Are You Waiting for the Great Pumpkin? Why It Pays to Be a Proactive Recruiter

Every year without fail, beloved Peanuts character Linus sits in a pumpkin patch on Halloween night to wait for the Great Pumpkin to appear. Much to his dismay, it always fails to turn up. Nevertheless, Linus remains unshaken and vows to wait again next year. He believes the Great Pumpkin is out there.

The elusive Great Pumpkin is a lot like your dream hire. The stage is set and you're expecting greatness, but all you get is disappointment when that hire repeatedly fails to arrive at your door. You know great talent is out there. The job market is ripe with passive candidates who are eager to learn about new opportunities.* Why aren't they showing up?

Perhaps, like Linus, you're not doing enough. Sure, he writes a few letters and puts up a sign, but at the end of the day, he's still waiting for the Great Pumpkin to come to him. Poor Linus is destined to repeat this story, but you have a chance to change your strategy. Be proactive and go get that pumpkin for yourself!

*At 5 percent, unemployment in the U.S. is low, but 84 percent of people say they would consider leaving their current company for a company with an excellent reputation.

Don't Be Left in the Dark

Linus's biggest problem is that he doesn't know anything about the Great Pumpkin. He repeats the same process every year because he has no insight into why it's not working. Recruiting teams fall into this trap all the time – following a process because it's what you think you should be doing, regardless of whether or not it actually produces the results you're looking for.

To build a successful hiring process, you have to know your candidates. More specifically, you have to know which candidates will most likely become great hires. You need insight into things like:

-What makes someone successful in a particular role?

-How do you distinguish high performers from low performers?

-Where do your best candidates come from?

New hires can be your source of insight here. They may not be the great hires you were hoping for, but that doesn't mean you can't learn from them. In what ways are they falling short? Not hitting sales goals? Missing the mark on customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores? You'll know new hires aren't working out if early turnover rates are high, or if you notice low employee engagement or discord among teams.

That's the beauty of a feedback loop. As soon as you put measurements in place, you'll start to see patterns emerge. You'll be able to pinpoint the part of your process that's working well and the part that's not. Track the impact of each adjustment you make, and keep improving until you get it right. Soon, your plain old pumpkin patch will be full of Great Pumpkins!

Ready to Put the Old Process Behind You?

A feedback loop is a great way to generate insights from within your company, but you don't have to do it all on your own. Some metrics, like sales, CSAT, and turnover, you probably track already. Others, like new hire engagement and manager satisfaction, you can get from a post-hire survey. But other measurements, like candidate job fit scores and hire-readiness scores, are much more efficient if you can get them from an automated system. Plus, you'll want all of these analytics in one place so you can make sense of the data and see trends over time.

You want a system that will help you fill in the holes by delivering the data that's missing from your feedback loop. With clear, measurable insight from assessments, automated reference checks, and new hire analytics, you'll be able to uild a proactive hiring process that sets you apart from the rest – and finally makes the Great Pumpkin a reality.

Greg Moran is the president and CEO of OutMatch.