For those in recruiting, it is never an easy job. Internal referrals, an advertisement in the local newspaper (yea, it still works for some companies), campus job posting, putting in job postings on social media sites and job portals – sometimes, nothing seems to work when it comes to finding the right fit for your job opening.
HR and recruitment firms give a time period of 1-3 months for successful recruitment once a requisition is put in. Having said that, there are times when the right applicant may not materialize and the waiting game is something that you can ill afford.
So, what should you do?
The first thing to understand is that recruiting isn’t only about hiring or filling in an opening. It is also not just about active candidates or finding a job for them. It is about getting the right kind of candidates to fill your open positions – the best fit who will help your company achieve its goal.
Finding that right fit is not easy. With your competition rooting for the same candidate that you want “oh-so-desperately” in your payroll, there is a formula that is going to give you the advantage over your competitor when it comes to hiring strong talent. One that is going to make recruitment process in 2019 a cakewalk all the way.
This strategy has 4 steps in it and would be the ace up in your sleeves if you play it right.
Here’s that 4-step Recruiting strategy you should follow in 2019:
Step #1: Attract Candidate Before They Are Ready To Get Hired
Posting a job requisition is probably all it takes to get applications from applicants. Sure, there will be enough active candidates willing to apply for that job. Those who are most likely to apply would be the ones that are currently unemployed and would only be a fraction of potential hires. But are they the best ones? Nope, not always… the best possible people for the job are already employed and not actively looking for work. This is the lot that you want to attract.
Here is how you can reach out to such passive candidates:
Researching About Candidate Helps
Found a candidate that seems a must-have for your company? Research everything about their background – from the company they work for, to benefits, etc. This information helps when your recruiters put a call through to that candidate to discuss the opportunity.
Ensure Visibility of Your PR Activities
If a company’s PR Activities are visible, it is sure to pop on the radar of a passive candidate and it registers well with the candidate when you try to reach them.
Revise Your Job Posting
Passive candidates are not really into job searching and need something more than the regular job posting to get them interested in the opening. Many applicant tracking system allows you to pick up customized templates or can create a job posting based on the requisition and skill set.
Have Your Recruiters Sell the Job Opportunity to Passive Candidates
The key would be to understand the pain points of passive candidates such as better benefits, great work culture, solid management, etc., weave it into the script when selling the job opportunity to these candidates. For the most part, the motivation is what differentiates active and passive candidates. As per the LinkedIn Talent Trends, 2014 reports here are reasons as to why candidates seek new jobs.
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Email Marketing as a Hiring Tool
Companies that use ATS would have access to a candidate pool that is full of passive candidates. Create an email marketing strategy to reach out to candidates in this pool. In fact, you ATS can be your biggest ally in this strategy.
Maintain Communication without Being Pushy
No one likes to be pushed into discussing an opportunity. Once you find that a candidate is not interested, connect with him/her on social media and let them know that they can reach out to you anytime they feel like making a move.
Step #2: Find Alternate Ways To Hire, Unconventional &
Non-Traditional Channels To Find Talent
Most of us are done with conventional ways of finding or sourcing talent. You do not want to sift through a pile of not-so-good-a-fit resumes or want to hire that candidate who is already employed elsewhere and has no intention to make a move anytime soon. Now would be a good time to go for creative recruiting. Here are a few ways as to how you can do that:
Find out Who Is Interested in Having Them Come to You – The Self-Selection Method
When you fix those interview layers, add in an interview layer that has all applicants come to an open house forum kind of interview (before the one-to-one interview). This is an easy way to find out who is really interested. Those who are not interested will not turn up. That’s a unique way to cut out unwanted or uninterested applicants.
Arrange for Group Interactions and Discussions
This is a great way to see how the applicants or candidates do well in group settings – the way they interact with each other, level of interest, skill sets, and communication, including how they would fit in with your corporate culture. This could also be turned into an activity session to get a first-hand view of the applicant’s industry knowledge.
Talent Acquisition in Unlikely Places Could Work for Your Organization
This could work well for sales and marketing jobs. Sending out employees in unlikely places and talking to people and offering interviews to the best in the lot could be a game plan for recruiting. Most companies focus on industry experience when they recruit, but then industry experience can be taught, passion towards the job, the sense of urgency and a willingness to go above and beyond cannot be taught.
Job Fairs are Passé; Meetups are in
If you are looking at hiring passive talent, then job fairs are the not places for you. Meetups related to the position or field that you are hiring for would be a great idea as passive talent is more likely to attend a meet-up than a job fair.
Say Yes to Non-Traditional Media
Use a non-traditional media like a video or a podcast to advertise your jobs to get to the top talent – they stand out more than the tradition job descriptions that most companies follow. Using non-traditional methods also gives the candidate an insight into your company’s corporate culture.
Searching on Social Media Sites
With more and more companies opting to search for candidates on social media, this is now not anymore a unique method of sourcing candidates. However, it still ensures the best fit scenario with regards to candidates. This is successful as most social media sites allow candidates to add in skill sets and abilities separately, recruiters and applicant tracking systems parse the resumes to find the right fit.
Advertising Your Job in Places Frequented by Your Potential Candidates
It would be a good idea to advertise your job opening in places that are frequented by your potential candidates. This could be anything from a billboard to a magazine to an online forum. Or the meet-ups we talked about previously.
Look Again at the Candidates That You Rejected in the Past
Take a look at past rejections. There could be a few that you have rejected for reasons other than not passing the skill or experience criteria (maybe a high salary or inability to join your company at your deadline). It would be a good idea to get back to them to see if they are interested in your opportunity now.
Have a Referrals Program and Publicize the Incentives
There is nothing like referrals. It would do good to publicize the incentives so that employees bring in more and more referrals to you.
Step #3: Create Employer Branding To Attract The Ideal Candidate
For companies, branding has moved on from product or services branding to employer branding to where it is equally important to ask – how good is the company that we work for or are planning to work for? It is not only important for a company to find stellar talent, but it is also important to retain them. How it does that is what employer branding is all about. Here are just a few steps as to how you can do that:
Measure/Evaluate Your Employer and Awareness and Reputation
A poll or survey would be a good way to understand where you stand in terms of employer branding. Employees, external and internal stakeholders can take the survey. The feedback should be used to provide insight and strategies put in place to make the organization more attractive to retain existing employees and applicants.
Invest in Learning and Development Initiatives
For employees working is no longer just a means to earn money. It is also a place where they get to learn new skills and increase their knowledge base. More and more candidates prefer opting for jobs where they get to improve their skill set and knowledge base. It is very crucial for employers to provide employees with the opportunity to learn and grow in their own time
Capitalize on the Value of Your Brand
Right from the start, it is important that potential employees are made aware of the company as an employer. This helps them engage the talent early on. It can start with simple things like orientation, a team introduction or a video about the company’s work culture, benefits and the whole experience all rolled into one. This instills a healthy respect for the company right from the start.
Personalize the Candidate and Employee Experience
It helps companies to come across as an organization that is disciplined and nurtures its employees. This can start right from the time an applicant submits their application. From replying to applicant emails to information related to the interview and pre-appointment tasks to mapping out a career path, recognizing employees to boost their morale to nurturing the superior-subordinate relations all fall under this category.
The good news is that with many companies opting for applicant tracking systems, it has become easy to interact and make the candidate feel at home during the interview and pre-appointment stages. Once the candidate is inducted into the payroll, information related to the career path, reward schemes, etc., can be brought into play.
Create an Employee Advocate Program
An effective advocate program would be about the company’s culture and the way it treats and values its employees. It helps to increase brand awareness and can be done via internal communication. An interactive employee advocate program would work best to increase brand awareness.
Step #4: Build A Relationship With Applicants
The keyword here is Trust. It also helps improve your employer branding. Here are ways that can be done.
Ensure Your Career Site is Organized, Informational and Easy to Operate
Your Career Site is ideally the face of the company for an applicant. Ensure that it is well organized and up-to-date and easy to navigate or apply for a job.
Ensure Transparency throughout the Recruitment Process
Encourage recruiters to be open and honest about the upsides and downsides of a position – this not only ensures candidate trust, but it also means you end up with the best fit once you hire. Make sure your recruiters give a feedback as to why an applicant wouldn’t be the best fit for a job vs. telling them that they will call back later (the feedback could work wonders for the candidate and he or she is sure to recall this and refer other candidates, simply because they had a great experience).
Communication Is the Key
This is crucial right from the time the applicant submits an application. Ensure that communication is maintained via emails and phone calls at each step of the hiring process. Candidates feel respected and valued when they are provided with proper and consistent communication throughout the process. These days, applicant tracking systems have made these tasks easy and time-saving.
A Personal Touch Goes a Long Way
Brand your candidate experience by adding a personal touch for each candidate. Emails, pre-recorded videos go a long way in personalizing the candidate experience.
So, that’s the formula that helps you step up the recruitment game. It doesn’t matter how big or small a company you are. The key to how different you are as an employer. Your tactics and employer branding goes a long way in hiring the right fit for your job openings.
It is not easy, but it is achievable. Today, it is not just social media that creates employer branding or making sure you follow each and every step of the strategy that I have mentioned above. Applicant tracking systems help as much – they streamline the communication and also sift through the resumes creating great candidate experiences.
It is important to know that each step in this strategy has an important role to play in stellar talent acquisition.
Happy Recruiting in 2019!