Recruiting Tips for the New Job Market

Recruiting Tips for the New Job Market

Is it getting harder to recruit great employees? Are you stuck in a recruiting rut? On average, it’s taking 12 weeks to fill positions!

It’s a new day in the workforce. Whether or not your business has recovered to pre-recession levels, the unemployment rate almost has!  Kitsap’s unemployment rate is around 5.5%. And King County’s is 4.5%, which is actually at a level considered to be full employment.

The war for talent is back, and you’re going to need some new weapons if you want to win the battle!

Innovation is key:

The online retailer Zappos is famous for its innovative recruiting process. We can learn a lot from this major employer’s approach to hiring in today’s job market.

Instead of posting jobs and accepting resumes for them, Zappos encourages interested candidates to become part of their talent community. Candidates can connect with Zappos in a variety of ways, from using traditional email to utilizing their social network profiles. Once connected, Zappos recruiters can fish from this talent pool as positions come available. The candidates who most actively engage with Zappos, expressing their enthusiasm and highlighting their unique skills and talents, have better visibility and increase their odds of being noticed.

While this might work well for Zappos, a company known as a great place to work, would this approach work for all businesses? Probably not.

But what we can learn from this is that each company is unique, and those qualities can be exploited in order to attract the people who fit into the culture.

Spice up your job ads:

We know from companies like Zappos that people are attracted to businesses that have a good reputation, are fun places to work, and are known as excellent employers. Showing your corporate personality will help you stand out from the crowd.

Try punching up your job postings to make them more interesting. Just as a resume is a candidate’s marketing brochure, remember that your job ads work the same for your business. A boring job ad screams to the job seeker “boring place to work.”  In this job market, you have to sell the opportunity to the candidate.

Simplify your recruiting process:

Do you require job seekers to go through a very long and structured process that takes lots of time and steps to complete?  HR folks are always concerned about compliance, and the result can be massive paperwork and overly complex application processes.

For a job seeker in today’s labor market, ease and speed are the ways to capture talent.

  • Have someone go through your entire recruiting process and assess it for you.
  • Take a critical look at what you’re doing and see where steps can be consolidated or eliminated.

If your process is easy, fast, friendly, and accessible you will have a much higher chance of snapping up an excellent candidate before your competitor does.

Make it easy for candidates to apply for your jobs:

Another lesson to learn from Zappos is to make it easier for candidates to apply with you. This is critically important!

  • Can applicants connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.?
  • Can they send their LinkedIn profiles as their resumes?
  • Can they apply for jobs on their phones and tablets?

It’s especially important to make sure job seekers can apply for your positions on their phones. The amount of people who only access the internet via smart phones is constantly on the rise.

Over half of the job seekers who use our website are on mobile, and that percentage keeps increasing. If your website or online application isn’t mobile-friendly, you are definitely losing some candidates before they even apply.

Stay engaged with job seekers:

One last lesson from Zappos: It’s not enough anymore to put a resume in your applicant tracking system. You have to engage with job seekers.

One of the biggest complaints job seekers make is about lack of communication when they apply for a position. Your company can stand out just by communicating!

Using a mass email program like MailChimp, you can communicate easily and often with job seekers, keeping them informed about what the company is doing, trends in the industry, positions you need to fill, and the skills you are seeking.

If you’re using social media sites to promote yourself as a place to work, remember why they are called “social” media. Social interaction should be happening regularly between the company and its talent pool.

Use your current staff as a recruiting resource:

Your current staff is also an important part of the recruiting equation. It’s a lot better to keep your quality employees happy and engaged than it is to have to recruit new ones to replace them!

Do yourself a favor and talk to your employees:

  • What do they love about working for you?
  • Why do they stay?

This is your company’s secret sauce, which you can sell when you’re recruiting for new hires.

You also need to ask your employees for information that’s harder for you to hear:

  • What don’t they like about working for you?
  • What is attractive to them about your competition?

Then, do your best to make some positive changes. Your employees will feel valued and appreciated in the process, and your company will become more attractive to new recruits.

The wrap-up:

In our business we often see employers miss out on great talent because of their processes. On average, it is still taking companies twelve weeks to fill positions, which means great talent slips through their fingers. Times are not changing–they’ve already changed.

Your business can win the war for talent by just recognizing that the war exists, and by working as hard to woo great people as you do to woo great customers.