Once upon a time, finding candidates meant posting a job description…and then waiting. But today, everything’s different.
Jobs have changed. Now more than ever, openings in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are dominating the global marketplace. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics believes that the STEM workforce in the U.S will total more than 8.65 million workers by 2018.
Jobseekers have changed.Research shows that Generation Y workers will change jobs every 3-4 years—because they want more from employment than paychecks and benefits.
Technology has changed. Advances in SaaS platforms, mobile technology, and social media have provided companies with a vast new assortment of recruiting tools.
But here’s the kicker: When candidates change, and the recruiting environment changes, your job as a recruiter will change, too. Are you ready to adapt?
If you aren’t sure, don’t fret. A number of recruiters today are faced with the challenge of adjusting to the new climate. Now is the perfect time to analyze your behavior and rethink your perspective.
Here’s a look at seven of the top “sins” recruiters commit today, along with valuable direction for correcting your bad habits.
Wrong approach. Today’s candidates—particularly those with critical STEM skills—need nurturing, just like potential customers. You wouldn’t just forget your customers, right?
Turn that attitude around. You need to think about candidates more broadly. You aren’t just targeting active jobseekers—you’re luring in passive prospects, too. You need to tailor your ongoing engagement to suit all of these people, which means employing the right tools.
Consider these options:
A Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) system. Strong relationships with candidates are vital to ensuring their ongoing loyalty and interest. A robust CRM system can provide you with the tools and analytics you need to build and nurture a long-term talent pool.
Multi-channel communication. Your CRM system should assist you in sourcing and communicating with prospects across a wide variety of channels, from email to social networks to employee referrals. As recruiting candidates becomes more and more like marketing to potential customers, make sure you are positioned to cast a wide net.
“I’m supposed to track that?”
If you’re not tracking sources and reporting your results, you’ll have a hard time understanding why you’re successful at hiring the right candidates (or why you’re not successful). And that, of course, means you won’t be able to justify further investments.
To ensure you have the right information accessible for fast decision-making, look for recruiting technology that allows you to:
Trace candidates back to their original sources, regardless of where they came from. You want to know which sources provide the highest quality candidates—and which might not be worth further effort or expense.
Keep tabs of ongoing communication with prospects, and their engagement activity, whether they’ve applied for a position or not. Just as you would track potential customers through a sales funnel, follow your prospects from the moment of first engagement. Your goal is to effectively sway qualified candidates to apply and eventually accept a position, but you can’t do that unless you know how and when you’ve interacted with them, and how best to drive a positive response.
Create and easily send reports that reflect the status of your efforts across any channel, any time period, or any position. The name of the game is real-time flexibility, so you know where you stand and can course correct as needed.
“I have enough prospective candidates today, so why feed the funnel?”
First of all, you know the old adage about counting your chickens. And second, you must start thinking proactively about finding candidates. This generation of workers won’t flock to you without effort on your part—and, in fact, many of the best candidates aren’t even looking for a job yet. You need to show the passive prospects what your company is about and why they should care.
How do you do that? By taking proactive measures like these:
Social recruiting. Establish a real presence on top social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Be sure you actively participate in these areas by regularly posting thoughtful content that builds and engages an interested audience.
Communication campaigns. Create meaningful, targeted campaigns that allow your prospects to see what your company has to offer. Look for recruiting technology that makes drafting these campaigns simple yet graphically engaging—with email or web templates, for example.
Employee referral programs. Employee referrals are the top rated source of quality candidates, according to a recent Jobvite survey. And research has shown that successful employee referral programs can speed time-to-hire by 55% over career sites, not only because you have more candidates applying for open jobs, but because you can stockpile referrals to build a talent pool that’s ready to apply. Harness this power by enabling employees to easily refer their friends and connections using social media and other fast and accessible tools.
“Who needs PR? Our employment brand is fine.”
Fine? Are you sure? The way candidates view your company, and their experience while learning about your career opportunities, is critical to your ability to hire strong talent. You need to assess your employment brand from all channels—including social media—and then work on strengthening it however possible.
Here are a few ways to bolster your brand:
Social media company pages with avid involvement. Again, you need to be sure that you regularly and appropriately communicate with followers on your social networks. Today’s jobseekers are fluent on these platforms and can quickly be turned off by outdated content or a tone that’s too formal or contrived.
Easily enable employees to share thoughts on the corporate culture as well as current job openings. Happy employees can act as an extension of your recruiting team if you empower them with the right tools. Give your workforce the ability to share available positions and other engaging corporate content—such as blog posts or product announcements—within their social networks.
Branded career sites. Give candidates a seamless experience between your web site, your social media presence, and your career pages, so they develop trust in your consistency.
“I’m sticking with the old school approach: scouring the web for resumes. It’s worked before.”
Don’t get stuck expending effort on something just because it’s what you used to do. Start with the low-hanging fruit. Plenty of research shows that internal and employee referrals not only make your job easier, but they tend to produce longer-lasting and more productive hires.
Are you afraid of trying something new? Or do you simply not have the right tools? Here’s what you should look for in a recruiting platform if you want to make referral programs and other sourcing techniques more straightforward and successful:
A robust set of capabilities. Some overly complex HR suites try to stuff a laundry list of features into a so-called platform. But be wary of suites. Many are simply a conglomerate of one-off solutions thrust under the same umbrella, and they weren’t designed to focus solely on recruiting. You want a solid technology platform specifically built to give recruiters the tools they need to get their jobs done—tools that support sourcing through multiple channels, communicating effectively, and tracking efforts in real time.
An intuitive interface. Don’t forget that technology has to be easy to use in order to be functional. Look for a recruiting platform designed to work the way you work, with straightforward workflows and navigation.
Integration. Equally important is the ability to integrate your recruiting platform with your current technology. Big HR suites typically aren’t designed to work together or with other software; instead, they are packaged and sold as complete solutions that require complete reliance on a single platform. This approach threatens your existing technology investments. A better bet would be a SaaS-based recruiting platform that offers an open API for integration and development.
“This is basic marketing stuff, so I don’t need executive buy-in.”
Well, you’re half right. Recruiting is becoming more and more like marketing every day— but cutting-edge recruiting techniques are not the same as what’s used in traditional marketing. Your executive team might not know about the new technology and tools you have available. You need to be sure you demonstrate the real value potential at stake. Show them proven ROI, so you can continue to receive support and resources.
Consider these methods:
Regular reporting on the success of various sourcing efforts or communication campaigns. Be sure you can obtain and compile real-time analytics that definitively demonstrate why your efforts and new technology are paying off—and then share these reports with executives regularly to keep them on your side.
Bottom-line impact. Have metrics in place to track your savings and other benefits. If your new social recruiting and employee referral programs have eliminated $250K in annual agency fees, report that. If you’re consistently shaving four weeks off your time-to-hire process thanks to a new CRM system, document it. It’s difficult to argue with hard numbers.
“If I build it, they will come.”
This isn’t “Field of Dreams.” You can’t just put up your career site and expect people to come crawling out of the bushes to see what’s going on. To really attract viable, qualified candidates, you have to take the time to understand your audience. Who are today’s jobseekers? What are they looking for? How can you engage them?
We already know that the incoming generation of workers is substantially different than its predecessors. These people have different priorities, different skill sets, and different mechanisms for communicating. It’s your job to know what these differences are, so you can speak to today’s workforce—whether they’re on the job hunt or waiting to be wooed.
Try these techniques:
Focus on delivering content that’s appropriate and relevant. No one will listen if they don’t appreciate what you have to say. And the more you fail to provide interesting content, the more you disillusion prospects. Instead, discuss topics that applicants can use or relate to as they explore career development. Make sure the information you provide is current and fresh. And be sure to speak in the tone and language of the platform on which you’re communicating.
Make the application process easier and more intuitive. Obviously, paper application days are long gone. But many career sites continue to force candidates through 45 minutes of clicking and typing just to submit a resume. That approach is equally obsolete and alienating to candidates. Use your online application wisely. Consider a few short screening questions, provide one-click uploads for resumes and cover letters, and allow candidates to complete the process on a variety of mobile devices.
Think about what candidates need. Whether you’re posting on Facebook or designing your application, always put yourself in the shoes of your ideal prospect. This generation of jobseekers wants to know that you understand the desire for diverse experiences, social responsibility, and personal satisfaction. Engage with candidates in a way that demonstrates your willingness to meet their needs as well as yours.
Have you seen the error of your ways?
Although changes in jobs and job-seeking populations have the potential to make your role more complicated, changes in technology can actually help you streamline the complexity. Simply replace outdated behaviors with new habits that make more effective use of today’s advanced recruiting tools.
Jobvite’s comprehensive recruiting platform lets you easily source candidates, manage and nurture relationships, build and report on communication campaigns, and simplify employee referrals. And our user-friendly interface makes navigating the technology both intuitive and time-saving.
With the right platform in place, you can successfully adapt to your new recruiting environment—and continue to be competitive in the race for high-quality hires.