Strategies for Hiring the Best Talent NOW

The job market is unlike anything our nation has seen in decades. In 2019, unemployment rates hit a 49-year low. To top it off, companies added 18 percent more jobs than in 2018 and the turnover rate is at the highest level since 2001 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).  

The reality of this new environment has left companies reeling for talent. Many firms have shifted quickly and changed their paradigms on how they recruit, but most are baffled and a bit dumbfounded – left scratching their heads on how to attract the best talent, let alone retain them once on board. 

It doesn’t help that every day 11,000 “Baby Boomers” retire (4,000,000 per year) and the US birth rate continues to decline (3.78M born in 2018) – its lowest rate since 1986. Finally, to add to this perfect storm is the fact that entry into the US via work related visas have been limited in the past few years due to new legislation. 

This job environment is ripe with frustration when it comes to the part of the employer. The very best candidates will likely receive multiple offers.  These candidates demand higher salaries, outside existing ranges, and often far above industry averages. If firms aren’t willing to pay top-dollar, they will lose the best candidates to their competition or anyone willing to pay up.

As a result, decisiveness and fast acting strategies become a requirement in this environment. Acting slowly only becomes a barrier to hiring the best talent. However, recruiting faster doesn’t mean abandoning one’s hiring standards. It doesn’t mean hiring quickly and irrationally, but it may require speeding up the process in a strategic way. 

Realistically, companies should take no more than a month or 5 weeks to identify and interview their prospective hires. By hiring faster, companies report high quality hires, a better candidate experience, better response rates and ultimately better acceptance rates. 

How to Implement a Faster Recruiting Process                   
Here are some tips to consider when adopting a faster hiring process.
Write better job postings and descriptions                 
Write clear job descriptions using simple language. A well written job posting helps to eliminate the noise that my come from the wrong candidates applying. In addition, job descriptions should include the must-have skills only. When job descriptions are filled with never ending lists of must-haves, candidates are frequently turned off because they don’t think they’ll meet every single requirement. As a result, they may not apply at all. If you want to list skills that you’d like, but that are not entirely necessary to fulfill the job, you could provide a separate list called “nice to have” or “wish list.”      

Send Timely Rejection Emails                                                   
If you know the candidate isn’t the right fit, send him/her a rejection email right away. Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to this step, and the candidate will ultimately appreciate your correspondence, allowing them to move on in their process. It nicely closes the candidate experience and doesn’t leave a bad taste in their mouth. 
Make the Application Process Simple and Easy                                                             
Keep the application process simple and easy. Long processes are a turn off and can make the candidate drop off during the process. Instead, provide the candidate with a brief synopsis of the process and what they’ll need to submit before they begin. 

Over Communicate                                                           
Despite best efforts, the recruiting process can be slow at times especially if a company is hiring a more senior position.  If this is the case, it can become much more difficult to keep candidates engaged.

The most important thing to do, in this case, is keep communicating. It’s tempting to wait until a green light is received, but by then, the candidate may have moved on or is feeling deflated because they’ve not heard from your company. Keeping candidates informed on developments will keep them engaged and excited about the open position. At this juncture, it is critical that the company work with the recruiter to provide updated information on the status of the position. The recruiter will work to keep the candidate warm, but will need additional information to nurture them along.  

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