The Recruiting Landscape is Changing, Here’s How Your Strategy Can Change With It

The Recruiting Landscape is Changing, Here’s How Your Strategy Can Change With It

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the recruiting landscape is changing rapidly. With the unemployment rate now dipping to a 17-year low of 4.1%, most of the educated and skilled workers are already employed. Meanwhile, companies eager to grow alongside this new economy are grinding to find qualified talent to fill a record-high number of job openings. Does this current crunch for talent sound familiar yet?

Near-perfect unemployment means that for the first time in years, candidates are picking the companies they want to work for and not vice versa. With more options than ever, the jobseekers are now firmly in control, and will even preemptively reject you (before you even know they’re looking).

But just because “job shopping” is the new norm, doesn’t mean you have zero control over the ebb and flow of your talent pool. You just need to embrace the new rules of recruiting, and think more deeply about how you’re engaging with candidates every step of the way. Here are some quick tips you should incorporate into your hiring strategy to continue netting top talent in 2018 (and beyond):

Simplify the application process

According to Jobvite, more than 60% of candidates abandon job applications that are too complex. That could be due to a myriad of reasons, from difficulty navigating your hiring portal, to buggy or outdated systems. While you may not have control over every aspect that turns jobseekers away, there are things you can do to streamline the process.

For example, go through your application process to test how long it takes to complete. If it takes 15 minutes or more, see if there anything you can do to reduce that time. Ideally, you’d want a typical application to take 5-10 minutes.

Also, examine your job descriptions to eliminate deadwood and jargon. Requisitions that are unnecessarily dense can stifle candidates already investing precious time into the job hunt. Try to keep things simple where possible (without compromising quality, obviously).

Make every candidate feel unique (and valued)

It almost goes without saying that in the current climate, you can’t afford for candidates to feel like just another “number.” The days of the old “post-and-pray” approach are quickly vanishing in the rearview mirror, and when it comes to the new rules of recruiting, you can no longer be focused solely on administrative efficiency.

You need to put the candidate front and center. That means responding to messages promptly, calling the person over emailing them (when possible) and being authentic in your interactions. You can also make use of existing marketing materials, such as newsletters and product updates to share with the candidate. By carefully tailoring (and even automating) these items, you can let candidates know that you’re thinking deeply about how their skills and experiences can benefit the company.

Think about branding every step of the way

As the lines between recruiting and marketing continue to blur, hiring teams need to be more cognizant of how their company presents itself through the application process. Everyone is rummaging through Glassdoor these days, and nearly a quarter of candidates will post bad experiences to social media pages — while a staggering 85% won’t consider applying to your company again after an unpleasant interview process.

Some elements of company branding are out of your control, but for those things you do have a hand in, you need to be more buttoned-up than ever. Be proactive on social channels, especially Glassdoor — where a response to a complaint could make or break a candidate’s opinion of the company.

Any recruiter can tell you that managing your pool of talent is never easy, regardless of the state of the job market. But if you start to approach hiring the same way your company tackles customer and employee experiences, you can begin to craft high-quality interactions throughout the process and create a truly defining candidate experience.

It’s all about maximizing your existing brand materials and revamping your hiring practices to intentionally engage candidates at the right time, with the right touch. Do that, and you’ll leaving lasting impressions on jobseekers — and hopefully, future employees.

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