Need qualified candidates for your small business? 6 hidden talent pools to consider

Pete Jansons

It’s not easy out there for a small business employer. When you need to hire – and hire quickly – the time and costs associated with hiring can be significant. It doesn’t help that qualified candidates are getting harder and harder to find these days. Or are they? Oftentimes, the most qualified candidates are the ones we’ve overlooked. Consider these six "hidden" talent pools the next time you have a hiring need and you just may find a gem or two.

1. Former employees. Rehiring former employees (a.k.a. Boomerang employees) can be a viable option for small business owners with open positions that need to be filled. After all, they’re already familiar with the company, so they can easily hit the ground running. It’s important, however, to proceed with caution when rehiring former employees. Make sure you first consider the circumstances around their departure and their reasons for wanting to come back.

2. Current employees. How often do you consider your internal candidate pool when trying to fill a new vacancy? Promoting employees from within has considerable benefits for employers, including saving on recruiting  and training costs. On top of that, providing real opportunities for advancement can increase employee retention and engagement.

3. Mature workers. They may be older, but mature workers bring a lot to the table for small businesses. Not only do they already have a wealth of knowledge and experience under their belts, they can act as mentors for others. Many employers don’t give much thought to this group of workers because they assume they will leave.

4. Overqualified workers. While many employers automatically discount overqualified workers - for fear they will grow bored, leave quickly or be too expensive – it’s worth your while to explore this option a little further. After all, there are plenty of valid reasons to hire overqualified workers. As this article argues, “When overqualified employees are motivated and interested in the outcome of their company, they can benefit the business by thinking creatively about their jobs and devising new ways to do things.”

5. Military veterans. They might not have a typical resume or have followed the typical career path, but military veterans are an invaluable addition to small businesses. Not only are they the epitome of a team player, they are also extremely resourceful, can think fast, know how to perform under pressure and are extremely professional.

6. Past applicants. According to CareerBuilder research, half of HR managers don’t re-engage candidates who applied for previous openings when new open positions arise. This is a huge missed opportunity. Just because a past applicant wasn’t hired for one position doesn’t mean he or she won’t be a great fit for another position that opens up. Start building your talent pipeline now, and not only will you have a pool of qualified candidates at the ready next time you need to hire, you’ll significantly reduce your time to hire.

Learn more about re-engaging past candidates in your talent pipeline with HR software.



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