Unemployment rates have continued to go down and while this is generally a good sign, it creates more challenges than opportunities for employers. The hiring climate has changed so much that over two-thirds (68%) of the employers we surveyed for the 2019 SCALE said they changed their hiring process to be more competitive.
If you are among those trying to find, attract, and hire fresh talent for your company, then you have probably noticed that great candidates are harder to come by – and your window to hire is significantly smaller. So how do you attract and engage the candidates better than your competitors? Here are four strategies you can try on for size:
Be Clear and Competitive
Whether it’s a new position or you are looking to refill a recently vacated one, take this opportunity to be as specific as possible. List the skills, experience, and, if applicable, the credentials needed to win and do the job effectively. Are there must-have software skills? Is being bilingual preferred? At the same time, entice job seekers with competitive compensation packages. You can look up current salary ranges for your area as well as the specific position online. Taking the time to be thorough in crafting the job description helps set clear expectations as well as thin the stream of applications from less suitable applicants, which often means a faster hiring process. It will also help paint a much clearer picture for those who might assist you in finding your next MVP.
Benchmark for Effective, Enduring Matches
Experts have found that employee satisfaction, longevity, and performance rely on organizational and cultural fit more than skills to do a job. Benchmarking gathers information including traits, work environment, values, leadership structure and professional comparison, and job shadowing key staff. Effective benchmarking generates the information necessary to comprehensively match a candidate to the company, team, and manager as well as the job opportunity. This helps ensure higher productivity from day one, and optimal engagement and retention rates down the road.
Explore Working Interviews
While the more competitive job market could make setting up working interviews more challenging, it remains a solid strategy for employers who prefer the ‘try before you buy’ approach. A working interview is an opportunity to have an applicant prove their job skills to you while they get a direct feel for your team, you as a manager, and your company from the inside. Having candidates perform the duties of the job alongside their managers and potential colleagues is also an opportunity to ensure that they are a good fit for the organization.
For teams that might be disrupted by a very transient pair of hands on deck, having candidates come in to simply observe and take in a ‘day at the office’ might be more feasible. Allowing promising candidates to have a first-hand look at a prospective work environment goes a long way towards minimizing revolving door turnover costs.
Pre-board New Hires
Unlike a few years ago when an accepted offer means a committed hire, many employers are now finding that they need to take steps to keep their new hires engaged – even before their start dates. Called pre-boarding, this relatively new ‘step’ in the hiring process goes the extra mile in welcoming new hires. The goal is to immerse them in the company culture and build rapport and engagement – before their first day on the job. While often more informal and even fun, more and more employers are now giving it serious thought.