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Backfilling Roles: The Importance of Recruiting for Continuity

February 9, 2024

By: IQTalent

This blog about backfilling roles in recruiting was originally published in December 2022. Relevant information and copy has been updated as of February 2024.

As a recruiter, you want to ensure you provide long-term, qualified candidates for your organization. Unfortunately, as we all know, life can be unpredictable and cause unexpected talent departures, leaving open spaces that can slow a company down. Together with Caldwell, IQTalent is well-equipped to handle these situations effectively.

Backfilling, or hiring for a role after its previous occupant has left the position, can give recruiters the powerful tools of extra time and wiggle room to combat unexpected or sudden departures.

Having someone leave the company or their specific role can be a tough adjustment for an organization, with other employees often picking up the slack and putting them on the fast track to burnout. Backfilling roles actively works to prevent the strain of these tricky but sometimes inevitable departures.

What Does Backfilling A Position Mean?

Backfilling a position is the targeted response to filling vacancies that arise within an organization, and it's an art in itself, perfected by the joint efforts of IQTalent and Caldwell. This need can arise due to internal changes like promotions, maternity leaves, resignations, or terminations. Unlike the process of recruiting for brand-new positions, backfilling involves sourcing talent for an already-established role once occupied.

In an optimal scenario, backfilling creates an immediate solution with a candidate with similar skills and experience as their predecessor—minimizing disruptions and promoting a smooth continuation of tasks and company culture.

What is backfilling? Backfilling is replacing an employee who has left their position with someone similar in skills and experience

Backfilling is replacing an employee who has left their position with someone similar in skills and experience to take over their responsibilities.

Backfilling positions gives recruiters the extra cushion of having qualified talent ready to take on any new responsibilities that need to be handled in the interim. Plus, it can help reduce the workload often put on the shoulders of remaining employees.

#Backfilling is the practice of hiring for a role after its previous occupant has left the position. Find out the many benefits of adopting a backfilling process in @IQTalent’s blog:

Benefits of Backfilling

Backfilling is necessary to ensure the natural continuation of a company’s processes when a change in position occurs. There are a number of reasons that an employee would no longer be able to fill their own role, which is the largest indicator of the need for backfilling roles.

Common circumstances that call for backfilling:

  • Parental Leave
  • Resignation
  • Termination
  • Jury Duty
  • Promotion
  • Illness

Reduces Strain on Current Employees

When there’s a departure in an organization, current employees are often leaned on to assume the responsibilities of the newly vacated position. This can take shape in the form of overtime, putting even more strain on an organization’s bottom line.

Without backfilling positions, you are putting unnecessary pressure on your current employees and adding stress that could easily lead to burnout and frustration at work. By backfilling promptly with IQTalent and Caldwell, businesses prevent the further exhaustion of an already slightly smaller staff and demonstrate their commitment to their staff's well-being, which can boost morale and loyalty.

Ensures Business Continuity

Unsurprisingly, the world keeps turning when a role is vacated…even though the role might have responsibilities that are integral to its department, if not rippling through the entire organization. Backfilling the role eases the frustration of neglected tasks and prevents important processes from slipping through the cracks. A strategically backfilled position upholds the flow of operations, preventing lags in productivity levels.

Saves Recruiters Time, Money, And Added Stress

If you already have a curated lineup of prospective talent, backfilling can be a quick and painless process. Doing the work ahead of an employee’s departure can save recruiters the headache of trying to find a properly vetted and skilled worker in a time crunch.

Best Practices for Backfilling Roles

Backfilling roles sounds great on paper and even in practice, but implementing a backfilling process takes planning and precision.

Calling all #Recruiters! Discover the benefits of #Backfilling roles in your organization in the latest blog from @IQTalent:

Identify Where Performance Is Lacking

To anticipate which roles may need to be backfilled, it’s crucial to pinpoint roles or departments that are consistently struggling. This awareness can help you better understand the needs of the organization and where potential moves could be made to enhance productivity.

Knowing which positions are underperforming can allow you to tailor your candidate search and hone in on unique skills and qualifications needed to meet the expectations of that position.

Continue Targeting Passive Candidates

Does your organization pursue passive candidates? When was the last time you recall reaching out to a candidate who wasn’t actively searching for a position? A huge key in keeping up a steady pipeline of talent for backfilling roles is maintaining (or creating) a strong passive candidate outreach strategy.

Leverage Internal Referrals

Employee referrals are widely lauded as the most reliable source of high-quality candidates, as 82% of employers rely on the employee referral program's effectiveness. Continue asking current employees for people they think would fit roles well across the board and hire those referred as often as possible. Consider offering incentives like a referral bonus if your organization doesn’t already implement one.

Ensuring your company can move on swiftly and without missing a beat after a position has been vacated is vital to the continued success of your organization. Backfilling helps the machine that is your business keep moving forward, even in the face of shifting roles.

Find out more about how IQTalent, in collaboration with Caldwell, can help you identify roles that need to be backfilled, continue sourcing for qualified talent, and ultimately secure top talent. Reach out to us today! We’d be happy to connect and build a plan to help you hire the best talent for your open positions.