Sourcing recruiting

Why You Need To Be Backfilling Roles

December 2, 2022

By: IQTalent

As a recruiter, you want to ensure you are providing long-term, qualified candidates for your clients. Unfortunately, as we all know, life can be unpredictable and cause unexpected departures of talent, leaving open spaces that can slow down a company.

Backfilling, or the practice of 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 replacing an employee who has left their role. This vacancy could be caused by many reasons, including a promotion, maternity leave, resignation, or termination. In contrast to traditional hiring for a new role or expanding the team, backfill occurs when someone has left their already established role. 

In ideal circumstances, an employee backfilling a position would be a person with similar skills and experience to the previous employee that held the role and can take over the job's responsibilities with minimal disruption to the company.

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:Click to Tweet

Why Backfilling Needs To Happen

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.

Reduces Strain on Current Employees

Often, when there’s a departure in an organization, current employees are then leaned on to take on the responsibilities of the newly vacated position. This usually takes shape in the form of overtime, which can put even more strain on an organization’s bottom line. 

Without backfilling positions, you are missing valuable talent in a previously occupied position and are putting unnecessary pressure on your current employees. This added stress could easily lead to burnout and frustration at work. Having a backfill prevents the further exhaustion of your already slightly smaller staff.

Prevents Bottlenecks or Unfinished Tasks

Unsurprisingly, when a role is vacated, the world keeps spinning. The role has responsibilities that are likely integral to its department, if not rippling through the entire organization. Instead of just letting the tasks taken on by the person in this position before go by the wayside, backfilling a role eases the frustration of neglected tasks and prevents important processes from slipping through the cracks.

Saves Recruiters Time, Money, And Added Stress

When you already have a curated lineup of prospective talent, backfilling becomes nearly instantaneous. Doing the work ahead of an employee’s departure can save recruiters the headache of trying to find a properly vetted and skilled worker instantaneously.

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:Click to Tweet

Identify Where Performance Is Lacking

To proactively anticipate which roles may need to be backfilled, it’s important 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 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.

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