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Harnessing Your Database to Find Candidates

There’s a lot happening in the staffing industry. Numerous articles about the difficulties agencies face with the current candidate shortage flood our inboxes daily. Responses to social media polls show that recruiters are experiencing a higher volume of ghosting and more pushback from talent (for more tips, check out these 5 ways to deal with candidate ghosting). So what can agencies do to fill jobs amidst the scarcity of available talent?

In an episode of Staffing Buzz with Brooke (originally published under “TimeSaved”), special guest Tom Erb from Tallann Resources, offers insight on tactics agencies are using to successfully source new talent and why you should never forget to harness your existing database to find candidates.

Combine traditional methods with social media outreach

Agencies find the most success in sourcing talent using traditional recruiting methods combined with outreach on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or other more niche job boards. Regular job boards are heavily saturated with competition and overflowing with candidates that may be unqualified or haven’t had their information updated in years. The tactics that work best to find candidates are more targeted and allow job seekers to search for work and communicate the way they want.

Don’t forget the value of your database

Many staffing firms are overly reliant on candidate intake. Often, candidates disappear into the database if they’re not successfully placed immediately after being processed. The names that go into this “black hole” are forgotten because too much effort is put into sourcing new talent.

Tom Erb advises that agencies should be viewing this from the opposite perspective. A firm’s database is filled with important information about candidates. It’s what makes a staffing agency incredibly valuable. Recruiters spend a lot of time and effort communicating with candidates before inputting them into the database, and it takes many years to build up a healthy pool of talent.

Use targeted content strategies to re-engage your candidates

According to Tom Erb, at any point in time, about 13% of the US workforce is actively looking for a job. This means that agencies need to consider the other 87% that are not actively looking and use more targeted tactics to re-engage with them. “Most people think that engaging the database means offering them jobs and seeing if they’re available,” Tom Erb says. “We have to be a bit more strategic.”

A great strategy for building an engaged talent pool of workers is by creating engaging content about what your target candidate would want to know. By using your existing database to find candidates and discovering what potential job seekers are interested in, you’re providing value that will make them want to reach out. Another great way to do this is by building a sense of community by sending out surveys or creating newsletters that fit specific candidate profiles. For example, creating a healthcare-specific newsletter to send to travel nurses is much more effective than a generic email that lists job opportunities they may have no interest in.  

Keep data up-to-date with candidate self-serve tools

A clean database is vital, and investing in the right tech can help your agency stay focused on what they’re good at – sourcing and engaging with job seekers. Depending on what the goal is for your agency, there are a variety of tools that can automate and streamline daily tasks, including keeping your database organized and updated. Investigate tools like candidate engagement platforms or staffing platforms. The right candidate engagement platforms will have features that make it easier to clean up and group data about your candidates. Some even have tools to create targeted emails to re-engage them. A true staffing platform will allow job seekers to apply for jobs easily through an app, create their own schedules, update their profiles and communicate on-demand with recruiters. The most important thing about both these tools is that candidate information is kept sorted and current, and that active job seekers can receive broadcast messages that are relevant to their interests.

Many staffing agencies are finding success in filling open positions by re-engaging existing talent. By combining a more traditional targeted recruiting with technology to clean up their database and asking candidates who they are, where they are, and what they want to do, recruiters can harness their existing database to find candidates.

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