Now Is the Time to Invest in Your Talent Pipeline

August 7, 2020

As an organization, you have likely taken the past few months to pivot in order to meet the demands of a changing market and cultural landscape. You may have picked up new processes, trimmed expenses, and feel comfortable with where the organization is at – in terms of models, systems, and talent. 

While it might seem counterintuitive, now is the perfect time to recruit talented employees for the future and build a strong talent pipeline that you can leverage time and time again. 

“Right now I would encourage leaders and hiring managers to start reaching out to people who have been furloughed or laid off – anybody they may have targeted in the past that has not been available,” KWRI vice president of people Leslie Vander Gheynst says. “Think about the next six to 12 months and say – what are the next three hires that I want to make and how do I fill that pipeline with talent now?” 

Here are her tips for recruiting talented employees – for the right reasons and in the right manner: 

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Tip #1: Analyze Your Current Organization

Before thinking about your long-term hiring strategy, take some time to analyze how your organization currently functions. “Any time we go into any kind of an economic shift or reprioritization of activities and duties, we have to look inward,” Vander Gheynst shares. “Gary Keller talks about this in SHIFT specifically: Sometimes, when we are in a good market, the activities themselves can cover our people’s performance. As soon as things begin to tighten up, what ends up happening is that your poor performers show up in a very different way, and the top talent on the team buckles down and makes things happen.” 

In these cases, Vander Gheynst believes that it is important to look at whether clear expectations have been set for the team. As a leader, have you shared with your team: 

  • What are the most important things to be focused on at the moment?
  • How will success be measured?
  • What is the vision for the next 60 to 90 days at the organization? 

Once you pare down the tasks of individuals within your organization and begin holding them accountable to them, there may be employees whose activities may not align with your vision. You may also notice gaps between your current organizational design and where your organization needs to go. This will provide insights into the types of roles that need to be created, as well as the candidates and skill sets you should be adding to your talent pipeline.

Tip #2: Sharpen Your Vision

According to Vander Gheynst, there are multiple ways to look at finding the appropriate amount of team roles and leverage you need in relation to your vision:

  1. Get clear on the vision, goals, priorities, and strategies of your organization. Identify how those elements tie back to your future roles. Once you have clarity, you can write job descriptions that serve as a compass for new hires and guides how they are held accountable. “By defining the job that’s needed and getting a clear understanding of how the job rolls into our organization, we get a clear understanding of whether it’s needed or not,” Vander Gheynst says.

Related Reading: KW’s #1 Team, The Loken Group, Achieves More Through Accountability

  1. Pose the question, ‘If this job doesn’t exist, what DOESN’T get done?’ “For agents specifically, the question should be posed: ‘If I don’t hire this person, what tasks does this take me away from doing as a rainmaker?’ Or what does it take my operations director away from? What happens if I don’t hire this leverage and how do I tie it back to dollar-producing activities?” Vander Gheynst says.
  2. Here is where to think about the business in a practical sense. “If we aren’t methodical about the tasks and how we bring people onto our organization, we can hurt people very badly,” Vander Gheynst says. “When we hire people, they are putting their livelihoods, families and dreams into our hands. They join the company with positive expectations for the future, and we have an obligation as leaders to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to help them fulfill that.” 

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Tip #3: Showcase Your Culture and Provide Quality Content

In their own recruiting efforts, the KWRI team uses Command, Keller Williams’ smart CRM platform, by adding potential talent into a pipeline driven through Campaigns – a one-stop shop for creating impactful marketing materials, capturing qualified leads, and converting them into lifelong clients. This way, when positions open up, the team is immediately able to attract top talent. 

In the meantime, Vander Gheynst shares some of the content being sent to internal employees and recruits:

  • Weekly care emails with tips on how employees can take care of themselves during these times 
  • Recruits only: career-oriented content such as how to stand out in an interview and résumé tips. “We do this to show what our culture is, and to show our heart as an organization,” Vander Gheynst says.

Ultimately, thinking about the future of your business starts today. “I think it’s important to start the process now,” says Vander Gheynst. “Get really clear about who you are first and what the core values of the organization are. Let that and the job description be the metric that you attach people to.”

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