stock-photo-an-image-of-a-energy-efficie-1164336-965397-edited.pngProactive talent acquisition is often focused on Senior level executives and some organizations pay considerably less attention to roles at other levels.

Management and executive positions have historically been viewed by many companies as the most crucial potential vacancies.

Some may be concerned about the effect news of a leadership loss could have on investors. Some organizations focus too much on their immediate needs.

More than half (58 percent) don’t have a succession plan strategy in place because they replace employees as demand occurs, according to a survey from online service XpertHR.

In actuality, however, management and executive roles aren’t the only ones that, if suddenly vacated, could cause production delays and other issues — and they aren’t always the most challenging employees to replace.

Higher-level positions, in fact, didn’t even make it onto the list of the top five most difficult jobs to fill in a global survey from Manpower Group. Companies actually ranked management/executive jobs sixth, behind skilled trade workers, sales representatives and other positions.

Planning Ahead

Focusing a disproportionate amount of recruiting efforts on high-level positions can cause future issues.

Without bringing in enough strong candidates to fill entry-level and mid-level positions, companies won’t be able to adequately fuel their succession plan strategy; they can end up with a lack of employees with leadership potential who could eventually be moved into key management roles.

Recruiting at multiple levels can help prevent the skills gaps and other deficiencies that can result from losing entry-level and mid-level employees, in addition to management and executive members.

If your candidate recruitment program is skewed solely toward high-level hires, consider making some of the following changes to uniformly target additional levels:

11-16-15_blog.jpgTap into internal resources to find talent

Recruiters and HR professionals ranked internal hires as the highest quality of candidate, closely followed by employee referrals, in a 2016 Jobvite survey. Employers are, in fact, so enamored with referrals that 64 percent are awarding monetary bonuses to incentivize referrals within their company. Forty-five percent planned to increase the amount last year.

Entry-level positions aren’t the only roles you can utilize candidate recommendations to fill. Referrals that come from high-level employees who are at the managerial level or above have a greater chance being hired, according to a report from iCIMS.

Recognize you’re addressing different audiences

Recruiters, according to Gallup research, have a tendency to try to attract all candidates with the same message, instead of utilizing separate, defined approaches that could have a stronger effect.

Gallup found, for example, applicants with an advanced or graduate-level education place more emphasis on a company’s mission, culture and sense of innovation than candidates with lower levels of education do — possibly, the research provider reasoned, because people who seek higher levels of education frequently have more training in a particular area and may be looking for a workplace environment that corresponds with the instruction they’ve received.

4-19-16_acp.jpgEncourage new hires to stay

Hiring qualified entry-level, mid-level, management and executive candidates is just half the battle. According to Korn Ferry data, between 10 percent to 25 percent of general new hires leave within the first 6 months. C-suite executives say only one out of five externally hired executives, at the close of their first year with a company, are viewed as high-performer, according to CEB research. Nearly half fail within their first 18 months.

Acclimating to a new position can be challenging. Sponsoring an onboarding program — which 98 percent of C-suite executives say is a key factor in their organization’s retention efforts — may help.

For more on reducing vital role-related vacancy risk, check out our blog posts on creating an ongoing talent pipelining program, solving your most critical internal and external talent pool problems and four ways HR can weather the tough hiring climate.