From The Great Resignation — the phenomenon that saw 4.3 million Americans quit their job in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics — to the birth of hybrid work models, the pandemic has turned the job market upside down.
And, for recruiters, trusted tactics to find the best candidates are all of a sudden becoming less relevant. Here’s why, according to HR experts Brandon White, Director of Human Resources at Helpside and Talent.com’s co-CEO Lucas Martinez.
Applicants have the upper hand
First, it’s a matter of offer and demand. And applicants have the upper hand right now. “Finding good employees has always been a struggle for businesses of all sizes and that is especially true in today’s labor market,” says White.
Some professionals were laid off and decided to switch careers. Others realized they wanted to work remotely permanently. With people quitting their jobs in droves, organizations are struggling to attract and retain talent.
“The pandemic has created an environment where employees have a plethora of jobs available to them. Some employees’ priorities have also changed, making it more important than ever that companies review their benefits, remote work options, and safety protocols.”
Remote work has redefined geographical limits
Remote work has also expanded our definition of what constitutes a job market. Recruiters can cast a broader net location-wise, but that comes with sometimes complex stakes, adds White.
“If remote work is an option, you can open your job search beyond your typical geographic area. But if you decide to recruit outside of your state, be sure to keep in mind relevant labor laws for the state in which the prospective employee resides.”
Focusing on speed and volume doesn’t help
Focusing on speed and volume to fill roles is not helping either, as the best solution for how to find employees that are perfect for an open role has always been more about quality than quantity. However, as companies desperately need to fill roles, recruiters feel the pressure of finding people fast, which results in less thorough screening processes and less aligned matches. One sure way to combat this is with the help of a test for problem solving, which can help you see how competent the candidate is.
“Recruiters are not screening applicants as well as they should be right now. The market is flooded with opportunities as a result of the pandemic aftermath, which makes it harder than ever to make sure candidates are the right fit and that they are fully aware of the opportunity that they are accepting or interviewing for,” says Martinez.
“Recruiters should really contact each prospect and ensure everyone’s goals and capabilities align before moving forward in the hiring processes. This avoids ‘Great Resignation’ scenarios because the company was thorough in meeting the needs of their position and the hired applicant’s needs for the role.”
This also means that posting open roles on all platforms available might not yield the best results, according to Martinez. Targeting your ideal audience is best.
“Recruiters should stop marketing their open positions to every recruiting site. It makes it much more difficult to filter through applicants and could cause a recruiter to miss an amazing candidate,” he says.
“They should focus their efforts on one to two recruiting websites that meet their goals. If they are looking for a marketing executive, they should probably focus on posting the job to LinkedIn. If they are looking for an entry-level role, they should focus on a platform that casts a big net, like Talent.com.”
Employer branding matters
Scoffing at the idea of investing in employer branding, which requires resources and consistency, is no longer a thing. Yes, it’s hard to quantify the ROI of your brand-building efforts. But it’s absolutely key if you want to stand out as an employer in today’s job market. And it might mean making changes to your culture.
“Job candidates are searching online for information about potential employers before applying for open positions. Beyond the information you can control, such as your website, blogs and social media pages, be sure to check online review sites like Glassdoor,” says White.
“A large number of negative reviews could deter a great job candidate from applying. Spend time reading reviews to gain insight into how employees really feel about working for your organization. Be sure to take the information for what it is, because employees (like customers) are more likely to leave a review when they are upset.”
Underutilizing social media is a missed opportunity
Social media is also part of a company’s presence as an employer, and underutilizing it is a missed recruiting opportunity. Once you’ve attracted people with engaging social posts, you can even encourage conversation through through Messenger chatbots to start the dialogue.
“Most of the greatest candidates are companies’ biggest fans–the best way to reach those fans is by reaching out to your online followers. They obviously like your company and the work that you do and probably would be the first to apply once they knew you had an opportunity that fits their skills and work experience,” shares Martinez.
Traditional tactics lack creativity
Many companies are still using outdated methods for recruiting new employees. This method is not very effective because it doesn’t take into account the applicant’s ability to learn new things or work well under pressure.
Traditional tactics lack creativity and are no longer as viable for attracting the right candidates and keeping them. Going through recruitment training is beneficial to keep up with the changes in the recruitment industry. You have to think outside the box to recruit effectively in our current reality, says White:
“With a tight labor market, you might need to get creative. Consider reaching out to former employees. Ask around in trade organizations and professional networking groups. Look into your current workforce to see if you could hire from within. Reach out to groups that support veterans or others re-entering the workforce.”