Are These 6 Must-Haves in Your Recruitment Arsenal?
Until relatively recently, recruitment has been one of the oldest, slowest-moving industries and one that hasn’t seen a huge amount of innovation. Perhaps that’s because there’s a common belief that there’s simply one tried and true way to do it. In fact, I’ve even had a number of HR professionals tell me, “recruitment is not rocket science”. And I agree. Recruitment is not rocket science but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be clever.
With the changes facing the recruitment industry and the workforce as a whole, only the creative and strategic will survive. If you’re lucky, you don’t have to fight for applicants. But we all know it’s quality, not quantity a company is after so if you’re complacent, you will have to fight for good applicants.
Below I’ve listed my top six picks that I believe should be in your recruitment arsenal if you want to stay relevant and win the war for talent:
1. A Job Seeker First Approach
Imagine going on a date and the person opposite sits down and launches into how wonderful they are, how much money they make and the people they know. Without taking a breath, they then launch into a list of what they want in an ideal partner. Not very appealing, right? The same goes for the recruitment process.
If your job ad kicks off with all about you — how many locations you have, how much money you turnover and how many employees you have, stop. It’s time for a re-write.
A job ad is just that — an advertisement.
Just like a compelling real estate ad aims to give home buyers a sense of what it would be like if they owned the home, your aim be for job seekers to understand WIIFM, “What’s in it for me?” The trick is to understand what job seekers want.
As a job seeker, I still want to know about the company, but I want to know about the company in relation to me. What am I going to be a part of? What can the company do for me? What opportunities will this job/company provide for me?
Tell potential applicants what’s in it for them long term. Why is it a good career move for them to join your team? What doors does it open? What pathways are there for them to follow?
Remember, we live in a “me” culture so instead of starting by telling job seekers all about yourself (me, me, me!), tell them what it means to them personally to become part of your team and what you and your new hire will achieve together.
Once an ad matches the picture job seekers have in their minds about what ideal job/company they’re looking for next, you’ll start to attract higher quality applications who turn into dream employees.
2. Employer Branding Supported by a Recruitment Marketing Strategy
Recruitment and marketing are cut from the same cloth. The main difference between recruiting and marketing is who the target is — buyers versus candidates.
In today’s market, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who makes important decisions without first doing extensive research on the web. This is as true for a person buying a TV as it is for someone looking for a new job. If you haven’t invested time into outlining your Employer Brand — what you want to be known for as an employer and your employee value proposition — you’re letting the market make up their own minds by what they can find online about you. If you’re not out there controlling the message, your reputation is swaying in the fickle forums and social networks. Like marketing, there is perhaps no better medium for connecting with your target audience — passive and active job seekers — than content.
Quality content can influence people’s decisions, give credibility to your brand and feed social, email and SEO strategies. So, build your foundation by clearly articulating your Employer Brand then build a recruitment marketing strategy around this to ensure you’re getting your message in front of the people you want to attract. Go where the job seekers are and showcase what makes you an Employer of Choice. Big or small, household name or not, every employer should be able to articulate why a job seeker should want to work for your organization. If this doesn’t come easily, you’ve got some more fundamental work to do.
3. Flexibility (We’re talking about you)
When the word “flexibility” pops up, let’s face it, most people immediately think “mothers.” And yes, I am talking about flexibility being part of our employee value proposition — and not just for working parents. With flexibility in your recruitment arsenal, the truth is, organizations that promote it beyond just carers are reaping the retention and engagement benefits. Accounting giant EY has now measured retention from a flexibility perspective for a decade, and they know that the top 25 percent of teams with the highest levels of flexibility—meaning they can determine where, when, and how the work gets done—have five points better retention than the bottom 25 percent.
What’s good for working parents, is equally appreciated by the rest of your staff. Life does not fit neatly into the hours outside of 9-to-5 like it, perhaps, once did. I almost cringe mentioning it because the advantages of workplace autonomy and control in helping to engage and retain people, whether you’re married, single, childless or a parent, have been proven time and time again so at this stage it should be a given.
But beyond including flexible work arrangements as part of your HR policies, I’m also talking about you being flexible in your definition of your ideal hire and the job you’re offering. Flexible work arrangements shouldn’t just be considered when an employee or potential employee enquires, they should be part of your strategic conversations.
Last year, we were consulting to a logistics company who were nearly tearing their hair out trying to find local delivery drivers. They could not get enough applicants, let alone good quality applicants. Once of the simplest solutions we suggested was taking the 10-hour shifts and breaking them into two in order to appeal to working parents, students and mature aged workers — three groups often picked over and therefore eager to find a job that wants them and is willing to accomodate their need/desire for flexibility. But the employer shut it down instantly. There was no way they’d get the support for the change. So, they’re still banging their head against a brick wall, struggling to get applicants for an undesirable job with no flexibility to make the job more desirable to a wider talent pool.
“Adaptable” is one of the most in-demand soft skills amongst employers, but I think more employers need to practice the ability to adapt as much as their workforce.
4. Talent Pooling
Knee-jerk recruitment doesn’t work for anyone. It’s stressful and relies on the right candidate seeing your job ad at the right time. You’re setting yourself up for finding a needle in a haystack — and that’s if the needle is looking in your haystack. They could be sitting behind another company’s desk feeling restless and ready for a change but not actively searching the job boards you’ve decided to advertise on.
The solution is to stop doing the jerk. Rather than being dependent on a third-party to attract the talent you need for you, take control and build your own pool of talent so that when a new hiring need arises you have a community of passive and active candidates that you can tap into.
But it’s not enough to simply create a cloud-based filing cabinet of past applicants like so many companies with applicant tracking software do. You need to build an engaged community or, as we like to call it at JobGetter, a Job Network. The difference is a community is active, the people are choosing to engage with you and keep their data up to date so when you have a hiring need, you can connect with the right person quickly. If you’re simply filing away past applications, your data is out of date faster than a candidate can hit re-fresh and apply for another job.
The key to managing a healthy talent pool is engaging with the community of candidates regularly, on their terms and with content they actually want from you which gets back to having a recruitment marketing strategy.
5. Access to the Hidden Job Market
The fact is you can’t just go to one source anymore to find your next hire. Even still, a lot of employers go to the same handful of sources time and time again. Even though everyone has access to the hidden job market, just like leading a horse to water, it’s up to them whether or not to take advantage. So, if your competitors aren’t, even more reason to get creative!
Whether you’re inundated with applications every time you post a job ad or you’re lucky to get a handful, if you truly want to get the best people on your team, accessing the hidden job market needs to be part of your recruitment arsenal because there are so many passive candidates out there waiting for the right opportunity. The trick is to evaluate all of the less conventional or common ways to reach active and passive candidates. Choose a handful of the ideas that make the most sense for your business and are the easiest to implement. This could be as simple as including a link to your talent pool in your email signature or something a bit more involved like building relationships with a few key job seeker advocates. If you have your recruitment technology and systems in place, my advice is always to kick that door wide open. Invite everyone in so you have the best chance of connecting with you need quickly when the time comes.
Just like with marketing, you need to be able to test and measure your recruitment channels and activities to determine what you should keep doing, stop doing and try doing. Not only that, but data-driven recruitment starts with getting the information you need to make strategic sourcing decisions. You need to know what you’re up against when sourcing especially if you’re finding it hard to find who you need — otherwise, you’re flying blind and at the mercy of the market.
Anyone struggling to find a Retail Manager, right now?
Yeah, you’re not alone.
Launching 10 new stores this year? You should work ahead to find out if the talent you need is available or if you’re going to have to tap local training providers on the shoulder, re-locate existing staff or adapt your ideal candidate profile and invest more in training and development to get new hires up to speed.
Knowledge is power. With this insight you can better plan and strategize rather than struggle to find who you need when the time comes. The fact is, there are and will be shortages of talent for some in-demand roles. But using real-time workforce data and analytics in conjunction with cutting-edge technology is what you need to plan effectively, stay ahead of the competition and source those hard-to-fill roles.
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