As the owner of a staffing company, it is wonderful to hear that our clients are busy and expanding in 2017! However, unlike the economy a few years ago, the climate has drastically shifted and companies are expressing heartburn in finding strong candidates. We have had many recent conversations with our clients on what it takes to attract new talent to open positions and ensure success.
Since the market has changed, companies have to look at all facets from the job description creation, corporate branding, the interview and follow up process, employee engagement and culture and more. While there is no cookie cutter, 100% perfect answer, there have been some common themes to our discussions:
Enticing Job Descriptions: Gone are the days when a company could post general ads stating they needed an Administrative Assistant to answer phones and do data entry at $14/hour. Most candidates are currently working, therefore can afford to be very particular when applying. They want to see the description, requirements, pay and benefits, but they also want to learn more about the company, the unique challenges in the role, opportunities to grow and cool perks the company offers (ie, free birthday day off, pizza day on the last day of the month, complimentary dry cleaning, or on-site gym). If the description is not enticing and welcoming, stronger candidate will simply refrain from applying.
Branding – More companies are adding short videos so candidates can see the environment, hear success stories from employees, and learn about the opportunities. This allows a company to engage more cautious or passive candidates who seek to know more before applying. For example, after noticing that candidates were asking similar questions on our processes, Career Options created a video in 2017 on misconceptions of the staffing industry. We found that by addressing questions, candidates became confident in our firm and felt encouraged to apply.
Interview Process – This is an opportunity for both parties to ask questions and see if there is an interest. Be sure the interviewer is fully engaged, is excited about your organization and sells your brand. Be able to offer examples of why employees enjoy working there and what the department culture is like to determine if it is the right fit. Consider offering a tour and introducing the candidate to a few employees so they feel welcomed from the first stage. Perhaps, during a second interview, allow for 10 minutes where the candidate meets with current employees who are in similar roles to ask further questions. This process shows the company has trust and respect for the hiring process and it’s employees. Just as first impressions are important to HR or the hiring manager, they are key for candidates as well. Remember to stay in contact with strong candidates that you passed on now but feel could be a great fit in the future. Keep that engagement!
Follow Up – Candidates have become frustrated the past 5 years due to lack of communication once they submit a resume. Consider having an auto response to confirm receipt and your process. Also, while it is time consuming, be sure to return phone calls and email inquiries from candidates. It is hard to get employees to come back and apply if they felt they were abandoned during a previous attempt.
Social Media and Technology – Because so many candidates are on the go, check that your website is mobile friendly and your application is not too long and cumbersome or candidates will become frustrated and opt out. We used to have a quite lengthy application, shortened it 2 years ago, and then shorted it again last year to a very short, streamlined process and have seen dramatic improvements. Do not forget to try different job boards, niche publications, company Facebook or LinkedIn pages, posting jobs on your website, employee referrals, pay per clicks, etc. Lastly, track your results to determine return on investment and then keep trying new avenues to see what attracts the best quality (not quantity) of candidates.
In order to continue to grow, companies need top new talent, and finding that talent will continue to be a challenge. Stay ahead of your competition , keep trying new avenues to attract and retain employees, and make it happen in 2017!