Raise your hand if you thought the post-pandemic labor market would lean so heavily towards job seekers.
Clearly, it does. Turnover rates are at an all-time high and recruiters are confronted with the fact that there are simply more jobs available than there are candidates. But when it comes to post-pandemic recruitment, some companies still aren’t using techniques that are fitted to this modern age and are consequently neglecting the benefits of 2021’s best recruitment practices.
Ryan Roslansky, the CEO of LinkedIn, was interviewed by TIME magazine recently and revealed that an astonishing number of LinkedIn members changed the jobs that they have listed in their profiles – a mind-boggling 54% year-over-year. To put that in perspective, there are more than 800 million LinkedIn members. People seem to be having a mid career “change of heart” brought on, perhaps, by the constraints of the pandemic and a reevaluation of their priorities and goals.
What we’ve discovered is very simple – the best recruitment practices for 2021 (and beyond) are significantly more candidate-centric. That’s it. That’s the key. The fact is that candidates with talent and ambition know what they’re worth, and they are beginning to realize they don’t need to settle on “ho-hum” positions and they are much more willing to pass on companies that don’t measure up to their high standards.
Here are the best recruitment practices for attracting and retaining all the best candidates in the market.
Retention strategies vary across industries, but they are increasingly being perceived as a crucial tool for strengthening your workforce, particularly in this kind of job market. Taking steps to make sure your workforce knows that company leadership is looking out for them can make enormous contributions towards retention. Favorable mentions for achievements or accomplishments such as finishing a project ahead of schedule or under budget means a healthier company culture and something that employees can boast about on social media and can be heard about by other prospective employees. Virtual celebrations are encouraged!
Also, upskilling your staff can make an existing workforce more productive and help to retain newly hired talent by demonstrating to them that their growth is an important part of the company’s growth.
The Benefits of Virtual Recruitment
The pandemic forced every company to rethink many of their traditional work processes, including recruiting and hiring. In much the same way that technology allows many workers to continue working remotely, virtual recruiting has evolved to the point of mainstream adoption and it is a recruitment practice that is here to stay.
If companies can work so successfully with a remote workforce, why not use these technologies to widen talent pools by recruiting and hiring workers from across the country? There are more benefits to virtual recruitment than you might think. Candidates look favorably upon companies that demonstrate innovation and streamlined automation in the hiring process. In fact, 54% of Gen Z candidates say they won’t even submit an application if your recruitment methods appear to be outdated.
Adopt a Remote Hiring Process
We spent much of our lives online prior to the pandemic, and now our already-online world has become even more digitalized. That digitalization has permeated into many traditional hiring processes, most of all the face-to-face interviewing process. Allowing candidates to interview remotely grants them a very desirable environment of not having to concern themselves with a wide array of traditional tasks, such as mental stressors like traveling to an interview site, time, parking, weather, etc. Taking these factors out of the interviewing environment gives you candidates that are much more relaxed and less “traumatized” from traditional pre-interviewing steps that they won’t have to worry about. And that can give you a clearer sense of the candidate’s personality.
A huge advantage of remote hiring on the part of recruiters is the ability to cast for a wider net of candidates. Without limiting candidates to physical “on-site” locations, a candidate on the west coast can interview just as easily as someone located in the same city. You can also eliminate the logistics of convening a panel of interviewers to one location. Since remote interviewing has gone mainstream, the internet has become loaded with tips for candidates seeking to stand out from the crowd while confined to a Zoom box. Remote hiring may be new, but it’s a practice that will be permanent.
Practice Recruitment Transparency
Recruiters that are privy to modern hiring practices understand that the first point of contact between a candidate and an employer takes place online and there is much to be gained in being proactive in terms of providing information about the company on a career page, social media, or anywhere else that good candidates might be spending their time online.
You should expect the best candidates to be critical thinkers, and they’ll be curious about the dynamics and nuances of your company’s recruitment processes. Recruitment transparency means communicating with the candidate at every stage of the recruitment process. Keep your lines of communication open and keep your prospective talent updated on progress.
Practice Diversifying Your Workforce
A company that is successful in building a diversified workforce has already adopted an important recruitment practice that can promote a company as a desirable place to work, especially to the younger members of our workforce. Society continues to call for diversity in the workplace, and rightfully so. It’s a wonderful way of demonstrating that your company is attuned to society’s idea of what a workforce should consist of to be successful.
Still, many companies aren’t sure where to start or who to turn to for help when stepping up efforts to recruit a more diversified pool of candidates.
Companies can begin by establishing specific recruitment goals for diversity and establish metrics that will be used to monitor progress. Job postings and descriptions should be re-written to include language that will appeal more to a wider pool of candidates. Once job posts are written properly, your recruitment sources should be modified to include new channels that will likely yield a diversified pool of candidates.
Build a Hybrid Work Environment
Perhaps the most profound workplace modification brought on by the pandemic, and a huge plus that recruiters can offer candidates. According to a recent study by Stanford, 55 percent of a group of respondents indicated that they wanted a blend of time at the office and time at home. The extended period of time that we had to spend in “lockdown” inevitably shed a bit of light on the advantages of remote working, with companies in every industry now offering employees more control over where they’re based.
It has been reported that rigid policies of pulling people back to the office full time are achieving quite the opposite – it’s pushing employees out the door.
Now, a hybrid work model is something candidates are actively seeking in a new job role. In fact, the pandemic had such a lasting effect on employees that new candidates are willing to give up a 10% increase in compensation if it meant retaining the ability to work remotely.
Benefits have always been useful tools in recruiting new candidates, especially among more seasoned professionals who may be ensconced in the traditional home life of having children and house payments. But remember, Millennials and GenZ are “big picture” employees who aren’t just considering the size of their paycheck when choosing their employer. Traditional benefits like medical insurance and retirement plans go a long way, but non-traditional benefits like child-care assistance, financial advisory services, mental health support, gym discounts, yoga classes, even meditation programs are now on the list of benefits offered by the most innovative companies.
Essentially, recruiters that can offer new employees benefits that will help them achieve an “overall quality of life” and peace of mind will have success at engaging the best up-and-coming talent.
Practice Recruiting on Social Media
Ever since social media achieved mainstream adoption, it has been used successfully by innovative recruiters to augment specific recruitment strategies. However, social media as a recruitment strategy has evolved since the pandemic and recruiters are turning to social media to increase their visibility to attract potential candidates ahead of time.
Recruiters know that potential candidates care about a company’s story now more than ever – go beyond LinkedIn. Employers are proactively telling their stories by using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more to find and engage with high-quality candidates. It’s a job-seekers market and job seekers are checking out the companies that they’re applying for. The way your employer brand is perceived on social media has never been so important.
Your recruitment practices should be conducted with the assumption that candidates will be looking at all your company’s activities on social media to get a better sense of your company’s culture and how they might fit in. Expanding your use of social media to provide candidates with a view of the inside of your company with posts on company events and key milestones will definitely help you attract more candidates.
Practice Building a Strong Work Culture
A company with a reputation for being a place where people can do their best work is a successful recruitment practice in itself. Much like a diversified workforce serves to attract talent (and if you’re using social media to trumpet such company achievements), a dynamic and cheerful workforce can serve to attract great talent.
It’s never been easier for candidates to research the internet and build their own perception of what it might be like to work at your company. A strong work culture that is promoted online can be an excellent recruitment strategy.
Practice HR Analytics
As innovations in technology continue digitalizing traditional HR processes, that digitalization can create a treasure trove of analytical data that recruiters can draw upon. HR analytics has evolved as one of the most heavily utilized recruitment practices because the quality of data is so precise and measurable.
HR analytics, also called people analytics, is the practice of extracting and analyzing informational HR data from a central resource. They provide recruiters with the data they need to measure the success of their recruitment efforts, and also for fine-tuning upcoming recruitment campaigns to yield more suitable candidates.
Questions such as determining what recruitment sources get the most educated candidates, or how long the recruitment period generally lasts for a specific position are all questions answered with HR analytics.
As companies continue to invest in technologies that can augment their recruitment efforts, artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a more prominent role. How? Simply by allowing artificial intelligence to handle (or, automate) the more repetitive components of the recruitment process. The advantages of leveraging AI automation capabilities to recommend and assess candidates at the front end of a recruitment campaign can be marvelously rewarding in terms of “freeing up” a recruiter’s time to focus on tasks where humans bring the most value.
Many companies are increasingly perceiving HR technologies as strategic investments that they can make to enhance their competitive position. The most prudent companies are investing in robust, centralized applicant tracking systems (ATS) to serve as a nerve center for all their recruitment and hiring efforts and the most advanced ATS platforms include automated AI technologies.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
We saved the best for last. Of all the recruitment practices and resources mentioned above, an Applicant Tracking System or ATS is undoubtedly the flagship HR investment that companies are making. Best defined as a centralized technical resource used by companies large and small, an ATS serves as the technical “backbone” that makes the facilitation of many of the recruitment practices mentioned above so much easier through automation technology.
One of the best advantages of having an ATS is its functionality as a data warehouse that stores swaths of useful data on all your job candidates. This data is excellent content for HR analytical efforts and the information is always immediately accessible and searchable. Over time, the technology behind ATSs evolved to include artificial intelligence technologies, also mentioned above, that allow recruiters to sort through resumes using algorithms that can automatically determine the best candidates for a position.
The message is simple: Companies that are investing ATS systems are demonstrating to their recruiters that they want to make their lives easier with the latest HR technology so they can focus on what they do best – recruiting. And that’s another bonus for a company’s work culture.
But the news gets even better. The challenges of the current labor market have ignited technical HR innovations that are yielding candidate-centric processes that engage candidates as if they were “customers.” Seeking to build on these new candidate relationships, companies are increasingly investing in the more robust, all-in-one ATS systems. These ATS systems offer a wide array of useful tools, including some of the ones mentioned earlier in this article, that allows companies to centralize the management of their candidates, support remote work and enhance collaboration.
Companies can draw a direct line between their recruitment success and the competitive position of their company. A company’s strength lay in its workforce and, as we’ve shown above, some of the best recruitment practices for the modern age require recruiters to embrace technology.
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