With an unemployment rate just posted by the New York times of 3.9% and the U.S. adding 157,000 jobs in July, it is clear the hiring climate is tougher than ever. Forecasters are not anticipating a change in the employment market anytime soon. This is great news for our economy but not so great news if you need to fill vacated, or newly created, positions. Gone are the old days of “Post and Pray.” In today’s hiring market, employers must be creative and proactive to stay ahead of the game. Today’s hiring is more like a marketing campaign, where you are vying for employees, much like you would customers. The question employers ask HR consultants like Sage Solutions Group is, how do I attract good talent, and can you help me build a hiring “pipeline?” The answer can be simple, but it takes time, creativity and attention to achieve success. Here are some tips to consider:
- ADVERTISE STRATEGICALLY. Where do you post your positions? To know where to place an ad, you must consider the position to be filled. Think about the perfect candidate. Are they highly skilled? Do they need certain degrees or certifications? Some positions are better served on specific job boards. Job posting are expensive, so you will want to do your homework to understand the differences. You do not want to post a job where few of your ideal candidates will be looking. Consider niche job sites for those specific candidates that hold the technical skills, degrees or certifications you require.
- BUILD YOUR BRAND. Use social media to build your employee brand. Here is where marketing really comes into play. Not only are you looking for positions to fill today, but you also need to build a social profile that attracts good talent for the future. This helps to create an engaged pipeline when you need it. When your company does something cool, post it. Take care in the profile you create though. You want it to match your company culture. Watch the postings on review boards, just as perspective candidates would. If you receive a poor review, decide how you will address it. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to craft a plan in advance, just in case!
- BE TIMELY. Today’s applicants don’t let the grass grow under their feet. At Sage, we find that in less than 48 hours, a qualified candidate will be gone if you don’t engage with them in a timely manner. Review all potential candidates multiple times a day and reach out to those who are qualified immediately. It is exhausting, but this is what it takes to stay on top of this competitive market. Sage is hired to fill positions for many companies, and our success comes from staying on top of postings at all times.
- STREAMLINE YOUR APPLICATION PROCESS. This is the next step in securing good candidates. If your hiring practices are cumbersome, the applicant could easily be lost to the competition. If you are interested in a candidate, it is likely other employers are as well. Make the process easy for the candidate and be flexible in your interviewing schedule. Many candidates expect to, and do, apply on their phones. Be sure your application process is formatted to allow for this flexibility.
- BE PROACTIVE! Be assertive and stay involved to engage your potential candidates. The newest term for employees that don't bother to show up for interviews or onboarding activities is “ghosting the employer." The best way to avoid the ghosting drama is to stay actively engaged with your candidates. Don't let time pass before you reach out to them with an answer on benefits. Do your homework on the job description and advertisement so that you can realistically and truthfully sell the candidate on the company and the position. These efforts may make it less likely that the candidate will “ghost” you!
The hiring market is tough. At Sage we see employers struggling with it every day. Not only are we asked to fill high level positions, but there is a new trend of employers seeking help filling high demand, high turnover positions such as direct caregivers and front desk support, to name a few. Hiring is difficult, and it is time consuming. Should you need help filling an immediate position or in developing a hiring pipeline, Sage Solutions Group can help!