In any given market, in any given industry, there are often multiple companies vying for the same talent. From white-collar tech professionals in Philadelphia to blue-collar manufacturing workers in Spokane, and everywhere in between, the war for talent is on. The U.S. unemployment rate is low (slightly above 4.0%), the unemployment rate for most professional occupations is even lower, and job seekers—despite the growing “robots are coming for our jobs” fear—have the most career options since 2008’s recession.
This has changed the game, granting job seekers more leverage than employers. Candidates know they’re now in high demand and low supply, sometimes regardless of their education or skills, and they’re using that to their advantage. It’s exactly what often transpires in a tight labor market.
So what does this mean for you and your business? Specifically, your hiring strategy? Well, you should probably expedite it for two main reasons:
Accelerating your hiring process is easier said than done. You must continue to source qualified people, scrutinize applicants’ resumes, interview, check off multiple HR boxes, make offers… and the list goes on. That said, here are three ways to effectively expedite your hiring process without compromising its integrity.
1. Pipeline, pipeline, and… pipeline.
Whether it’s because of acquisition, growth, retirement or turnover, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to find talent—sometimes a dozen temps, other times a hundred perms. Avoid putting your company in a difficult position where your local market is your entire talent pool by creating your own talent pool with innovative pipelining.
How? Here are a few ways companies are pipelining, in an outside-the-box sort of way:
- Communicating with and “upskilling” current employees for bigger roles
- Geographically expanding their recruiting efforts (and providing relocation benefits)
- Hiring more diverse workforces that span ages, genders and races
- Prioritizing more innate soft skills over trainable hard skills
- Partnering with local schools and/or governments to offer work-based learning programs and skills training.
Today, to have the type of talent agility you need to advance your workforce and respond to change, proactive pipelining is imperative. It’s easy to rest on former acquisition strategies whenever business is running par for the course, but the second a key leader unexpectedly exits, or business demand necessitates 20 additional customer service reps, you’ll be glad you never stopped building a talent network from which you can quickly hire known commodities.
2. Interview once, maybe twice, but almost never three times.
Like we mentioned earlier, when 60% of America’s workers received multiple offers during their last job search, you listen. And when 87% of America’s workers say they expect two interviews max—before being hired or declined—you not only listen, you also act.
While having options is obviously positive, deciding between multiple offers—and interviewing over and over—can be mentally taxing on job candidates. It creates angst and requires thoughtful decisions. To ease those decisions for candidates, or at least streamline the process and help reduce their anxiety, stop after two interviews (with the understanding that a select few high-level, high-salary positions might require more interviews).
How do you stop after two interviews and still thoroughly evaluate a prospect? First, assuming you’ve carefully scrutinized the candidate’s resume, portfolio and social media presence, make sure the hiring manger and/or the potential active manager are present for the first interview. Next, for the second—and ideally final—interview, try a group interview. Bring in several colleagues to obtain varying opinions. The trick is making this group setting comfortable for the candidate; casual or even lighthearted introductions from the group can serve as a calming ice breaker. Subsequently, hold a team follow up and consolidate feedback that leads to a hiring decision.
3. Offer job candidates what they clearly want.
Do they expect better pay? Definitely. 42% of America’s workers consider pay the most important job factor. Do they request better work-life balance? Yes. 21% of workers say balance is the top job consideration. Do they prioritize career growth? Yes, that too. It’s the third most important job factor. (three above stats sourced from our “2018 U.S. Workforce Report”)
The thing is, you can’t be reactive with these job seeker demands. Offering low pay, then planning to negotiate and meet in the middle is a recipe for disaster. It takes time—time you don’t have—and builds a negative perception in the minds of candidates. You also cannot dismiss work-life balance and career growth. You must set the expectation by talking the talk in job ads and across social media, and you must deliver the expectation by walking the walk within the confines of your company.
Our survey asked workers what they want, and they replied. If you offer what they want and continue to offer more of it in timely increments, you’ll position your company to acquire top talent. You’ll also reduce turnover and all of the crippling HR, training and opportunity costs associated with it.
We hope this article imparts you with some fresh ways to hire faster. You should be able to take the three aforementioned methods and weave them into your hiring efforts. Needless to say, you’ll have to find the right balance for your business and measure whether your actions make a positive impact. (Chances are, they certainly will!)
To learn more about accelerating the hiring process, check out our infographic “Five Hiring Tips for Fast Recruiting.”
To learn more about pipelining, especially in challenging markets, read “How Companies Can Create a Workforce Where No Workforce Exists.”
For much more on managing your entire workforce, get your free copy of our report: “The 2018 U.S. Workforce Report: Attracting Talent and Retaining Employees.”
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Adecco helps our customer with direct sourcing in a tight rural market