In April 2018, the United States added 164,000 jobs to the nation’s economy. With such an influx, it can be difficult to imagine how the nation’s largest employers – Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger – are able to hire at such a rate to have more than 3,284,900 personnel. Managing that many employees is surely no simple task, let alone the sheer mass of applicants that submitted resumes, attended interviews, and didn’t get hired.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor.com, CNN, TheUnderCoverRecruiter.com, and The Wall Street Journal compiled information that uncovered that for each job opening there were 118 applicants, with a mere twenty-percent landing an interview.
There is a clear limit to how quickly organizations can grow, and through growth, bring on new team members. If each job posted in bringing in more than one hundred applicants, the game has shifted from scarcity to abundance, which means that recruiting teams have to accelerate the rate at which they remove the clutter from the applicant pool.
Here are some ways we’ve found organizations like yours can benefit from simplifying the process of hiring. While your implementation of these strategies may vary by your company size, location, and industry, this will at least give you a glimpse of how your competitors may be taking center stage.
It starts with the job description
If you don’t have a clear job description, your applicants may fall into one of three pools that you’re sure to notice when it comes to initial screening: underqualified, overqualified, or irrelevant.
Being very detailed in the requirements, job duties and expectations of the position will eliminate unqualified candidates to sift through. Screening, assessing, and interviewing take the most time in the hiring process. A little work upfront will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Simplify your screening with phone interviews
Staffing agencies spend a lot of time screening candidates to ensure that they have the right skills, education and personality for the position their filling. When you’re hiring internally, screening can be a burdensome process. By simplifying your screening process and eliminating redundancies you’ll be able to hire faster.
Make sure you don’t eliminate vital steps or you could end up interviewing unqualified candidates. Utilize phone screening to ensure that the candidate is committed to working with you. Interviewing a qualified candidate that’s not serious about working with you is a huge waste of time.
Make the most of your time with video interviews
Scheduling video interviews allows you to be flexible with your time while getting to know your candidate virtually. Rather than gathering in a conference room everyone involved can participate in the interview from their desk.
For those situations where not everyone present needs to be involved in every aspect of the interview, it allows for them to continue working without being disrespectful to the candidate. If a candidate no-shows, you can just continue working without missing a beat. Video interviews also require a bit of preparation which will show you how serious the candidate is about wanting the job.
Be More Selective About Who You Interview
You might be thinking that this is somewhat counterintuitive to some of the previous points. If you’re asking yourself, “how can we be more selective while simplifying the screening process?” I’ll explain. If you’re very clear with your job title and description chances are you’ll eliminate a lot of unqualified candidates. But chances are you’ll still get quite a few.
In the screening process you can’t hesitate to tier your applicants or to throw out resumes. If someone isn’t the right fit on paper, they’re not going to be the right fit in person (or virtually).
You can keep lower priority candidates on file but only move forward if there is a clear ‘yes.’
Prioritize hiring and maintaining sanity
Many organizations ask their HR people to wear a lot of different hats. If your company needs to fill a position, empower your HR team by prioritizing the hire. Saddling employees with a new challenge while asking them to continue their current workload is a recipe for disaster. Either they’ll hire recklessly or complete their regular assignments recklessly. Either way, it’s just better to be very clear that hiring qualified candidates is the priority and you only want employees who fit your company culture. The future success of your organization depends on it, so don’t commit to an additional team member unless you’re sure they’re ready to commit to your organization.
Create a talent strategy that sticks
The first step in creating a talent plan/strategy is to clearly define your company culture. Your organization’s goals will be directly affected by the culture you build and your talent strategy will help you attract candidates that fit your company’s culture. Perks and benefits will also go a long way to attracting top talent so be sure to have a well rounded benefits package. More than just a page in the HR handbook, your talent strategy is something that has to be embodied in a lead by example way, from the top down.
Planning for succession has to be part of your talent strategy as well. A solid talent strategy involves attracting candidates when you’re not even hiring – you never know who may walk in the door. By networking, being connected in the industry, having great PR and marketing, and displaying a great company culture, you’ll attract talent even when you’re not hiring. Build that talent network now so you’ll have options later.
Outsource the hiring process to the professionals
The best way to accelerate your hiring process is to work with a staffing agency like Premier Talent Partners. We handle the sourcing, screening, and preliminary interview process so that you only ever talk to qualified candidates.
Depending on the size of your company, you may need to keep your current staff full steam ahead with minimal time spent on scouting and sourcing new talent. This can cause barriers to bringing on top candidates, especially if you’re hiring in a highly specialized field. By developing relationships with specialty-focused staffing companies with resumes and job seekers standing by, you can tap into the networks that already exist to keep your ship sailing smoothly without the headache.
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