It appears that hiring and wages in the service sector are heating up. The Society for Human Resource Management’s most recent Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) report suggests that service providers expected September hiring rates to increase 14.6 points compared to one year ago, while in August new hire compensation in the service sector increased 6.7 points compared to last year.
When economic times were tough, you probably had your pick of applicants and candidates couldn’t afford to negotiate much on pay. Today, however, things are starting to look a bit different. In an environment where candidates can pick and choose among jobs, it’s important to think about how to make applicants feel that they are a partner in the hiring process. Here are three ways you can create a candidate-friendly environment in which people sense that they are active participants in all phases of hiring:
- Make it easy for candidates to select interview times that are convenient for them.Job seekers often are still employed as they look for new opportunities. As a result, it can be tough to juggle work demands with interview appointments. Candidates appreciate it when hiring organizations provide a few different options for interview times and make it easy to select their preferred interview slot. Applicant tracking systems can automate this process, enabling you to quickly identify possible interview times and communicate those electronically to applicants. Candidates can then choose the time that works best for them and it is automatically added to your calendar.
- Communicate with candidates in real-time. In today’s highly connected world, people have come to expect instant feedback – whether it’s an answer to a question or message to a friend. The same applies to the hiring process. Tech-savvy candidates – especially those in younger demographic groups – want to work for organizations that have integrated technology into their daily operations. The hiring process is a good way to highlight that aspect of your company. Imagine how powerful it would be to have a hiring system that allowed HR or hiring managers to easily communicate with applicants through text messages, as well as emails. Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, a retirement community in Virginia, recently adopted an applicant tracking system and Lisa Shepherd, Staff Development and Recruiting, commented, “We’ve discovered that the more qualified, tech-savvy applicants actually expect us to have an automated solution, so we’ve improved our organization’s reputation in the market with Hyrell.”
- Streamline the reference checking and onboarding processes. Once applicants have made it through the interview phase, you need to deal with reference checks and onboarding. These stages of the hiring process usually involve a lot of “back and forth” communications with the candidate. Rather than burdening new hires with paper based forms, a better option is to rely on a system that gathers reference information online and sends onboarding forms in electronic form. Candidates can provide the necessary information quickly and complete forms at home, at their convenience.
As the economy recovers and hiring increases, consider how that you can make your organization stand out for candidates. Companies that re-imagine recruiting and make applicants a partner in the hiring process are more likely to win over the best qualified talent in the market.