Many employers are struggling to find the talent they need in today's job market. The Employment Development Department (EDD) reported a 4.5% unemployment rate in California, and some northern California counties have unemployment rates below 3%. Last month we discussed how increasing employee engagement can help to reduce turnover. A strong recruiting strategy is equally vital in your arsenal, therefore our topic of this month's post.
With low rates of unemployment, job seekers have many options to choose from. Improving the candidate experience can help your company stand out. This starts at their first interaction with your company. Gone are the days of a lengthy job advertisement. Applicants are more likely to apply when they are given an overview of the position along with a brief list of requirements. Job seekers are looking for an easy to use application process, whether it is online or in person. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid requiring applicants to provide documentation aside from their resume and cover letter in the initial application. Any other information can be obtained as the candidate moves along in the process.
Interviews are a two-way street, so plan for the candidate to have many questions of their own. Expect and be prepared to answer questions around work environment, culture, opportunities for advancement, compensation and benefits. Be prepared to present your company in a way that will leave a positive impression and stand out. If it's a mutual fit, you'll want to impress them early on!
Active job seekers are usually applying for many positions concurrently. This means that communication is key. Once you have decided you would like to move a candidate forward in the process, do not hesitate to let them know. You risk the chance of them accepting another position if they are not informed. Communicate quickly, ideally within 24 hours if you plan to schedule them for the next round of interviews. It keeps the candidate interested and motivated to move forward in the process. Set the expectation with the candidate during the interview of when they can expect to hear an update. Once that is established, stick to it. Even if they don't get the job, candidates are more likely to remember the experience as a positive one if the company followed through on their promises.
When the candidate pool shrinks due to low unemployment, targeting your recruiting toward the passive job seeker can be beneficial. The passive job seeker is someone who is currently working and not actively applying for new positions. Networking events and referrals from your current employees are two of the most popular ways to find passive job seekers. It is important to engage in a continuous relationship with passive job seekers; while they might be adamant on not making a job move now, you] will be their first call if anything changes for them down the road. Once you have established an initial relationship, you can maintain this by sharing useful articles, invitations to networking events, or even meeting for coffee.
Having a recruiting strategy will help you fill positions with the best candidates in times of low unemployment. Your consultant is available to help develop a strategy that is right for your company and your industry.