As an external recruiter, competition for the best talent is fierce. Writer and recruitment expert, Nicola Wright, shares her five top ways to attract and secure the top candidates for your clients.
We’ve lived through some truly unprecedented events in the past few years, and those experiences have upended the way a lot of people think about work. The effects of seismic shifts in the hiring market are still being felt by employers; though The Great Resignation may have begun during the pandemic, it’s showing no signs of slowing down just yet.
According to PwC, almost nine out of ten organizations experienced higher turnover than usual in 2021—and by March 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics noted a record high of 11.5 million job openings.
People are reevaluating what they want from their working lives, and that includes the hiring process. Understanding exactly what candidates want, and successfully adapting to these new expectations, is proving a challenge for hiring managers and recruitment agencies alike.
But in a tight labor market, those who get their recruitment strategies right will be rewarded with the best candidates. If you’re a recruiter looking to help your clients attract and retain top talent, here are five ways you can tighten up your hiring process.
Hiring is a two-way street. Too many job ads merely outline the role and what the client wants from a candidate. But what does the candidate get out of it? The best talent isn’t just interested in a paycheck, and a job ad that outlines why someone would want to work for your client is the best way to attract candidates to the role.
And when we’re talking benefits, we don’t just mean things like dress-down Fridays and cycle-to-work schemes. Candidates should be able to see a future when they read your ad. Outline what the company does to support the development of its people, and make sure any reader knows that they’ll be valued and invested in going forward.
Positioning a role in this way can have a significant impact on your client’s (and your) retention rate. Find a client an outstanding candidate who wants to grow with the business and commit long-term and the client not only keeps talent around longer, but it also shows the client that you know their business inside-out. Nothing solidifies client relationships like placing a well-fitting candidate that becomes an integral part of their team.
Don’t forget: the most successful recruiters see past placing a candidate and think about the value they can bring to a client. Helping them build out their recruitment strategy by offering this kind of advice will enable you to become a valued staffing partner and not just a seat-filler.
It’s a candidate’s worst nightmare. They’ve reviewed the criteria, uploaded their beautifully formatted resume, attached their cover letter, and then: “Please fill out your work history”. That’s going to be a hard no for a lot of candidates.
Overcomplicating the application process with unnecessary legwork will lose you great candidates at the first hurdle. Their time is valuable, so make things as straightforward as possible. An efficient process reflects well on you and the client too—any organization that’s operating a sloppy, ineffective application system is not making a good first impression.
A one-page online application will help boost completion rates. Essentially, the fewer clicks it takes to get to that apply button, the better.
That’s where hiring platforms can help. Recruitment software like applicant tracking systems (ATS) have been around for a while, and although they’ve previously gotten flack for not being sophisticated enough to interpret certain formats or data (overlooking strong candidates in the process), modern recruitment platforms have evolved significantly.
The best recruitment platforms on the market today use AI to size up a candidate’s skills and experience and filter out any applicants that aren’t a good fit for the role. Using a smart ATS will help you pinpoint the best candidates fast, and streamline a lot of admin for both the applicant and you. Integrating your ATS with platforms like LinkedIn that let candidates apply using their profile is even better.
Thanks to the constant connectivity of the internet, we live in an always-on world. That means more people are looking for new opportunities on the go. Candidates might spot an interesting role on LinkedIn during their commute, or while scrolling through Twitter from the sofa on a Sunday night.
Cloud storage and online job boards mean candidates are ready to apply for jobs at the drop of a hat, so you have to be ready to facilitate them. Last year, 67% of job applications were submitted on mobile devices, so ensure your application process, plus any portals used to manage the process, are mobile friendly.
Time is money, and things move fast in the hiring market. This is especially true at the moment when unemployment is low and candidates have the upper hand. No candidate likes waiting around, and the onus is on you to get them moving through the process immediately.
Plus, the most sought-after professionals will likely be in touch with several recruiters when they’re in the market for a new role. If you’re not responsive, they won’t waste their time when there are plenty of other options on the table.
It’s nice to feel wanted, right? Nothing makes a candidate question your interest in them like waiting days to be offered an interview slot. Of course, you’re not just sitting on your hands during that time; often you’re waiting for the client to get back to you with availability. But that waiting game can kill your chances of hiring a suitable candidate.
How do we know this? Because we asked them. We spoke to 6,500 job-seekers for our most recent Candidate Expectations report and found that 71% of candidates are only willing to wait up to a day for recruiters to schedule an interview before dropping out.
Convenience is something we’ve all come to expect in recent years. The ability to place orders, book appointments, and get instant answers is prevalent in all aspects of our lives, and candidates want to see it in the hiring process too.
Finding a job can be a stressful time with spinning plates a-plenty. Automating the lower-value manual tasks like sending updates on the process, scheduling interviews, and gathering information makes things easier for you and the candidate.
Consistent communication is essential for keeping candidates engaged in the process and making sure the process is moving swiftly. Automation gives you peace of mind that the wheels are turning, while you do something more valuable with your time.
Of course, recruitment can’t be left to the machines. Knowing that someone will be a perfect fit for a role and your client’s company culture is an art that can’t be replicated by algorithms, but the admin that comes with it? That definitely can.
Taking advantage of automated interview scheduling is a no-brainer. You spend less time on the back-and-forth, it’s easier for the candidate (making it less likely that they give up and drop out), it avoids scheduling delays to get the best people in front of the client faster, and helps vacancies get filled in record time.
If you’re battling to land the best talent for your client, scheduling automation lets you nail down interviews 95% faster, ensuring your client gets time with the candidate before their calendar fills up with other opportunities.
Plus, many interview schedulers sync with widely used calendar systems like Outlook, iCal, and Google Calendar, so there’s no need to keep yet another digital diary up to date. This nifty trick avoids double bookings or the need to shift interviews due to schedule changes by reflecting interviewer availability in real-time. New meeting in their calendar means they can no longer be available 2-3 pm? The automated interview scheduler will know that immediately, eliminating the need for awkward rescheduling conversations with candidates.
According to research, automated interview scheduling frees up 284 hours a year per recruiter—just think how much more you can achieve for your clients with that time.
Nicola is a writer and recruitment industry expert. She has been creating specialised helpful content for this audience for the past six years.
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