Nearly every industry is experiencing a labor shortage, from retail floors to manufacturing floors, and finding the right candidates to fill open positions is a greater challenge than most can recall in many years.
Human Resources (HR) staffing has changed a lot in the last decade because of technology and social platforms. It’s important to keep your company’s website up-to-date, maintain a strong presence on LinkedIn, and work diligently to obtain good reviews and referrals on recruiting websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed and others, and there are plenty of resources to help maximize your efforts on these various platforms.
But amid all the tools, tactics and techniques for attracting workers, it’s important to remember the human element of HR if you want to stand out from the crowd. Many recruiters are vying for your ideal candidate’s attention too, so how are you making sure you’re the one he or she wants to work for? Here are some approaches to consider in this candidate-driven market — many of which are too often overlooked.
How you treat candidates matters. It’s all too easy with online portals and multiple avenues for submitting inquiries to lose track of applications or provide delayed responses. When applicants never hear back about an inquiry or only receive a cold, automated response, it can leave a poor impression. Even if a person won’t be considered for a position, it’s important to follow up with a personal touch.
Why? Word travels fast and, while they may not be your ideal candidate, someone they know may be, and you’d hate to miss out on a possible referral. In the recruiting world, word of mouth — both positive and negative — travels far. Treat each person who shows interest in your company with respect by acknowledging their efforts and thanking them.
When scheduling interviews, make time to speak with a candidate on his or her schedule. Those first impressions of how you treat a potential hire during initial interactions will set a precedent for what they can expect moving forward.
A hot topic among recruiters lately is modes of communication. It would have been unheard of just a few years ago, but negotiating terms and salaries via text messaging is becoming commonplace, especially among younger generations. Even Snapchat is entering the scene. While email is still a valuable tool, make sure you’ve established that it’s the preferred method of communication before you make assumptions. If you send an email to your ideal candidate who doesn’t check it for three days and, meanwhile, another recruiter texts them to meet with the executive team, you just might miss out.
In a candidate-driven market, employers need to adjust their traditional recruiting tactics to engage potential employees in ways they want to be reached. Don’t alienate people by insisting on old-school protocols. Make time to talk with potential employees on their terms and timing, and find the right communication tool to help you get the response you’re looking for.
Technology and online tools have opened up recruiting opportunities like never before. But employers shouldn’t stay stuck behind their computer screens and rely on their websites, LinkedIn and recruiting sites if they want to maximize their efforts. There’s still a place for face-to-face networking and interactions.
Consider getting involved in local schools and training programs, and engage with instructors to identify candidates who may be graduating and entering the workforce. Many employers are even going into elementary schools to get kids engaged in manufacturing and other industries. Those children will go home and talk about it with their parents, grandparents and other family members who may be prime candidates.
Job fairs and business expos are still important, too, but don’t expect to get 100 applicants. Having a presence in the community, showing support of the local economy, networking and maintaining brand awareness are important factors in building trust and positioning your company as an employer of choice. While you may not fill a position at a job fair, these other factors combined with the potential for reaching recruits through word-of-mouth is reason enough to participate.
It’s unfortunate that many ideal candidates are overlooked because they don’t fit the cookie-cutter mold of a standard job description. Would you consider an applicant who displays the skills and drive you desire with the exception of that bachelor’s degree that’s listed as a “required qualification?” In today’s job market, you’ll likely need to consider those who lack traditional backgrounds, education or pedigrees.
Besides, attributes that can’t be measured on an application are equally important in today’s culture-driven workplace. A person’s work ethic, eagerness and ability to learn, leadership qualities, interpersonal skills and other soft skills are being considered more than ever.
A company can provide training to perform tasks, but the soft skills that determine if a person is a team player and fits within a company’s culture are things that can’t be taught. Discovering these qualities in a person requires interaction and engagement, stressing once again the importance of making time to talk with candidates and getting to know them.
Filling positions is a costly endeavor, and everything you’re doing to attract and engage candidates can either benefit your organization or backfire. Successful recruiting comes down to building relationships with candidates from the initial contact and throughout the entire hiring process.
If you’d like to check out more tips on enhancing your hiring processes, download our Creative Ideas for Attracting & Retaining Talent Tip Sheet. Just click the link below.