Not so long ago, businesses had the luxury to pick and choose among an abundance of qualified job candidates. Things have changed. Today, businesses of all sizes (and regardless of industry) are engaged in a highly competitive search for the best people to fill their open positions.
To complicate matters further, it turns out that hiring the wrong person can negatively impact team productivity, fail to generate innovative thinking and lower workplace morale.
As a result, the stakes involved in hiring and recruitment are greater than ever. CEOs and business leaders must do everything in their power to broaden the range and tactics needed to find the right people for their organization.
Here are seven of the best tried-and-true methods of hiring, as well as some more creative strategies:
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1. Craft a succinct and compelling job description.
A common mistake among organizations and recruiters is trying to do either too much or too little with the all-important job description. Keep in mind that job candidates scour hundreds of job postings every day. If these postings are undistinguished in any compelling way, they’ll most likely be ignored in favor of the next “shiny object.”
To stand apart from the rest:
- Thoroughly understand and articulate the required competencies of the open position.
- Ensure an accurate description of the necessary level of experience, i.e., don’t say “five years needed” if less actual job experience will suffice.
- Clearly detail day-to-day responsibilities.
- Keep the tone of the posting reasonable and professional. Avoid the use of all-caps and other “trendy” messaging techniques that can put off otherwise interested applicants.
The sweet spot for job descriptions is somewhere between a flat, generic job posting and one that seems to promise the moon.
2. Reduce complexity in the application process.
Some businesses are adept at luring candidates to apply, only to lose them during a needlessly complicated application process. Wherever possible, reduce and simplify the types of information needed to keep the process running smoothly.
Never forget that “people looking for work are likely filling out several applications for several different jobs,” notes Business.com. It can become extremely tiresome “filling out contact information and answering the same employment questions” over and over again. Wherever possible, capture only the information you need and don’t ask for it more than once.
3. Leverage the power of referrals.
If you’re not already doing so, it’s time to implement an employee referral program within your company.
There are many compelling reasons behind this approach, not the least of which is that no one knows your culture better—or has a keener grasp of the right job requirements—than the talented individuals who currently form part of your team. They understand what a good cultural fit looks like and may be more attuned to the risk of bringing the wrong people on board.
A key element of an effective referral program is the lure of a bonus for recommending the right job candidate. Under this program, when an employee-referred job seeker is hired, the referring employee receives a bonus for their efforts. Not only does this strategy feature a powerful incentive for referrals, it can be markedly less expensive than pursuing more traditional recruitment processes.
But don’t stop with your employees. When it comes to soliciting candidate referrals, look to both your personal and professional networks—friends, colleagues, third-party suppliers, LinkedIn connections, etc. You never know where the right referral will come from.
4. Look to social media.
Chances are, your company has a thriving social media presence (and if not, now’s the time to start!). Being active on social media isn’t just good marketing and brand-building strategy. It can be a significantly effective resource for getting the word out about open job positions.
Let’s assume your social media efforts thus far have paid off with a strong and enthusiastic base of followers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and/or all of the above. Posting news of a great new job opening will likely be met with enthusiasm, since your followers are already “fans” of the business. Craft a social media posting that gets people excited about letting others in their networks know that your company is hiring.
Also, referring back to employees, consider inviting them to post job recruitment news on their own social media platforms. This approach broadens and extends the reach of your recruitment messaging, with hopefully positive results.
5. Explore the power of video.
In many cases, video can be a more powerful recruitment tool than written content. As part of your social media efforts, TechFunnel.com recommends exploring “creative videos such as employee review videos, company culture introduction videos, company interior snapshot videos, candidate experience videos” and more. This strategy works because videos are “engaging, interacting and have an emotional value to them” that’s lacking with more conventional job recruitment content.
6. Check in with recent hires.
A good way to analyze how well your recruitment efforts are working is by simply asking your newest hires. Either through informal conversations or an anonymous online survey, dig deep into the reasons these individuals accepted your job offer as opposed to similar positions at other companies. Ask questions like these:
- What did we do right that “sealed the deal” for you?
- Was there any aspect of the recruitment process that put you off?
- What suggestions do you have for refining the process in the future?
This methodology can validate the strategies you’ve employed in hiring, but also warn you of any particular recruitment approach that appears to do more harm than good.
7. Hire freelancers and others on an interim basis.
Not every job candidate may welcome this idea, but most freelance and contract workers likely will—especially if a lucrative, full-time job offer hovers on the horizon.
Consider hiring “a candidate to work on a couple of projects with your team to get a better sense of their talent and skills,” advises Business News Daily. This is “also a way for [potential] employees to see if they enjoy working for your company” or if “they aren’t as interested in the work as they thought”—which saves them and you a prolonged period of wasted time and resources.
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