Much has been made of the Great Labor Shortage of 2021.
Panicky headlines from news outlet after news outlet hammer in the message that there are millions of open jobs, but no workers to fill them. The truth, however, is a lot more complex than that — and it, at least in part, implicates companies’ hiring processes.
At the executive level, it’s essential that leaders take stock of how their company makes hires.
If it’s been awhile since an audit was conducted of your organization’s hiring process, now’s the time to correct that — sooner rather than later. In a near-unprecedented hiring environment like this one, with companies competing neck-in-neck to attract talent (and reduce their own turnover), it’s never been more important that your hiring system be brought into the 21st century.
Below, hiring experts told us how to do exactly that.
1. Audit your existing hiring process by first collecting feedback from recruiters.
When auditing a system, it’s critical to collect feedback from the individuals who are actually a part of the system every day, according to Daniel Carter of IVA Advice.
“You should conduct your recruitment audit in close collaboration with your recruiters — after all, they’re the ones who work in the trenches daily,” Carter said. “Not only will your data be more precise, but your recruiters will also come up with suggestions for how to enhance the recruiting process… Attempt to get insight into each phase of the process, as well as the duties that the recruiters undertake at each level. Make sure to inquire about how long it takes to move candidates from one stage to the next, as well as how much time they have to devote to each activity.”
2. Score your existing hiring system against a diverse set of metrics.
Layer in as many aspects of the candidate-to-employee experience as you can, Nikki Attkisson, CEO of Powdersville Post, advised.
“Using different metrics will be a good way to assess the whole process,” Attkisson said. “Metrics such as cost per hire, quality of recruits, and hiring diversity are just some of the examples… Through these numbers, you can get an idea about the areas that the department is lacking and seek ways on how you can address them. It is important to consider these kinds of metrics to have a concrete number for achieving your goal.”
Other pieces of quantitative data to include could be applicant volume, the time it takes to fill a role, tenure, turnover costs, and candidates’ satisfaction with the process.
3. Be sure to analyze qualitative data, too.
Quantitative data is informative, but it isn’t the full picture, Carter said.
“Quantitative data provides you simply with the cold, hard facts, with no interpretation,” he said. “You must collect qualitative data if you want to understand why particular quantitative data is the way it is. Soft data is acquired by soliciting input from your applicants or website users. Could you, for example, write a candidate an email inquiring about their reasons for leaving? In this manner, you’ll be able to figure out why your drop-off rate at certain phases of the process is higher than intended.”
4. Plan the candidate journey.
Mapping out the candidate journey will provide you with a clear picture of your application process, Daniel Foley, Founder of Daniel Foley SEO, said.
“When assessing your recruiting strategy, the most critical step is to plan out the whole application process from the perspective of the candidate,” Foley said. “Making it visible is the best way to do this. Draw the candidate trip on a large, poster-sized sheet of paper or with a tool like Whimsical. Begin by outlining each point of contact between the candidate and your company, encompassing the many steps of the application process that an applicant goes through.”
Be sure to make active communication a key part of every step in the process, too, business consultant Kamyar Shah said.
“As executives, we all understand the importance of communication in the workplace, so why wouldn’t we follow this same logic when hiring potential employees?” he said. “After a candidate has applied, set up a system or have someone in place who will handle reaching out to candidates to let them know their application has been received and how long they should expect to wait to hear back.”
5. Ditch the algorithm.
For as much praise as algorithm-based recruiting tools get, consider whether they’re actually limiting the scope and quality of candidates you’re attracting, Jim Pendergast, SVP of altLINE, said.
“Get rid of algorithm searches,” he said. “Most jobs today set algorithms for applications, receiving only the ones with keywords. However, if you get rid of algorithm searches, you can see a much broader array of applicants. You may see a vast increase of people in your inbox, but you just might find the perfect candidate for the job.”
Investing more time and detail — including the salary range — into your job descriptions can save both you and candidates time down the road, Anthony Martin, CEO of Choice Mutual, said.
“Make it a point to include as many details as possible in your job description,” he said. “Too many candidates apply to jobs they aren’t the right fit for because of a job description that is too vague. This wastes time because the hiring team has to now sift through applications that should not have been sent in the first place. The candidate has to also wait for an answer before moving onto the other prospects, so both parties suffer. Qualified candidates may look at the absence of salary figures and move on to more specific job descriptions.”
7. Invest in recruitment marketing.
Amping up your recruitment marketing efforts is a great way to passively fill your pipeline with qualified talent, Gerrid Smith, CEO of Property Tax Loan Pros, said.
“Recruitment marketing is the process through which your organization communicates its cultural story to top talent via content and messaging,” he said. “It can include blogs, video messages, social media posts, and photographs — any content that is visible to the public and helps create your brand among candidates. In a nutshell, it’s the application of marketing ideas to each stage of the recruitment process.”
8. Upgrade your referrals system.
Rather than relying on recruiters to actively search out talent for each and every open role, building out your company’s employee referrals system comes with some pretty major perks, Sudhir Khatwani, Founder of The Money Mongers, said.
“Referrals help you enhance retention, since referred applicants typically onboard more quickly and remain longer, as they’re already familiar with the organization, its culture and at least one coworker,” he said. “They accelerate hiring, too. When coworkers refer a candidate, they effectively perform the pre-screening for you; they’ll likely propose someone who satisfies the role’s minimum requirements, allowing you to advance them to the next hiring stage.”
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