Recent research suggests that organizations are finding it more difficult to recruit qualified candidates for open positions. Each month, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducts its Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) survey. In the survey results released on August 1, 17.3% of talent acquisition professionals in the service sector had more difficulty recruiting in July. This is an increase of 12.2 points from one year ago. Manufacturers had a similar experience – 20.2% of recruiters had more trouble finding qualified applicants.
With competition heating up for promising candidates, what can you do to cut through the noise? A good place to start is by lowering the barriers for applicants who may be interested in your organization. Consider the following techniques:
- Make the application process as easy as possible. Many organizations make candidates jump through several hoops before they can even begin the online application process. For example, applicants often have to create an extensive online profile, along with a username and password. Candidates’ time is valuable – the simpler and more streamlined you can make the process, the more likely you are to attract the kind of talent you need to support your business.
- Post positions on websites and job boards that attract the largest number of potential applicants. Job seekers have a lot of choices when it comes to finding open positions online. Some sites attract more traffic than others, and some specialize in certain industries or job categories. It’s worth taking some time to research where your “ideal candidates” search for jobs and then target those websites. This will increase the likelihood that you will engage with the job seekers who are best suited to your organization.
- Publicize jobs on social networking sites. Your recruiting activities are probably focused primarily on active job seekers, but are you ignoring passive job seekers? These are individuals who have a job and aren’t proactively looking for a new employer, but if they happen to see the right position, they might be tempted to make the leap. Social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to interact with passive job seekers and let them know about job openings at your organization. This approach is becoming increasingly popular with employers – arecent survey found that about three quarters of companies (77%) use social networking sites as a way to find new talent.
- Keep applicants informed about the interview process. Once you evaluate your applicants and identify the best candidates, it’s time to start interviewing. The hiring process is a two-way street and candidates like to feel that potential employers respect their time. To start the relationship off on the right foot, be sure to keep applicants informed about the interview process. That means alerting them when you want to conduct a phone screen or face-to-face meeting, as well as letting people know if they are not a good fit for a position. Applicant tracking software can help by providing email notifications throughout the different stages of recruiting.
As the job market rebounds, competition for talent will only increase. By making a few small modifications to your recruiting efforts, however, your organization will be well positioned to stand out and attract the best candidates.