There’s no denying that the global coronavirus pandemic has changed recruiting, probably permanently. From front-line workers to logistics, to strategic planning, and particularly hiring. With the forced changes to interpersonal interactions, old job market assumptions and business as usual no longer apply.
Employers can no longer rely on the same avenues to fill their workforces. On-campus recruiting, job fairs, and open houses have gone virtual. In-person interviews have been replaced by video interviews. Job postings have changed from recaps of job descriptions to more targeted communications to engage a wider candidate pool to be competitive.
For 2022 and future recruiting, employers must adapt to the new hiring environment driven by the pandemic.
Evolve Your Employer Brand
Your organization’s story, your employer brand, has taken on new importance because of all the business and economic changes driven by the pandemic. Industry leaders know that competitive benefits, promoting employee stories, and transparency about workplace experience are vital to the employer brand.
Employers like ADP who need specific technology candidates are targeting their employer value proposition to a narrow candidate audience who have the skills and experience in the tech areas that are essential to their businesses.
Banking and payment services organization Discover focuses on retention by paying attention to time in role and investing in employees’ potential and uniqueness. Cloud services and network security company Cisco Meraki promote employee content and brand champs to advertise authentic employee experiences. Online pet supplies retailer Chewy builds their employer brand with the “wow” factor by promoting employee empowerment and supporting employee development in their unique culture.
A common thread in evolving employer brand is social media to engage and impress candidates and employees, telling their individual and work stories, and giving them a voice and opportunity to shine. A successful employer brand is essential for recruiting and hiring now and going forward.
Tweak Your Recruiting Automation
Harvard Business Review reports that traditional applicant tracking systems (ATS) use proxies for basic attributes and failure to meet criteria that exclude candidates in the recruiting process. This drops qualified candidates that employers need with an automated process that is now outdated and working against a successful hiring program.
Employers can avoid losing candidates like this by tweaking their hiring process and ATS. Rather than exclude candidates with work history gaps or college degrees, using affirmative filters derived from revised job descriptions captures a wider, more diverse candidate pool.
Employers need to analyze their jobs and revise job descriptions away from outdated credentials requirements and instead focus on essential skills. Setting skills-based filters rather than elimination factors opens the recruiting process to the candidates with the skills employers need, rather than focusing on narrow parameters of an ideal employee.
A new outlook on hiring automation and candidate attributes is necessary for hiring success. Employers need this new framework to hire the skills and competencies they require and expand their talent pool.
Continuously Improve Candidate Experience
In a pandemic economy with a prevalence of social media and employer review sites, candidate experience is just as important as an employer brand. Negative candidate experience can hurt your employer brand, so providing an engaging candidate experience is important. Forbes Council member Jay Miller advises employers that candidate experience is intrinsically tied to employer brand, and suggests ways employers can improve candidate experience.
Communicate frequently throughout the hiring process, from initial contact through the end hire or an explanation of why you aren’t advancing the candidate. “Ghosting” or dropping contact with candidates can create hard feelings and negative reviews that will affect other candidates.
Preview the job and company culture for candidates. Provide as much information as possible about the company history, culture, workplace environment, job responsibilities, teamwork expectations, and values. Make sure candidates can access employee and customer testimonials, videos of common areas, and messages from company leaders to get an in-depth feel for what working there is all about.
Create and use assessments of candidates’ performance. Assessments allow employers to provide personalized feedback and create an increased positive candidate experience.
Continuous engagement with candidates creates a unique bond and gives candidates a deep understanding of what it’s like to work for your company. Miller recommends engaging with candidates shouldn’t stop at hiring, but continue throughout the offer and start date to provide support and answers to questions.
Sharlyn Lauby, writing for the Society for Human Resource Management, says there are always reasons to improve candidate experience, and employers should regularly audit their candidate experience strategy to make sure it’s successful. She reminds employers that the hiring process is a mutual process, with candidates reviewing the company as much as they are being evaluated for the job.
In order to avoid eliminating qualified candidates, losing candidates in the hiring process, or creating a bad impression of their companies, employers need to plan for hiring success in 2022. An overarching view of recruiting and hiring must include employer brand, ATS and hiring automation, and candidate experience improvements.
Industry leaders know this and are working on these areas and more to ensure a stable workforce. There are viable solutions to the hindrances caused by the pandemic, hiring automation, and candidate shortages – employers should plan for them for 2022.
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