What should businesses expect when it comes to recruiting in 2018?
The answer is pretty simple—it’s going to be a humdinger!
If there was any doubt that a shortage of skilled workers exists, 2017 extinguished it. A combination of economic growth, falling unemployment and the lowest labor participation rate since 1978 is creating a “perfect labor storm.” Despite lots of rhetoric, neither government nor academia can provide an education/retraining to employment solution fast enough to fill all the open positions today. C-Suite frustration and anxiety was revealed in a recent Mercer Talent survey when 92 percent of employers believed the competition for talent will be fiercer next year. Nearly 8 out of 10 staffing and recruiting professionals revealed the same during a recent webinar I presented—recruiting in 2017 was more difficult than past years.
What’s a company to do? Despite this gloomy and challenging outlook, many companies make the situation much worse than it needs to be by using antiquated, cumbersome, unfriendly recruiting practices, processes, and applications. There are a number of quick fixes that most organizations can implement to attract and hire more qualified workers faster. They won’t solve the long-term problem but for the time being, they can give some breathing room. Here are just a few trends and recommendations.
Think talent network. Most companies start from scratch each time a new position is opened. Why not build a network of potential candidates? According to some pretty impressive research about candidate behavior done by CareerBuilder, 80 percent of candidate visitors will join your network if asked. And 85 percent of them will leave a resume. Since more than 80 percent of candidates are passive (they already have a job), a talent network gives those not-yet-ready-to-switch-my-job candidates time to get to know you. Careerbuilder research found that candidates apply 63 days after they join! Building relationships doesn’t happen overnight but it’s well worth it. Having the ability to reach into your network can significantly reduce time-to-hire.
First impressions matter. Many companies are finally getting serious about leaving the dark ages of recruiting and designing and branding career pages that engage candidates. Unfortunately most of them do not extend the same attention to their job posting page. That’s a massive misstep because only 7.5 percent of candidates come through the “front door” (aka the company career page.) Most applicants are directed straight to the job details page from another source and these pages are often dull, boring copy-and-pasted job descriptions. Like the content on the customer-side of a website, even the job posting pages must include content that grabs attention, engages the candidate, and encourages them to apply.
Obsess about the candidate experience. Ninety-three percent of applicants don’t make it past the job description. Ninety-five percent will abandon the application if it is more than 2 pages, especially if viewing and completing it on a mobile device. Jobvite found that the abandonment rate jumped from 16% with 10 or fewer questions to nearly 50 percent with 20 questions. If it takes more than 15 minutes to complete an application, rates drop by a staggering 365%! Create a candidate friendly application. Ask only for the information you need to qualify (or disqualify) a candidate. When he or she meets you minimum basic qualification that is the time to ask them to complete the multi-page application and/or submit a resume.
Long live people analytics. Analytics isn’t the holy grail but it’s game over for companies that attempt to acquire and manage talent without it. More importantly real-time reporting is a critical. Companies capture ridiculous amounts of people data but deny and ignore the predictive intelligence that lies within it. Tracking the number of career site visitors and completion rates for applications are two simple and yet essential metrics that few companies have at their fingertips. Time to fill open positions is increasing dramatically and it is made much worse by unnecessary recruitment pipeline delays and inefficiencies. When seeking difficult-to-find top talent in the proverbial jobseeker “haystack,” frequent marketing and recruitment adjustments are essential; doing it without real-time reliable reporting is like playing “recruitment roulette.”
With best candidates gone within 10 days after they hit the job market, companies must create a great first impression, engage and stay engaged with candidates (even those that don’t fit today), and build a robust talent network.
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