Benefits and Compensation

Building Your Employee Talent Pool—Best Practices

Building a recruitment strategy that can meet the ups and downs of everyday business in a volatile economy is a tough challenge. To compound matters, you are not alone in your quest for the best employees.  Even companies that are not currently hiring are actively building their talent communities and their candidate pools in preparation for the possibility of future growth.

What Is Your Recruitment Strategy?

It is critical to understand your organization before seeking to add employees. In order to develop a comprehensive recruitment strategy, your company should explore the following:

  • Does the organization have a current recruitment strategy?  Is everyone familiar with it?  Is it working or does it need to change?
  • How does the company stand compared to the competition from a compensation standpoint? Do you intend to lead, lag? Are you in fact leading or lagging?
  • What are the industry trends and, more specifically, what are the organization’s competitors doing in regard to the identification, acquisition, and retention of key talent?
  • How can the company differentiate itself from its competitors when attempting to recruit talent?
  • What recruitment resources are available?  Is the company effectively utilizing all of them in pursuit of talent?
  • What capabilities will be required now and in the future to meet the company’s essential talent needs?
  • Has the company reviewed historical data with respect to seasonality and hiring volume?
  • Does the company have enough internal expertise to meet its recruitment needs?  If not, what resources and alternatives are available?

Developing a Talent Pool

The next important step in the recruitment and retention process is to explore what skills, education, and experience the company seeks.  Don’t rely on old job descriptions!  In fact, you might even want to develop a brand new job description based on what you perceive are the organization’s needs.

What is your job worth? Join us on October 1 and learn how to accurately determine a job’s worth based on the job description, pricing in the market, a comprehensive job analysis, and other tools that help ensure that you’re not paying too much — or too little –Click here for more information.


Businesses also need to try to determine their actual recruiting costs, factoring in all fixed, variable, hard, and soft expenses.  Keep in mind that a substantial investment in the recruitment process up-front saves money in the end, as the goal is to recruit quality individuals who will stay with the company.

The second aspect of budget is, of course, total rewards. To attract A players, you’ll need very competitive packages. Keep in mind, however, that attractive doesn’t necessarily mean lots of money; it can also mean opportunity, stability, convenience, perks, and so on.

What Are Your Recruitment Options?

Internal recruitment. An internal recruitment strategy is characterized by promoting employees from within an organization to fill open positions.  Examples of internal recruitment methods include:

  • Career opportunity postings
  • Recruitment newsletters
  • E-mail flashes
  • Employee referral programs
  • Training and apprenticeships/in-house development programs
  • Mentorships

Internal recruitment can be beneficial for a number of reasons.

  • It is often the quickest and most cost-effective way to recruit talent.
  • Current employees are already in your compensation system and you will likely be able to award a nice raise to someone who is being promoted.
  • You do not have to “reinvent the wheel” with an internal recruit. This person will likely already understand your business model, your culture, and your processes before assuming the new position.  As a result, he or she will assimilate into the new position faster than an external candidate.  In fact, external candidates usually take longer to find, longer to train, and may not fully integrate into your culture after the entire training process.
  • It demonstrates to your employees that the company offers an opportunity to advance.
  • Thus, it is an effective employee retention tool.

LIVE WEBINAR coming Wednesday October 1st. Job Worth: How to Analyze Job Duties & Skills to Competitively Price Compensation. In just 90 minutes, you’ll learn how to accurately determine a job’s worth based on close examination of the job description, pricing in the market, a comprehensive job analysis, and other tools. Join here!

External recruitment. An external recruitment strategy means that the company will search the employee pool outside its own employees to fill positions.  Common methods of external recruitment include:

  • Newspaper ads
  • Job search websites
  • Job fairs
  • Recruiting apps such as Monster® and Indeed

External recruitment has many advantages.  Unlike internal recruits:

  • Outside employees may arrive with new ideas and energy.
  • New employees have probably not been exposed yet to your corporate culture.  This may be ideal if your company is expanding into new ventures or exploring a new business model.
  • An outside prospect may bring nonconfidential information from his or her former employer that can be integrated into your best practices.
  • Continuously hiring from internal job pools may not contribute to your company’s diversity and may lead to scrutiny by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the equivalent state agency in terms of promoting a diverse workplace.

However, there are potential disadvantages to external recruitment. For example:

  • You don’t know too much about the employee’s work ethic, how he or she will get along with team members, and so on.
  • Outsiders may demand compensation outside of your usual ranges, throwing your compensation planning into disarray and causing discontent among current employees.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, more on talent pool building, plus we announce a new webinar, Beyond market pricing: How to Conduct Internal Job Worth Evaluations in Conjunction with Pay Surveys for Accurate Results.

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