In the wake of the Great Resignation and growing self-employment, many businesses face difficulty hiring today. Improving retention and streamlining workflows to make the most of your current workforce are important mitigation measures, but you have to address recruitment, too.
Optimized recruitment is about more than just finding available workers. It costs $4,700 on average to hire a new employee and takes up to eight months for them to become fully productive, so you must ensure you see a return on this investment. You must attract top talent, not just any available body, which can be challenging.
Here are five strategies that make it easier.
1. Capitalize on AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly the most important technology for hiring in 2023. Generative AI, in particular, has many use cases across recruitment and onboarding that help you fill positions faster and more effectively.
Generative AI tools can draft job descriptions to solidify or improve your company image, suggest changes in correspondence to appeal more to applicants and automatically reply to candidates. This automation saves time and makes your copy more engaging, increasing your likelihood of attracting talent.
Some AI tools can also parse applicant resumes to highlight the most promising applicants or find and contact ideal candidates who haven’t applied yet. More than 86% of recruiters using AI for these applications say it’s shortened hiring times. However, careless AI use can amplify bias, so human professionals should always have the final say. Diversity board oversight in AI development may also be necessary.
2. Implement a Referral Program
Employee referrals are another effective hiring strategy. These programs may not be new, but they often go overlooked or underutilized.
Referrals are an excellent way to find professionals who may not be actively job-seeking but are a good fit for your company. These programs also instill more trust in applicants than traditional processes because your employees offer firsthand insight into the workplace. Factors like these are why studies show referred candidates stay at the job longer and perform better.
Incentivize referrals by offering cash bonuses or other enticing rewards if a referred candidate stays with the company for at least a few months. It’s also important to ask these applicants about their relationship with the employee who pointed them out. That may not seem pertinent initially, but closer relationships between referrers and referees often coincide with better performance.
3. Expand Your Search
You may also want to expand your recruitment efforts beyond the traditional scope. Recent studies show that 75% of companies today cite recruiting qualified talent as a significant challenge, so you’re not alone in reaching out to candidates. Competition between potential employers is fierce, so you should look for talent outside of what your competitors may.
New cloud collaboration platforms have made remote work viable for a wider range of jobs and industries. Consider capitalizing on this opportunity by looking for hybrid or remote employees, letting you extend your search beyond local applicants. Depending on the nature of the role, you can look internationally, offering a far broader talent pool.
Another way to expand your search is to reconsider your required qualifications. Lowering your expected experience level while focusing on relevant soft skills will widen your applicant pool. This strategy requires more emphasis on on-the-job training and upskilling, but these programs boost retention, so they’re worth investing in regardless.
4. Streamline Recruitment and Onboarding
Another oft-overlooked recruitment strategy is to streamline the hiring process. HR professionals may want to make hiring more efficient to reduce costs and minimize administrative burdens, but it’s also important for the applicant experience.
Candidate resentment – when job applicants have a negative experience in this hiring process – decreases the likelihood that an applicant will accept a position. Recent studies also show that the most common reason for this feeling is recruiting processes that take too long. Consequently, you can expect higher acceptance rates if you make the process shorter and easier.
Using AI to automate routine administrative tasks in recruitment and onboarding can make a considerable difference here. It’s also important to communicate with applicants often to keep them engaged and prevent them from thinking you’ve wasted their time.
5. Rethink Your Employee Experience
Recruitment professionals in 2023 should consider how their employee experience impacts hiring. That starts with ensuring you offer a desirable compensation package. Money isn’t the only deciding factor in offer acceptance, but it does make a difference.
Review changing costs of living and standard industry rates to ensure you offer a competitive salary. Similarly, consider how you can provide other financial incentives like paid time off, generous insurance policies and career advancement opportunities.
Remember that the employee experience goes beyond financial matters, too. Your company must express care for its employees. It can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits in remote work, so offer support by providing relevant resources and connecting them with co-workers. Encourage open communication in the workplace and be flexible to people’s needs so they feel welcome and appreciated.
Labor shortages will likely persist for some time. In light of this trend, recruitment strategies must evolve to meet the changing needs of the next generation of workers.
These five strategies are among the most helpful for hiring managers across industries this year and beyond. Implementing one or several methods will boost your recruitment program’s efficacy, ensuring you find more qualified candidates in less time.