5 “High-Tech” Hiring Practices to Improve Your Talent Pool
1. Post a job opening on an online job board
Even if you don’t have a fancy applicant tracking system internally, almost all employers, 89% according to the 2013 ERC Hiring Practices Survey are putting their job postings up on some sort of external job board website. Most of these job boards are easy to navigate and should be a matter of simply inputting the information about the job opening and maybe a few pieces of information about your organization.
If the site allows applicants to fill out an online application or submit a resume through their site and funnel that onto you, make sure you review the process from an applicant’s standpoint as well. You don’t want to frustrate potential candidates with a process that your organization didn’t even create before they even get their resume into your email box!
2. Leverage LinkedIn for active & passive talent
The research continues to show that both active and passive talent is making use of LinkedIn at some level. Even if they are just on the lookout for an attractive new opportunity down the line, LinkedIn can be a great resource for finding the best and the brightest to fill your job openings. If you want all the bells and whistles, there is even an upgraded subscription specifically for recruitment that will help you match and track potential candidates. If you prefer something a bit more straightforward, simply posting an opening to your company’s LinkedIn page and asking certain employees to share it with their networks can be a very effective (and free) way to expand your pool of candidates.
Don’t forget, if you are going to put a job posting out on LinkedIn, your organization’s LinkedIn page should be well maintained in order to attract the best talent. Before trying to bring potential applicants to your page, take a look at the information included about your organization and how it is presented. Whether you are the administrator or maintaining the LinkedIn page falls within the job description of someone else in HR or Marketing, a little spring cleaning can go a long way.
3. Go mobile!
Although the numbers of employers with mobile recruiting strategies in place aren’t huge, the appeal to the applicants is. According to ERC’s research, some of the mobile recruiting strategies either in place or at least being considered by various Northeast Ohio employers as of June 2013 included, a mobile optimized website, allowing job candidates to their track application status via mobile devices, communicating with job candidates via SMS text messaging, and allowing job candidates to upload/edit resumes via mobile devices.
Particularly if you are looking to recruit young, tech-savvy new employees, getting your organization to go more mobile-friendly can really set you apart from other employers. However, if you do chose to go down this route, the technological investment and know-how will likely be fairly demanding. The complexity of the technology required to allow applicants to work from their mobile devices will likely mean hiring an outside contractor to ensure that all of the functionality is really there and looks good. The best intentions of looking high-tech can go terribly wrong and reflect poorly on your organization if it turns out your application process isn’t quite as “friendly” to mobile devices as you had hoped.
4. Keep applicants in the loop
No one likes the feeling of being ignored and this can be especially true among job applicants who might be on a tight schedule for finding a new position. In today’s world of instant communication at all hours of the day, at least acknowledging that an application has been received is a great way to let candidates know that you have their documents in hand. Even if you aren’t ready to move ahead right away, a quick email keeps the candidates happy and keeps your email inbox from getting bombarded with inquiries about, “When should I expect to hear back?”
The same goes for when a decision is made. Leaving a talented applicant hanging for weeks or even months not only puts them in an awkward position if they are pursuing more than one opportunity, but can also reflect poorly on your organization. Regardless of whether or not you decide to hire them for a particular job opening, the added courtesy of letting them know a position has been filled keeps them feeling at least somewhat positive about your organization and hopefully keep the lines of communication open should something else come up in the future where they are a better fit.
5. Online pre-employment assessments
Hiring for a highly technical position and want to make sure your top candidates are up on the latest and greatest in the industry? Send them a link to job knowledge specific test to find out who knows what. Assessments are also available to test for general ability or aptitude to be an effective and efficient employee. There are plenty of vendors that offer a full suite of technical as well as more soft-skills types of assessments that applicants can take from the comfort of their own home and help you make the most qualified hire.
Personality or style tests are slightly less commonly administered, but can be a great measure of determining how candidates will fit within that increasingly important buzz-word, “organizational culture”. Even if a candidate has all of the technical know-how that you are looking for, but is a poor cultural fit, they may not turn out to be the best long-term hire.
If you are set on offering them the position based on their exceptional skill set, using these other assessments can still be helpful to get the employee off to a great start at your organization. For example, they can be used to gain a better understanding what kind of work style a new employee is coming in with, which can be helpful for a manager have in mind as they develop a healthy working relationship with their new report.
For more information about the Hiring Trends & Practices here in Northeast Ohio, check out the ERC Hiring Trends & Practices Survey Report.