Are you struggling to fill open roles? Are your tried-and-tested hiring strategies no longer getting you results? If so, take heart. It’s not you, it’s the job market.
Millions of people quit their jobs last year in the US alone. The pandemic impacted the job market globally, causing workers everywhere to rethink their priorities and what they want out of their careers.
In this post, we share four hiring strategies that can help you attract and hire great talent even in this tight labor market.
But first, let’s discuss what every hiring manager and recruiter wants to know:
Why is it so hard to hire right now?
If you’re struggling to fill open roles right now, there’s a good chance it has to do with the pandemic, especially if the jobs you are hiring for are in-person.
The coronavirus made in-person work less attractive. Most workers don’t want to risk getting sick because of their work.
Some of those who had the opportunity to work remotely realized that they want to continue working from home, at least some of the time, even if that means having to quit their jobs to find remote work.
Others have taken early retirement, or a break after burning out.
The vast majority are taking advantage of the surplus of available jobs to secure better work conditions, which is why some argue that “The Great Resignation” should be dubbed “The Great Renegotiation.”
“Ultimately this moment represents a unique opportunity for employees and employers to rewrite the social contract of work in a way that embraces what employees need to be their best selves and do their best work,” wrote Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn.
Below are the strategies for attracting talent in these unique times.
Hiring strategies for the pandemic
1. Make jobs better
Here’s something to consider: the problem may not be the hiring strategies you are using, but the jobs you are hiring for. There’s a chance that these jobs are no longer desirable in this job market.
Before advertising a position, make sure it checks all or most of the boxes below. They represent the current needs and concerns of job candidates, according to researchers and labor experts:
- Is the job you are hiring for safe for workers? (Is the company taking coronavirus precautions?) Workers don’t want to risk their health and that of their loved ones because of their jobs.
- Can the job be done remotely? Many workers don’t want to go back to working in person.
- Can it be done from anywhere? The number of digital nomads is increasing.
- Does it offer a good work-life balance? Millennials value their time away from work.
- Can workers make their own schedule? Most workers, especially women, want more flexibility for taking time off.
- If workers must be physically present on the job, are their schedules predictable? Blue-collar employees with predictable schedules are less likely to quit.
- Does the job offer a competitive salary and good benefits? Workers are negotiating for better pay and perks.
Opportunity for lateral moves
- Does the company offer workers the opportunity for lateral job moves? Many employees want a change of pace or activity, but don’t want more responsibility. Companies that offer workers the possibility to change jobs without getting promoted have a better retention rate.
- What’s the company culture like? A toxic culture is the number one reason why people leave their jobs.
- Does the company host events like end-of-the-year parties and retreats? Workers are more likely to stay in jobs where they can have fun and connect with their team members on a personal level.
2. Create reasonable job descriptions
“Companies have the tendency to add to job descriptions rather than subtract from them, meaning job requirements have ballooned beyond people’s ability to actually meet them,” journalists Rani Mola and Emily Stewart wrote in an article titled “Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired.”
To increase your chances of finding talent, reassess your hiring criteria. Check if some of the “must-have” skills included in the job description could be picked up on the job. Consider encouraging job seekers to apply even if they don’t meet all of the requirements.
3. Use alternative screening methods
Recruitment technology is fallible. Applicant tracking systems (ATS)—software programs that automate and simplify recruiting—can disqualify good candidates if their resumes don’t have the right format or keywords, or if they followed an unconventional career path.
4. Go beyond social media for sourcing candidates
Extend your search for candidates to platforms/communities where professionals go to share knowledge.
“Go on a platform connected to the industry you’re recruiting for, and then look for people who are using the platform to have smart, relevant conversations,” workplace expert Erica Dhawan recommends. “If you are impressed by someone’s questions, answers, or other posts, you may just have identified a potentially valuable employee.”
Examples of these niche communities include Stack Overflow (for programmers), Doximity (for physicians), Levo or The Muse (used mostly by millennial women).
Update your hiring strategies
As workers consider the many available job options, hiring managers and recruiters need to make jobs more enticing and update their hiring strategies to attract them.
Open positions, and the hiring strategies used to fill them, must address the needs of job candidates, including safe working conditions, flexibility, fair pay, and attractive benefits.
Use TextExpander to connect with talent
When you’re recruiting in a tight labor market, your communication with candidates matters. Use TextExpander to communciate faster and better. With TextExpander, you can create personalized messages to send to candidates in seconds.