Talent Funnels: Your Next Capital Project

June 13, 2022

If you’ve been in the recruitment game for years, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of a talent funnel.

Just like a sales funnel where prospects move down the funnel to purchase, a talent funnel is the candidate’s journey from their first point of contact to becoming an employee.

A well-designed talent funnel can speed up the hiring process, making it easier to identify, connect with, and hire top talent without worrying about downtime, lost productivity, or bad hires. Your talent funnel is essentially your recruitment lifeline—it keeps your talent pool current and valuable so you can tap into qualified talent whenever a vacancy arises.

Ready to build a talent funnel that works for you? Here’s how to get started on your next capital project.



Stage 1: Building Awareness

The first stage of the recruitment funnel involves building brand awareness. Today’s candidates are looking for more than just the right job title. You need to project the right image—and that means showing potential talent pools why your organization is worth working for. 

Here’s how to build brand awareness so you can draw a steady stream of potential candidates into your funnel.

Build Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is all about getting prospects to recognize your name and logo. When job seekers are scrolling through countless job ads, your name will stand out from the crowd, which increases the likelihood that they move to the next stage of the funnel.

Make sure your recruitment marketing strategy includes a brand awareness campaign that showcases your employer brand. Instead of advertising specific job openings, you want to get your name out there and start building relationships with prospects. 

Prioritize Your Employer Brand

Once prospective candidates start recognizing your name, it’s time to show them why your organization is a great place to work. Even if you haven’t dedicated time to building an employer brand, remember that you already have one —and it’s worth investing in your brand to create a positive first impression.

Why? Employer branding affects your bottom line. A great employer brand strategy can reduce turnover rates by 28 percent and cut your costs-per-hire by half. A strong employer brand is like a magnet, drawing qualified candidates into your talent funnel. Meanwhile, a weak employer brand can push candidates straight toward the competition.


Stage 2: Attracting Candidates 

Whether you’re filling open logistics or contractor positions, you need to get the word out about your job openings. Your talent pool is only as good as your net is wide, and dedicating the time and effort to attract top talent can make or break your funnel.

So, where do you start? According to Glassdoor, 76 percent of job seekers search for information on what makes a company an attractive place to work. In other words, it’s not enough to post bland job descriptions and expect skilled workers to apply. 

To set yourself apart from the competition, you need to define your value proposition and advertise the perks of working for your company. Here’s how to spread the word about your vacancies—and how to show candidates why your organization is the best choice.

Write Standout Job Descriptions

Your ideal candidates are sorting through countless job descriptions. To break through the digital noise, you need compelling job descriptions that pique your candidates’ interest and guide them further down the funnel.

What’s the secret to writing job descriptions? Don’t rush. Job descriptions are important, so it’s worth investing time into writing the right description. Don’t copy and paste outdated job descriptions, even if you’re scrambling for new hires.

Next, take a step back and think about your company culture. What are the best perks of working for your organization? What do you offer that the competition doesn’t? Maybe you’re working toward a greater good—or your company has an amazing team culture. Whatever your unique differentiators are, make sure to convey them toward the top of the page.

Source Qualified Candidates

There’s no point in advertising your open positions if your ideal candidates aren’t going to see them. To attract qualified candidates, you need a targeted, curiosity-provoking recruitment strategy—and there’s no better place to start than where your candidates already are.

Before investing in targeted ads, think about your target audience. What does your ideal candidate look like? What’s their income level? Where do they live? Maybe your talent pool prefers specific social media platforms, or they search for job openings on industry-specific job boards.

From employee referrals to social media, start leveraging your resources to strengthen your talent funnel. With the right strategy, you can capture active candidates’ attention, entice passive candidates, and advertise your vacancies—all while showcasing your employer.


Stage 3: Cultivating Interest

Candidates are aware that your company is hiring and have landed on your careers page. Before they click the “apply now” button, they’re going to research your organization to learn more about your company values, culture, and employee experience.

To successfully convert candidates into applicants, you need to optimize your online presence. Not only that, but you need to answer any questions they might have about your company. Here’s how to help your prospective candidates make the right decision.

Audit Your Online Presence

When candidates start researching your company, what are they going to find? What shows up in a Google search? What do your Glassdoor reviews look like? Is your careers page optimized for a positive candidate experience?

The worst-case scenario is that candidates discover a poor employer reputation, like negative reviews from past employees on Indeed. Similarly, if they find an abandoned Facebook account or outdated website, they’re probably going to slip out of your talent funnel.

To strengthen your online presence, start with an audit. Look at your employer messaging, social media accounts, and online reviews to paint a clear picture of your employer reputation. To simplify the process, download our internal self-audit to identify potential areas of improvement.

Help Candidates Find What They’re Looking For

Prospective candidates want to learn more about your company, and they’re probably not going to move forward with an application until they find answers to their questions. Here, you want to expedite the process by giving them the information they’re after.

Jot down questions that candidates ask about your organization, application process, job opportunity, and company culture. Instead of squeezing every answer in your job description, create an easy-to-find FAQ page filled with valuable information.

If your budget allows, consider installing a chatbot on your website. This way, you can minimize candidate dropout by answering their questions quickly and efficiently. In turn, you strengthen relationships with candidates, guiding them further down the talent funnel. Win-win!


Stage 4: Driving Applications

Congratulations! You’ve plugged enough leaks in your talent funnel to guide candidates to the application stage. All of your efforts in building awareness, attraction, and interest have culminated, and your candidate is ready to click the “apply now” button.

Of course, your hard work doesn’t end there. The application stage is notorious for candidate dropout. According to a Recruiter.com survey, the average completion rate of applications with fewer than 25 questions is a menial 10.6 percent. When the application asks more than 50 questions, that number drops by half.

To drive applications, you need to refine your application process and communication strategies for a quick, seamless candidate experience. Here’s how.

Optimize the Application Process

Your candidates aren’t going to jump through hoops to fill out an application. In such a saturated job market, skilled candidates have countless options. If you make the application process too time-consuming or difficult, they’ll drop out and never turn back.

What does that mean for your application process? First, you need to optimize your application for mobile devices. Then, take the time to navigate the application yourself to smooth out any bumps.

Want to drive even more applicants? Instead of testing whether candidates are serious by asking for a multi-page application, many employers are going in the opposite direction. Your competitors are accepting one-click applications on LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job search websites. Why not experiment with one-click applications to encourage more applicants?

Evaluate Your Communication Strategy

After the applications start pouring in, it’s time to kick your communication strategy into high gear. Let your applicants know that you received their application and what the next steps look like.

Even if you’re not moving forward with certain candidates, never ghost them. If they’ve put in the effort of completing your application process, the least you can do is send a follow-up email or text.

Here, your goal is to set clear expectations and deliver. If screening or interviews are taking longer than expected, let your applicants know. You’re probably not the only employer your candidates have applied to, and if you drop communication, you risk losing top talent to the competition.


Stage 5: Evaluating Applicants

From CDL drivers to HVAC techs, evaluating your applicants is non-negotiable. After all, you’ve poured hours into building your talent funnel and captivating qualified candidates. Why would you risk wasting valuable time, money, and resources by hiring a bad fit?

Whether you’ve received 30 applications or 300, here’s how to properly evaluate your applicants to choose the best fit for the job.

Use the Right Screening Methods

If you’ve simplified your application process (or kept it simple with one-click applications), implementing the right candidate selection methods is essential. 

Why? It’s simple: Screening helps your recruitment team save time sorting through mounds of applications. Think of screening as your secret weapon for making tough decisions during the hiring process. Without the right screening method, you risk unconscious bias and inadvertently screening out qualified candidates.

So, what’s the best way to screen applicants? Start by vetting applicants and contacting their professional contacts to weed out candidates with embellished resumes or past on-the-job issues. Then, invest in skills testing to evaluate each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses for their specific position before moving forward with interviews.

Consider Your Interview Process

From a candidate’s perspective, every successful interview is built on transparency and communication. To improve your candidate experience and speed up the interview process, consider offering phone screenings or video interviews.

For a fully transparent interview, don’t skip the compensation conversation. In the same way you spend time writing job descriptions because they lay out clear expectations, pay can make or break your candidate’s decision, and it only hurts both parties to drag on the process if there’s a major disparity between their expectations and your offer.


Start Filling Your Funnel with Top Talent

Tired of sorting through mounds of applications that don’t match the job description? Struggling to recruit candidates that fit your company culture? It’s time to take a different approach to recruitment.

A well-designed talent funnel can be your recruitment lifeline. It takes time to plug leaks and fill your funnel with top talent, but the investment in time, money, and resources can drive major dividends for your organization. When you’re ready to get started, set up a discovery call with our team to start building your talent funnel.

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