Maintaining Relationships During Vacancies

kyleowen Corporate Recruiting, Staffing, Tips & Tricks

In today's job market, recruiting resembles sales and marketing more than ever. Top performers are increasingly able to pick and choose between multiple offers, which means recruiters need to learn how to market their companies and open positions to become the top choice. This trend is only intensifying – ADP's June National Employment Report showed private employers added 281,000 jobs last month, well above predictions and the highest level since last year. Recruiters need to keep up with trends in sales and marketing to remain relevant and successful. Luckily, the core aims of recruiting align well with those of marketing and sales – in all these pursuits, it is key to create and manage high-quality relationships at scale. The way marketers and sales professionals manage these challenges can be instructive for recruiting leaders.

Consider this scenario: A company's higher education recruiter takes maternity leave during graduation season. What can the department do? Generally, this will mean having other team members fill in as they are able, or perhaps hiring temporary help that will need to be brought up to speed as quickly as possible on the company's employer brand, recruiting strategies, technologies and more. These strategies are not particularly efficient, and can harm relationships the recruiter who is taking leave was working to build for quite some time. In sales, the same concern exists – how can a department preserve its relationships during an employee's absence? Just as in recruiting, relationships are crucial in sales.

A Sales Solution to a Recruiting Issue
The Inside Sales Experts blog has a solution that works for teams across the country. Trish Bertuzzi wrote that she was speaking to a VP of Sales with a 28 percent attrition rate in her department. That turnover, combined with the state of the job market, made positions hard to fill and her targets nearly impossible to meet. The solution Bertuzzi proposes is to create dedicated positions she refers to as "ranger reps." When top salespeople leave – for whatever length of time and any reason – ranger reps are ready to take over their territory for as long as it is necessary. In sales, losing a representative means leaving relationships on hold for the duration of the vacancy. The same is true of recruiting.

Companies can use a similar strategy in recruiting. The ideal profile of a ranger rep – or a ranger recruiter – is someone who loves change and challenge, knows the company intimately, uses the tools well and might be looking for a new position. These people can help offset the damage relationships and hiring numbers can take from departures and breaks that a company can't handle fast enough. In fast-pace recruiting departments, these people can even manage relationships for recruiters who are on a brief vacation, or support new recruiters who are still training for a full workload.

Those recruiting departments that cannot afford to have a floating recruiter for these purposes have other options, which are necessary to exercise to keep relationships going strong regardless of staffing changes. The most practical of these is to work on a talent pipeline. Many recruiters maintain talent pipelines for vacancies they expect they will need to fill within their companies in the future. Departments should also create a pipeline for vacancies for recruiting positions. This will help departments maintain their numbers – as well as their relationships – even when unexpected vacancies occur. The same talents that make recruiting for other positions successful, like creating relationships, working to market a company's employer brand and more, also apply to recruiting for recruitment positions.

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