Even before joining a startup I was familiar with the term ‘bootstrap’ because I worked in HR at a non-profit. I had to make due with a lot less than some other companies and that drove us to recruit creatively.As a Recruiter there are certain positions, commonly referred to as “Evergreen Postings", that you always recruit for. Whether you’re adding five new positions or backfilling a departure, they all needed to be filled yesterday. I tried a lot of different ways to hire the right people quickly, but nothing worked better than a hiring from a pre-selected pool of candidates. This is otherwise known as a “talent pipeline” or “talent community”.I bootstrapped a talent community for a position that I knew I would need to fill later that year.
Over the course of six months, I had close to 20 conversations, 10 of which were added to my pipeline. When the position opened up I called 10 people from my pipeline, had six 15-minute phone calls, conducted three interviews and made one hire. It only took 12 days to fill the position. I also made sure to call the two candidates who did not get an offer to keep them in the pipeline. The results: I looked like a Rockstar. My HR colleagues were excited because it reduced our time-to-fill, the department manager was excited because she expected it would take two months to fill the position, and the department team members were excited because they knew help was on the way.The more incredible part is that a couple of weeks later we needed to hire another person for that same role. We called one of the candidates that had interviewed previously that I had nurtured to keep in the pipeline and he accepted the offer. A few hours of work over a six month period resulted in two record time hires because we had built a talent pipeline ahead of time. If I could bootstrap a talent community at a non-profit then you can too!
In an ideal world, you would be able to build your own career site that has lead capture forms on every page that could nurture candidates automatically. If you don’t live in that world then you should consider bootstrapping your talent community. It will require some work up front, but I can assure you it will pay off in the long run.Check out the 5 Best Practices of A Strong Talent Community. If you need help bootstrapping your talent community feel free to email me at Brian@NextWaveHire.com.