The shrinking pool of available talent is making it difficult for companies to attract and retain top talent. Quit rates are up, and employers are being forced to raise wages, perks and benefits in an effort to better attract candidates. But it should be no surprise to find the companies themselves may still be their own worst enemy.
I still hear stories from the trenches on a weekly basis that the recruiting process at most companies is mediocre at best. Quick fixes just won’t do it this time. It's too late for a bandaid approach. Strategies and tactics need to be completely revamped, from the start of the recruitment process all the way down to onboarding.
Here are 4 ways to repair and transform your recruitment process into a candidate experience that actually attracts talent, not repels it.
1) Streamline Your Application Process
Your job application should be easy to complete, yet data shows that abandonment rates are sometimes as high as 95 percent. This is possibly the biggest problem in the recruitment process, but a surprisingly large number of companies ignore it. Many times they are tied to antiquated ATS interfaces that need a serious adjustment.
It's time to take a hard look at your application process from logging in to uploading a resume. Locating where in the application process the abandonment took place is a key part of preventing application drop-off. Technology can help. Modern CRM (candidate relationship management) systems such as Clinch and Beamery help with analytics, and niche software like Talentegy enables companies to track candidate experience.
But every effort should be made to reduce the amount of information you need to collect in order to apply. Providing a simplified apply process (that is also mobile friendly) is paramount to recruiting faster. I'm encouraged by vendors like Greenhouse which allow you apply right on the job description itself but more vendors need to make applying easier across the board. Employers need their help.
2) Make the Job More Attractive
First impressions are important. If candidates are seeing your post without applying, it's time to get more creative with your job descriptions. Getting top talent to view your job posting is hard enough without losing them because of bad copy. Consider bringing a copywriter on staff or at least bring in someone from your marketing team to give them a refresh.
Job posts should be engaging and appeal to candidates in the same way that marketers appeal to consumers. Along with creative text, use images or videos whenever possible. In fact I would argue that every job listing should have an image with your value proposition as the first thing a candidate sees.
3) Have a Structured Interview Process
Candidates aren’t the only ones being assessed during an interview. Today’s job seekers use the interview as an opportunity to learn more about the company and determine if it's a place they'd want to work. TA leaders need to make the interview and recruiting process a positive, valuable experience for job candidates.
Interviewers should go over resumes before meetings and be prepared to answer questions about the company. It's also important to show respect for the candidate by starting the interview on time and being professional. Keep in mind that even the strongest recruiting strategy can be undercut by just one bad interview experience and review on Glassdoor.
On a recent interview I had, the company first briefed me on the process, detailing who I would be meeting with, the steps involved and even offered advice to stand out. I was impressed by their attention to detail.
4) Revamp Onboarding
Onboarding can be a true springboard for new workers, but many businesses miss the opportunity. The irony here is that it doesn't have to cost a lot to have great onboard. Just ask L.A. based retailer HotTopic. They recently revamped their entire onboarding for corporate positions to include a fun 9 step experience that happens over 30 days.
36% of employers still have no structured onboard process. In addition, an estimated $37 billion is spent annually by these companies to pay unproductive employees who are ineffective because they were never set up for success. Good onboarding takes time and effort. Employers need to take a fresh look at that experience and embrace their new hires.
Now is the time to invest in an onboarding technology and processes that will set clear expectations for employees, while providing them with the necessary tools to quickly shift into their roles as independent workers.
Acquiring talent is hard enough. Don't allow ineffective marketing, old-school manager mindsets and a poor onboarding make it even harder. If you aren’t attracting top applicants, make the changes necessary to develop long-lasting success.