Unemployment is at a record low, making it difficult for many companies to find and recruit great candidates. They’re also struggling to retain top talent — but that’s a story for a different day and one of the main reasons why job seekers hold all the cards.
You see, most people in the market for a new job will field multiple offers. And while a number of factors (i.e. salary, benefits, location, culture, etc.) ultimately go into the decision of which employer they choose, it’s best to make sure you give candidates no reason to consider any other company over you.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together 10 tips to rework the interview and hiring process in your favor:
1. Act fast.
For the majority of job seekers, one of the most frustrating parts of the job search is the long wait. In fact, nearly a quarter of candidates will lose interest in a company when they don’t hear back within a week. That’s why every effort should be made to speed up the interview process beyond the now average of almost 24 days.
Start off by reviewing all the touchpoints within the process. Are there any redundancies? Are there ways to improve the efficiency? What are you communicating to the candidates? Remember, you’re not the only company interviewing these applicants, so there should be a sense of urgency to make an offer when finding a fit.
2. Improve the candidate experience.
Interviewing is kind of like a courtship in that both parties must put their best foot forward to make an ideal impression. Work to provide candidates with the best possible experience by being transparent about the whole process and setting expectations on the timeline of events.
But don’t stop there. Communicate with your top contenders regularly and showcase the company culture each step of the way. If you provide a great overall experience, your organization will remain top of mind.
3. Stop looking for perfection.
Some companies get hung up on finding candidates that check every box — from skills and experience to education and training. But these people are few and far between. It’s a much better idea to prioritize your absolute must-haves and consider anything additional as icing on the cake.
4. Hire for fit.
Just because a person has all your must-haves doesn’t always mean he or she will fit the culture. Make sure to factor in both personality and attitude when deciding on who to move to the next round. After all, you’ll be training the person anyway — and you can’t train away a bad hire.
5. Involve current employees.
One of the best resources for talent is staff — and 48 percent of managers tend to agree, saying referrals were the best channel for quality candidates. Go ahead and incentivize the process to encourage your current employees to use their personal networks for talent.
6. Learn from the competition.
In a tight job market, companies will use every advantage possible to attract talent, so the question remains: Do you know what the competition is offering candidates? If another company has a better benefits package, figure out new and inventive ways to sweeten your deal.
Related content: 9 Incentives to Offer Staff in Lieu of Pay Raises
7. Explore internships.
Many companies are now looking for candidates that haven’t yet hit the job market by setting up internship programs — and for good reason. The NACE found that more than 45 percent of interns went on to accept positions at the employers where they interned. Just makes sure the program delivers value to all parties.
8. Get social.
If brands rely on social media to sell products, it only stands to reason why you should be doing the same to attract talent. After all, isn’t the interview process partly about “selling” the benefits of working for your organization? Start recruiting on social channels like 92 percent of other companies.
9. Scale back qualifications.
Be it a bachelor’s, master’s, or diploma, a degree isn’t always a predictor for success — and can, in fact, dissuade people from applying for a job opening. Review the job requirements and determine what’s actually necessary. Relying too heavily on a résumé can cause you to overlook a great addition to the team.
10. Look at your compensation.
Sometimes, it just comes down to money. Your salaries must at least match what’s competitive in your market if you ever hope to compete for talent. To get an idea of where to set the salary for any given role, we can provide assistance with our custom salary guide based on industry, location, and title.
If you’d like additional information on hiring in a competitive job market, or help finding candidate for an open role, please contact us today. We’d be more than happy to discuss your current needs and match you with top talent in your industry.