Attracting the right talent isn't easy, but even bite-size tweaks to your talent acquisition strategy can go a long way. So if you're struggling to reach the right candidates, try the following four ways to attract talent.
digitize your screening process
Consistently seeing underqualified candidates can be disheartening — and then, on top of that, there's the cumulative drain on resources and time. But the good news is that a whole new suite of cutting-edge tech tools are here, and they might be able to help.
In Randstad's recent survey on the impact of technology on the workplace, we found that online skills testing and other forms of digital screening are being used frequently across a range of industries. More importantly, these tools are also widely seen as effective in the eyes of hiring managers, with little variation from one industry to the next.
Which hiring managers believe digital screening tools are effective in the hiring process?
scrutinize your job descriptions
A quick remedy is to ensure the job description clearly articulates which skills are mandatory and which are nice to have.
Fortunately, writing highly effective and engaging job descriptions that attract applicants isn't hard. Just follow these four steps.
First impressions matter: Define the work right out of the gate, including a descriptive title and whether the job is full time, part time or a paid or unpaid internship. That should take two sentences, max.
Be exact — and write in plain English: This is pretty self-explanatory, but you should also think about how your job ad will look online. Is it easy to quickly scan the content? If not, bullet points can help.
State what you want: Lay out the qualifications that are "must-haves" first, then you can explain those that are merely "nice-to-have" for the role.
Explain the rewards: What's the benefit to employees — not only in terms of salary and benefits, but culture, collaboration and everything else that makes working at your company special? These are essential things to include.
Finally, in separating "must-have" from "nice-to-have" qualifications for candidates, you should also think carefully about what type of background you're looking for — and try to keep an open mind. Even for tech roles where significant training is a core requirement, new hires who have nontraditional educational backgrounds are increasingly the norm. These candidates may even come with slightly lower salary expectations, which is another reason they can be a great source of value for organizations today.
incentivize employee referrals
Most hiring managers probably know from firsthand experience that employee referrals are great. According to one survey, a full 88 percent of employers said that employee referrals are the best source for "above-average" candidates, for instance. But you have to drill down into the numbers to really appreciate the full scope of the benefits.
Take retention, for starters. Forty-five percent of employees hired as referrals stay with their employers for more than four years, while just a quarter of hires from job boards stay at least two years. They’re also faster to hire. In fact, the average time to hire for referrals is 35-40 days, while it takes an average of 60 days to hire non-referred candidates. All told, referrals may be as much as five times more valuable than other hiring sources, according to another report.
Given these findings, it isn't surprising that 64 percent of companies today offer monetary bonuses as a means of incentivizing employee referrals — what's surprising is that the other 36 percent are not. If you're in the latter camp and grasping at straws to find the talent you need through job boards, now's the time to pivot.
optimize your channel strategy
The economy is rapidly changing, and with it the hiring ecosystem is, too. So while job boards like Monster remain critically important channels for connecting with interested candidates, there are other channels that you should be thinking about.
Social media is playing an increasingly significant role in driving applications for many companies today. What's more, that shift is being driven largely from the bottom up. According to one study, for example, a majority of job seekers believe that social media and professional networks are the most useful job search resources available to them — more useful, that is, than job boards.
As you transition your talent acquisition efforts to social channels, just be sure to focus your efforts on engaging with candidates, being authentic and building relationships. Those are the essential ingredients for success.
key takeaways and next steps
Talent acquisition isn't a black box: You know what's going in one end, and you certainly should have a good idea of what's coming out the other. So if inputs aren't tracking to desired outputs — and you're still struggling to attract candidates with the skills and experience you need — a more holistic approach is probably a good idea.
For comprehensive insights on how you can stay ahead in today's competitive job market, download our in-depth talent acquisition ebook. Or you can get in touch with one of our talent experts today to learn how we can help your company solve any talent-related challenges you face.