I am sure everyone has heard of the epic quests for The Holy Grail or the Fountain of Youth. As an HR Professional, we have an epic journey of our own, The Quest For Zero-Days To Hire. The organization decides we have a hiring need and the requisition gets approved so what is taking so long to get that position filled? Can't we just hit that easy button and grab that incredible candidate that is going to knock the socks off of the hiring manager?

The reality is that as an HR Professional the competition for talent is fierce. Merely posting a job and waiting for the candidates to come to you is going to be a recipe for failure in today's competition for talent. While I think that zero days to hire is probably not very realistic, I do feel there are specific tools that everyone should have at his or her disposal to reduce time to hire significantly.

Finding Candidates and Talent Networks:

Talent Networks seem to be incredibly daunting pursuits for most, but in reality, they are pretty straightforward. Talent Networks span the gap from an opt-in email distribution to more robust tools where candidates can engage you on their interests and set parameters on their contact preferences about new positions at your organization. Job candidates can pick locations they are interested in as well as job categories and position titles they would be interested in pursuing with your organization. Talent Networks should be a core piece of functionality of any Applicant Tracking System. However, when evaluating Applicant Tracking Systems pay close attention to the features included with the Talent Network as not all Talent Networks are created equal. As candidates apply to jobs, your ATS should store the candidate's information so that you can later query those candidates. A Talent Network at its core should be able to:

  • Allow applicants to opt-in to be notified about positions they may be interested
  • Store past candidates
  • Allow for tagging previous candidates for future follow-up
  • Parse the data within a resume
  • Store the parsed qualifications of the candidate
  • Allow you to match candidates to jobs based on their experience taken from their resume and their interests
  • Provide the medium for you to invite those candidates to apply to a position

Sounds like a lot but it is straightforward and effortless to leverage. Parsing technology is widely used and should be a part of any Applicant Tracking System you consider. By leveraging a parsing engine with job skills matching you can quickly evaluate everyone within your Talent Network, see who has skills that match your new position and then allow you to invite them to apply. The best part about it is you can engage someone that:

  • Already meets the minimum qualifications for the position
  • They have indicated they are interested in that type of job
  • The candidate has an interest in your organization as they have joined your Talent Network

Talent Networks can be a useful tool in generating momentum for a new position. If today your organization is starting from scratch every time you have a unique job to fill then you are going to increase your time to hire. Starting off the search for a new candidate with warm, qualified and interested candidates will make your job easier.