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Win the talent war: Today’s pipeline is tomorrow’s lifeline

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in Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

by Lauryn Franzoni

Two consecutive years of explosive job growth in the executive employment market are creating hiring headaches for HR professionals across the country.

According to a recent ExecuNet survey, two-thirds of corporate recruiters already believe that the supply of qualified executive talent falls short of the growing hiring demands of corporate America.

Looking ahead, today's headaches appear poised to become tomorrow's migraines. Not only is the talent war heating up, but a record number of baby boomers are rapidly approaching retirement—a development that promises to create an unprecedented talent void.

In light of these trends, there's never been a better time to reassess your approach to sourcing talent, with an eye on improving your employment brand and developing a strong talent pipeline to help address future needs.

Following are three suggestions to help you cultivate a deep talent pool in a tight employment market:

1. Rewrite your job ads. Most employment ads focus on skills and experience requirements: variables that describe a person, not a position. To attract the best talent, job listings should highlight your company's success and provide candidates with a compelling answer to the question, "Why would I want to work for you?"

To further distinguish your listings, include examples of challenging assignments that await the winning candidate.

2. Take advantage of technology. Used effectively, the Internet can dramatically improve your candidate-sourcing process.

However, when you use the Internet without regard to a target audience, you'll have a hard time finding the right people as you wade through a sea of résumés from unqualified candidates. The key lies in finding niche sites that specialize in providing access to the talent you need.

3. Treat candidates like customers. A significant source of frustration among candidates is the lack of feedback from recruiters and employers during the screening process.

A recent ExecuNet survey found that 81 percent of executives believe their résumés get lost in a pool of replies when they respond to a job opening—a sentiment that speaks volumes about the treatment many candidates receive.

Instead of keeping applicants in the dark, strive to inform them as the process progresses. That interaction will help improve your company's employment brand and lay the foundation for better relationships with candidates.

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Lauryn Franzoni is vice president and executive editor at ExecuNet, an executive job search and recruiting network. For more information, visit www.execunet.com.

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