Today’s pursuit of talent is fierce. Attracting “A Players” is essential to the future of your organization. Many companies recognize that great A Players can be the answer to their revenue growth problems. More than ever before, companies must be ready to replace employees at a moments notice. However, the national mean vacancy is on the rise and has reached over 31 working days.
If you are like most Human Resources leaders, you are diligently tracking “time-to-fill”. This can be daunting considering the time required to source quality candidates. However, improving this metric can dramatically impact your organizations ability to make the number.
That’s why it’s critical for Human Resource Leaders to build a Virtual Bench. Don’t wait for talent to come to you. Use your Virtual Bench to strategically source your organizations next A Players. You can download the Virtual Bench Toolkit to get started.
Why Build a Virtual Bench
The biggest talent mistake companies make is not sourcing candidates until a position is officially ‘open’. Often this is too late. When the need is great, there is immense pressure to hire to fill the need. That’s a good way to end up with B Players.
By building a Virtual Bench, you generate a steady flow of A Player candidates. Applying this strategy creates an effective method to backfill vacancies quickly with top tier talent. This ensures continuity in your organizations sales effectiveness and productivity when a loss of talent occurs.
How to Build a Virtual Bench
A Virtual Bench is created when Human Resources and Managers share the role of establishing and maintaining a qualified list of A players. Building a Virtual Bench is not a siloed activity. To learn about unique ways to applying a Virtual Bench to your Sales teams, check out Key to Hire A Players – Use a Virtual Bench.
You might be asking yourself, “where do I start?”
Start by working with organizational leaders to develop a Virtual Bench scorecard.
Create a role specific scorecard for key positions throughout the organization:
- Set monthly goals, and determine virtual bench targets (ex: 10-15 potential A players).
- Gain agreement on criteria.
- Prioritize urgency for each position (based on impact on achieving revenue targets).
Once Virtual Bench candidates are found, the relationship with these people must be nurtured. Maintain the level of engagement until a position becomes available.
To do this, you should focus on the following areas:
- Keep the proper level of contact with virtual candidates. Track contact with the Virtual Bench Candidate Tracking tool (available in the Virtual Bench Toolkit).
- Use an appropriate mix of live communication, emails, and organizational information to keep the candidate engaged.
- Make sure to make every contact new and relevant. Utilize the correct content based on the candidates buying cycle.
Continually assess candidate interest:
- A Players have a lot of opportunity. Confirm that the interest in working for your organization is high.
- Make recruiting habitual – it should be a nonstop activity.
- Enlist your Executive Leadership Team, Managers, and existing A Players in sourcing Virtual Bench players.
- Maintain a regular cadence of nurturing candidates. Find a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. Touching base and staying top of mind should never be underestimated.
- Refer to the Virtual Bench Toolkit for the full list of 15+ best practices
Implementing a Virtual Bench strategy takes time and focus. Developing your bench can not be a onetime activity. It requires members of the leadership team to nurture and cultivate candidates on a regular basis. However, deploying a Virtual Bench will speed the hiring of A Players in the future. This practice improves “time-to-fill”, and ensures continuity in organizational effectiveness and productivity.
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