A recent report on the labor market outlook said that the US leads all major markets in unfilled jobs. There are various reasons cited including the lack of technical competencies and stagnant wage growth. However, the biggest factor was an overall lack of applicants for open positions, no surprise given the exceedingly low unemployment rate. An executive from Manpower, a staffing agency, says that despite these challenges, “...fewer employers are trying to solve the problem through better talent strategies.”
And that’s the good news. While there are no easy fixes to the issues reported, revising your talent and recruitment strategies to attract the best candidates is doable and necessary. Here are the steps you should take.
Engage talent in new ways
The way people interact has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. Conversations have moved from on the phone to online. Guess what hasn’t changed - candidate engagement strategies. While HR departments are scrambling to pre-screen and schedule candidates via telephone, those same candidates are posting, tweeting, and texting on mobile devices. The best recruiting plans are optimized for mobile, from posting to offer letter. Ditch legacy systems that don’t support mobile. Find your candidates where they are and give them the opportunity to engage with you via a digital platform.
Ask everyone the same questions
It is virtually impossible to compare candidates in a meaningful way if they are asked different questions by multiple interviewers. But it’s also difficult to get interviewers to ‘stick to the script’, particularly if they come from different departments with varying ideas of success factors. Consistency with regard to interview questions is not just about conformity, it’s about compliance. It’s more difficult to ask illegal questions if the list is prepared ahead of time and adhered to by all. Spend some time to flesh out the actual requirements necessary to do the job, write down the appropriate questions, then make sure everyone sticks to the script.
Keep the hiring team in the loop
Filling open positions often resembles a tennis match featuring constant back and forth emails between HR, the hiring manager, and senior executives to compare notes or to determine where candidates are in the process. While regular meetings with the entire hiring team may be difficult, keep in mind that hiring is the most important thing you will do. A collaborative effort is essential. Feedback about each candidate should be shared in a comprehensive way so that side by side comparisons are possible.
Store candidate information just in case
Every job candidate is familiar with the standard ‘The position has been filled but we will keep your resume on file’ refrain. For most companies, this is a polite way to reject candidates but leave them with a glimmer of hope. However, there are distinct advantages to keeping rejected candidate information readily available. It’s possible that the chosen candidate won’t make it through training, or is a poor fit for the position. Or another position may open that is a better fit. Think of the time and money saved by having a deep ‘bench’ of candidates who have already been vetted to choose from for future open positions.
The tactics outlined above will optimize your hiring funnel to ensure that there is a steady flow of candidates. And that means regardless of the state of the job market, your organization will be ready to meet the challenge.
Hoops will optimize your hiring funnel with cutting edge candidate engagement and team collaboration tools. Give us a call at (877) 262-7358 and let us show you how.