There is something great about being able to create your fantasy team and watch them in action; and I don't just mean in football. While I don't know fantasy football, I know a little something about creating a dream team of workers. Recruiters are league owners year-round, and this is how they (we) play the game.
Auto-selection has its pros
That's not to say that hiring should ever go on autopilot. But you can and should use your recruiting technology to its fullest, and take advantage of all automated features. That's what they're there for! For example, a good ATS will automatically share and update your job listings across social channels, job boards and even the career page. This software can also automatically assign a score to a candidate, decreasing the amount of time that the recruiter spends sifting through the details. If you use cruise control in your car, you should at least explore social recruiting and job posting features included gratis in your hiring platform.
You can also automate emails to candidates so that they stay in communication throughout the entire recruiting, hiring and interviewing process. This is what we call "a nurturing workflow" in marketing and "being a good human being" in life. In a MysteryApplicant.com survey, 46% of candidates rate their experience poor or very poor, and 64% share their experience with a company via social media. Automated emails can drastically influence this number because candidates will feel more informed about the process. Plus, it's the right thing to do. I spend a lot of time hiring and if I DO let a candidate go more than 48 hours without a response, you better believe I apologize. With automation (available on the simplest plan in Mailchimp or Constant Contact) you never have to worry about that happening.
Keep an eye on the waiver wire
In recruiting, connections can be everything. Your talent pool, or waiver wire, should be constantly monitored so that you can snag a great player as soon as they become a free agent. Yes, that means fostering those relationships even with passive candidates because you never know when they'll be ready to make a move. This is more than a periodic LinkedIn 'sup, it's a concentrated effort to pay attention to what's happening around you. In fact, using a CRM the way a salesperson does to interact with candidates is one of the smartest moves an assertive recruiter can make. With today's inexpensive and even free options, it's a no-brainer (and let's face it, if you have the time for Fantasy Football...).
Although about 80% of working professionals are considered passive candidates, their title can be a bit misleading. Most people are what I like to call "pactives" and they might not be free agents but they'd jump ship if they saw the right coach looking. So keep your eyes open for signs that your next star player is peering over the fence. This infographic shows some handy hiring hints.
The bye week strategy
Employers and recruiters have to work together to get more strategic about their talent needs. If you're like me, this is the same person, but most companies have multiple departments and needs, all pulling at and for the same requirement. The ebbs and flows of business require getting proactive about talent needs and forecasting, which means you have to pay attention to your process: as it is, as it was and what industry trends and company needs that affect what it will be. Any good fantasy team owner knows the importance of being cognizant of their bye weeks. You never want to draft two QBs with the same bye week, or you will be forced to select an emergency starter from the (very often iffy) waiver wire. Talent gaps will often pressure the employer into hiring too quickly to secure a great player and blowing the budget for an entire team or upsetting internal (delicate) team dynamics.
Don't be a draft dasher
The game is not over after the draft, and the hiring lifecycle is not complete after the paperwork is signed. Draft dashers are those members of the league who get through the draft, and then they are nowhere to be found when it comes to the management of their team. A new hire must be fostered and mentored throughout the entire onboarding process. 20% of new hires end up being no-shows on their first day. That means two things: a lot of bad picks are being made, and a lot of companies are lacking a good onboarding program that starts upon hiring. Recruiters can't take all this on, but you CAN get a team in place that is ready to welcome and teach your stellar new hire. Reach out to hiring managers, your (gasp!) HR professional friends and even potential mentors or colleagues, to "buddy up" with the fresh recruit and show them the ropes.
Don't tinker with your starting line-up too much
In fantasy football, you are in complete control of whom you let go (aside from injuries), but in recruiting, you have to take into account voluntary turnover. Voluntary turnover is on the rise, with a year-over-year increase of 3.5%. Identify your star talent, get them engaged, make sure they are fairly compensated and help them visualize their future role in the organization. One thing nearly every star wants is a clear path to success. If they don't think they can find it within your "team" they will move on, leaving you with a team that's lost its captain. The coming and going of your top talent can be costly, deplete morale, and create serious roadblocks for your entire team so play offense!
It's exciting to create a dream team, but it takes a lot of dedication; ask any serious fantasy football player. Recruiters are great at this game, but the stakes are a little higher than a league trophy. Acquiring and fostering great talent is how strong teams are built and strong teams make the company.
Play on, player.