From the number of calls I receive and reports I read, attracting enough qualified applicants is not getting easier. Here’s 8 essential tips for attracting more qualified workers.
- Stop recruiting like it’s still 1970. It’s 2014 -act like it. You are doing business in a new time and place. With few exceptions, most businesses are reliant on technology. If they aren’t, their customers, clients, and patients sure are. Hiring processes that worked for the low-tech, manual-labor based worker must be replaced with best practices to acquire and retain skilled and high-tech workers.
- Recruit 24/7/365. No matter how hard you fight it, employee turnover is inevitable. You can’t start each job search from scratch anymore because it takes too much time to find qualified workers just-in-time. Every business needs a pool of qualified workers they can tap when needed.
- Establish your “employer” brand. Market to job candidates like you appeal to your best customer. Top talent has choices. When the right candidate arrives at your recruitment doorstep, what does he see? A great place to work or just another place to pick up a paycheck?
- Close the black hole of applications. Treat candidates with respect. One of the biggest job applicant complaints is the lack of response from companies after they apply. Is that anyway to appeal to a prospective employee? If you are fortunate enough to attract a qualified applicant, then a prompt, personal response is essential. Waiting until everyone from the receptionist to the hiring manager has a chance to review the application and sign off on it before acknowledging an applicant’s interest is a sure way to let the big catch get away. Like prospective customers, job applicants (qualified or not) expect and deserve a response to their inquiries. And the time tolerance for responding is not days and weeks but hours or minute.
- Throw a wide net. One-stop sourcing is dead. It’s nearly impossible to find a single best job board, the best social media site, the best referral source for all jobs. But that is what many employers believe. Recruiting is fluid and what works one week may fail the next. Sourcing candidates today requires throwing out a wide net to capture candidates from a variety of sources. And with the growing importance of social media, the variety keeps changing. The best source is not Indeed or Careerbuilder, LinkedIn or Facebook, Twitter or Craigslist. It’s all of them.
- Engage Social Media. Invite all applicants to follow you, to like you, to connect with you. Even if they don’t become employees, they know people who know people. And in many businesses they are prospective customers too.
- Automate what can be automated. Without some type of automated applicant processing and screening, a company will simply drown in paperwork and applications from unqualified or poor fit candidates. Multi-source recruitment is necessary to fill hard-to-fill positions but it is a daunting and nearly impossible task using labor intensive processes.
- Analyze, analyze, analyze. The impending threat to filling job openings in most companies won’t be for a lack of data. It will be the failure to use what’s available. As a corollary to the automate applicant processing rule, companies need to be able to collect and analyze data about employees “on the fly.” Spreadsheets take too long to create and manage. Their results are delivered in time for a reactive response, not proactive intervention. The time for using Big Data even in small manufacturers when it comes to finding qualified workers has arrived.