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Top 10 Tips to Manage Your Candidate Database

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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The hiring process doesn’t start when there is a vacancy in the organization—it starts long before the vacancy opens. It is the mark of an able HR professional to arrange the structure of a human resources department so that there is ongoing talent acquisition—and for this, keeping a candidate database is crucial. Here, are 10 ways to manage your candidate database.

1. Always Plan Ahead
The whole point of building a candidate database is to aid in the planning function of the HR department. Planning entails answering the 5 Ws and an H-factor:

  • What will be done?
  • When will it be done?
  • Where will it be done?
  • Why should it be done?
  • Who should do it?
  • How should it be done?

Regarding HR activities, planning means anticipating vacancies that may arise with time and identifying the right candidate to fill them. An astute recruiter should always be on the lookout for changes in the industry and their effects on the workforce. Recruiters plan ahead so they can match the requirements of the industry with the human capital in the organization.

The following are essential metrics in this regard:

  • industry growth projections
  • company growth forecasts
  • the rate of labor turnover in the company or department.

These metrics can be used in the planning process and to find the right candidates for a job.

2. Integration
All your candidate sources—job boards, career pages, social media, and so forth—should be integrated into one central database. Having a unified database that integrates all these sources makes managing the candidate database easy, and helps recruiters locate the best prospect among a range of sources.

In contrast to other manual storage platforms, an integrated database is convenient (especially where managing is concerned) and offers a one-stop shop for all recruitment needs.

3. Application Tracking Systems
Recently, there has been an increase in automation of important HR processes—notably, the use of application tracking systems (ATS) in managing candidate databases. These are vital in providing a data-centered approach to the recruitment process so that there is a greater outreach to more candidates. They are also useful in fostering engagement with potential candidates because they can post jobs across various platforms.

4. Encourage Collaboration
A new development in the recruitment scene is collaboration. Traditionally, recruiters worked solely with individuals; thus, their focus was limited. The rewards that accrued were also based on the individual alone. However, the focus on individuals failed to give the recruiters the comprehensive view of the candidates that they wanted. The need arose to allow them to view candidates sourced from the talent pools of other recruiters. This is referred to as collaboration between recruiters.

In this regard, specific tools were developed to aid the collaborative process. For example, Comeet was developed to enhance collaboration between all parties in the hiring process. This includes the recruiters themselves, hiring executives, top management, and peers.

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Another tool that aids the collaborative process is Recruiterbox, an ATS that factors in current employees in the collaborative process of recruitment; their input is considered in the decision-making process. The primary tasks are managing an employee referral program, and employee involvement in hiring processes and in the actual interviews.

Every HR pro should strive to build their candidate database with the input of various stakeholders in the organization. They can achieve this only through collaboration.

5. Proactive Sourcing
To increase the flow of skilled candidates to your candidate database and in extension to the organization’s human capital, proactive sourcing is needed. The traditional techniques apply—for example, headhunting, Internet searches, and so on. Recently, social networks also proved to be fertile ground for prospective candidates. A proactive recruiter is on their toes looking for potential candidates, regardless of whether there is an impending vacancy.

6. Build Rapport
Sourcing for potential recruits is not sufficient. It does help if you fill your candidate database with only the best-skilled candidates, but you have to build a rapport with them. For your candidate database to be useful, you have to get acquainted with the candidates so that should there be a real-time need for their expertise, they are brought on board swiftly.

You can engage candidates regularly via periodic emails, social media texts, and so on. Build a relationship that will blossom as they get absorbed in the organization.

7. Screen Your Candidates
The screening process should be paramount to every candidate database. As a recruiting team, you should devise a standard way to screen every application. It should also apply to those who you’ve pulled into your ATS. Third-party tools such as aggregators can be of great utility with this function.

8. Manage Duplicates
Nearly every candidate database is plagued with duplicates. This makes the database messy and laden with outdated information. It is thus helpful to add a functionality to your candidate database that allows you to weed out any duplicated information without expunging relevant information.

9. Schedule Routine Cleanups
All databases need periodic cleanups. You can hire someone to do this routinely for you. An intern or freelancer can be of great help, because they are readily available and affordable.

10. Candidate Segmentation
You can create categories and segments in your database. This will make it more manageable in terms of candidate and skills identification. Use some tags and flags to ease the process.

It’s necessary that you modernize your approach to managing your candidate database. The old-school methods just won’t cut it anymore! Consider incorporating these 10 tactics today as you seek to manage your candidate database effectively.

Do you have any tips to add to this list? Please comment below.

About the Author
Richard Nolan is a professional educator and team-building coach, sharing his experience in the spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship, and psychology. Currently, Richard works as an editor-in-chief for EduBirdies. Follow him on Facebook.
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