Recruiting in 2019: Doing Things Differently
I worked for a training company in San Diego at one point in my career. There was one applicant that kept showing up at my office and/or calling me at least once a week for probably two months. Although we didn’t have an opening, she was persistent (annoying actually). Finally, a position became available and we hired her. She was a very qualified candidate and worked for us for many years.
Sounds like a fairy tale in today’s incredibly tight job market. Recruiting talent is one of HR’s biggest challenges. Today, the candidate is the customer. Getting in front of them and enticing them to “choose you” is now the key. Placing an ad and expecting qualified applicants to line up for an interview is a thing of the past. The person you want for your job opening is already working and probably not browsing job postings. So, how do you capture their attention?
“Talent Acquisition Marketing” is now the key. You must attract and engage candidates through many forms of media, including the Internet. Presenting your company’s value proposition and building your “employer brand” to attract top talent is more important than ever. Applicants today will research a company that they consider to be a potential employer. What they discover will either make them more interested or convince them not to get involved.
Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is popular with those who need assistance screening resumes and applications. This hastens the process, critical in a war for talent where speed is key. If the process takes too long, you will lose the candidate. Someone else with a faster pace will win.
Structured Interviews are also a trend today. The benefits of using this method include a higher level of interviewer objectivity and an added layer of security when it comes to legal issues. To the applicant, the approach will appear consistent and organized.
The “Candidate Experience” is also a key piece of the recruiting process now. This starts at sourcing and ends at onboarding. Treat a candidate like a visiting dignitary and you will leave them with a positive memory of the process. Create a clear timeline of the hiring process. On the day they come for an interview, provide them with a written agenda for the time they will spend with you. Allow time for a personal break and be considerate of their time. Treat them like a special guest. They won’t forget and they will tell others.
The shortage of applicants is not a short-term problem. Baby Boomers are retiring at an unprecedented rate with few qualified candidates to replace them. Employers today are looking at all options for the “process” of recruiting and hiring qualified candidates. Tapping into alternative pools of applicants like veterans, older workers and disabled individuals is a tactic being used by many Fortune 500 companies today. Reviving the “Employee Referral” program, restructuring jobs to allow job sharing and virtual jobs are just a few of the options used by companies when competing for the talent that will be needed in the coming years.
Developing a long-term strategy for your company is one of the important roles that HR can play in today’s workplace. Spend some time with management and your employees to get input on your philosophy, process and technology and you will conquer the recruiting game in the long run.
Learn more about the author, Cathy Graham, SPHR.