of personalization (especially in your intro). You can repurpose ~80% of your template for a given role, but include ample opportunities for you to personalize the note. Take10 minutes to read through a candidate’s LinkedIn profile and tailor your message to their background—it will not only reflect well on you as a recruiter, but will also yield a higher response rate.

But don’t go overboard. Our InMail data suggests shorter InMails are actually more effective, and the sweet spot is right around 500 characters. Any longer and your message won’t be read, but too much shorter and you’ll get lost in the noise.

The best recruiters work smarter, not harder, to find the talent their organization needs to thrive. So let’s review: By aligning upfront with your hiring manager on who exactly you’re looking for, using signals like Company Page Followers to prioritize candidates most likely to be interested in your opportunities, and by starting your outreach with a base template—you’re setting yourself up to save precious time and energy.

For more quick tactics guaranteed to help you recruit faster, check out our newest ebook, The Tactical Guide to High-Volume Hiring. The ebook also includes tried-and-true tips from talent acquisition leaders at Starbucks, Novo Nordisk, LinkedIn, and Likeable Media who’ve helped their teams manage high-volume hiring.   

* image by Death to Stock Photo

To receive blog posts like this one straight in your inbox, subscribe to the blog newsletter.