Recruiters are under a tremendous amount of pressure to find the ideal candidate for open positions at their company, especially if team sizes may have shrunk due to the pandemic, requiring new hires to contribute more while working remotely.
While the recruitment environment was primarily a candidate-driven market before the pandemic, layoffs and economic uncertainty shifted the job market to provide employers with the advantage of having more qualified candidates than there are job openings.
Unemployment reached 14.7% in April 2020 and has since dropped down to 7.9% in September.1 As unemployment continues to decline towards pre-pandemic levels, the market could shift once again to being candidate-driven, but in the meantime organizations will need to shift their hiring focus to more efficiently evaluate applicant pools.
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The stakes for hiring the right candidates are high since bad hiring decisions are costly to businesses. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a bad hire can cost businesses 33% of the employee’s first year earnings,2 which can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more. Additionally, bad hires can have a negative impact on customer service, other employees, supervisors, and managers, as well as diminish overall corporate productivity and morale.
To find the perfect candidate, recruiters should leverage the following recruiting process tips and techniques.
1. Clear Job Description
Start with a clear, descriptive, realistic job description. This should include specific tasks, skills, and attributes (both required and preferred) as a point of reference that recruiters, hiring managers, and applicants can use to gauge a candidate’s fit. The exercise of writing, reviewing, and improving a job description clarifies job requirements for all stakeholders, bringing the picture of an ideal candidate into better focus.
Crafting an in-depth job description can improve the quality of candidate applications and allow them to highlight relevant experiences related to the job. In addition, this process can also prevent unqualified candidates from applying, saving recruiters the time and effort of vetting through unfit applications.
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2. Update Company Messaging
Job descriptions aren’t the only place where companies should update their messaging to best attract top candidates. Job seekers trying to decide what organization to work for will oftentimes pay close attention to available information on company websites. Pages such as “About us,” “Our Company,” Careers at [Company], and “Meet the Team” will be especially useful to job seekers because they give insight into company culture and the values an organization holds in high esteem, which can help them determine if they would be a good fit working there.
With this in mind, organizations looking to attract the best candidates should consider revamping any pages or text related to office culture or team life to demonstrate why top talent would want to work for them. In addition, businesses should update imagery to reflect the collaborative or innovative working environment their team operates in. This is also an ideal place to highlight items like “top workplace” awards, unique benefits offered to employees, testimonials from employees and job candidates, and verified reviews from third-party sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and Kununu.
Job candidates will recognize any effort to focus on employee success and growth opportunities, such as with skill development and career progression, so these relatively easy changes can make quick and large impacts towards attracting the right talent.
3. Innovative Recruiting Strategies
If positions are difficult to fill through regular channels, consider some alternative strategies. Some companies are finding success leveraging A.I. technology to sift through candidate pools. Employee referrals are also a great source for new hires, particularly if an incentive program incorporates a bonus or reward for a successful referral-to-hire.
Another helpful recruiting technique is campus recruitment. Hiring college graduates can be a very effective means of connecting with a new pool of available talent, particularly for positions that are suited to molding and shaping the perfect employee from a less-experienced candidate.
4. Improved Interviewing Techniques
The objective of hiring isn’t to find the best interviewee, rather the most qualified and fit candidate. Interviews, both over the phone and in person, can influence hiring decisions to a great degree.
However, some innovative types of interviews are better than others in helping a recruiter to judge an applicant’s fit for an open position. For example, behavioral interviews can help a hiring manager to determine, not only whether a candidate has the required skills and knowledge for a job, but how those skills have been used in the past in real-world situations.
5. Measure, Review, and Revise
While hiring can be a high-pressure, time-sensitive activity, it is important to periodically take a step back and assess the success of current recruiting efforts. Take a look at a benchmark of key performance indicators such as:
- Time to hire
- Cost to hire
- Offer acceptance rate
- Retention rate
- Turnover rate
Reviewing these key metrics not only measures the effectiveness of existing recruiting processes but also measures the success of new efforts and improvements to the process.
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Of course, the definition of the “ideal candidate” will vary from one organization to the next and from one position to another. The candidate-driven market, combined with a low unemployment rate and a strong economy, indicates that competition for quality candidates will continue to be fierce. That’s why, in many cases, businesses work with a strategic hiring partner, like Sparks Group, to leverage decades of staffing and recruiting expertise to easily find and hire the best possible candidates for open positions.
By working with Sparks Group, businesses partner with recruiting experts to discover ideal candidates from an extensive network of top talent from across the nation. These candidates come from a number of industries, such as accounting and finance, information technology, office administration, and creative and marketing.
Connect with Sparks Group's expert recruiters to learn more about how they can help with hiring top talent to fill open positions.