This is the first in the two-part article by Mr. Bennett. The second part, entitled Five Ways to Use Reference Checking to Set Your Organization Apart, can be found here.
As competition for top talent gets more and more fierce, staffing and recruiting firms, including Recruitment Process Outsourcers (RPOs), contingency and temp-based services, niche-focused recruiters, and executive search firms—need to act more quickly than ever before to find talent, reduce time-to-fill, and stand out in an overcrowded industry where innovation, efficiency, mobility, and service will be key differentiators.
Staffing and recruiting firms can gain a competitive edge by leveraging new data-driven approaches to build recruiting efficiencies, reach new clients, build a strong candidate pipeline, and provide the kind of deep insight into candidate performance that will keep your clients coming back for more.
The staffing industry is growing, but the talent pool isn’t. By 2020, employers in the world’s richest nations will be short as many as 18 million college-educated workers. And with baby boomers set to retire in record numbers over the next 10 to 20 years, the situation will likely worsen. That means successful firms will have to think creatively to gain market share and stay viable in the talent acquisition space.
Demand is also on the rise. Corporations are poised for growth in 2015 and their need for talent will continue to grow. In high-growth fields like engineering, IT, and healthcare, finding talent with the right skillsets can be particularly difficult.
Reference Checking as a Strategic Advantage
For most organizations today, including staffing and recruiting firms, reference checking is a perfunctory, low-value task typically carried out after hiring decisions have been made. Even for those organizations that mandate reference checking, it can be a slow, ineffective, and tedious process of phone tag. When you finally reach a reference, the feedback you receive is little more than verification of your candidate’s employment.
Moving reference checking online can help speed the reference process by automating reference feedback. It is also important that a solution meets today’s growing mobile demand. At a recent conference, LinkedIn’s VP of Mobile Products reported that on the LinkedIn.com flagship mobile app alone, users view a total of about 1.5 million job postings and send out more than 44,000 job applications per day.
But online reference checking solutions do even more by using job-specific surveys to target the positions you are hiring for. They can help you evaluate a range of criteria so that you can deliver deeper, more predictive insights about a candidate to assure a better fit with your clients’ needs. They can also provide professional, detailed candidate reports that can be passed on to clients to help them make better hiring decisions and plan on-boarding and training needs. And the best automated reference systems can do all that in record time, giving your staffing and recruiting firm a competitive edge in a crowded market.
Photo credit: Flazingo Photos