How Recruiters Can Help When Companies Aren’t Hiring
Join Kevin Grossman of Talent Board and #TheCandEs Adela Schoolderman from Expert Velocity on April 7th for a webinar to learn more – Register Here!
When Hiring Slows, Recruiters Don’t
We hope that you are all staying safe and healthy. Current events in world health and the stock market are unfolding hour by hour. There is uncertainty in what our businesses, supply chains, healthcare industry, education, and even entertainment will look like for the next few months. How long will this “new normal” last? We don’t know.
We do know that whenever the economy slows down, so does hiring. However, there is no reason for recruiters to fear. Ten years ago, I had a mantra: “I’m only as good as my last hire.” During the last recession, we were told to “look busy,” so we could keep our jobs. Crazy, isn’t it? Ten years later, we don’t need to look busy – we are busy! Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement, and some aspects of our job have been slow to change.
We’re not just talking about new recruiting technology (which is only the solution if its applied correctly). We’re talking about candidates telling us that they’re still not getting the experiences they expect from hiring teams. According to the CandE latest candidate experience benchmark research, candidate resentment has increased 40% in North America since 2016, 25% in EMEA and 10% in APAC.
We believe we all have some ideas about how to improve these metrics. Some of us may not feel empowered to act on them, but most of us simply don’t have time. It becomes a “to-do” list that we bury in OneNote or the back of our minds.
If your requisition load is slowing, it is time to dust off that list of “to-do’s.” With the right mindset, you’ll see that list is a tool of actions you can take now to set up yourself and your teams for future hiring success and happy candidates.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Employee engagement and company culture
Check in with your new hires from the past year. You were their first contact in the organization, but do you know how they are doing? Schedule virtual meetings, and boost their engagement by showing that you care about them.
Deepen internal relationships
We all have had the challenging hiring manager! Perhaps they’re asking for a purple unicorn candidate, or maybe they’re notorious for cancelling interviews at the last minute. This is a great time to deepen your relationship with them, educate them on what today’s candidate and recruiting landscape look like, and gain a better understanding of what they think is missing from candidates for their roles.
Ask if there are upcoming virtual team meetings that you can attend to get to know the people, technology, or your industry better. Become a more informed and empathetic business partner by understanding your organization and how it is pivoting.
“Silver medalist” candidates and runners up
Do not stop having conversations.
How well do we track our “silver medalist” and runner up candidates? Who is “the one that got away”? Even if they’ve moved on to another role, there is no reason why we shouldn’t network with these people. They still might be future candidates, refer others to us, and may even be customers of our company. Keep them warm and engaged with your brand.
Every company with which I interact, from our utilities provider to my beauty subscription, has reached out with a message about how they’re coping with COVID 19. This is not a time for recruiters to be silent. Reach out and let them know that, “Hey, due to current events, things are going to be slow for a while and we are likely not going to have a decision for a few weeks. You’re still top of mind and we will reach out as soon as we are able.”
Don’t forget: they’re still your customers.
Don’t leave anyone hanging
This is a good time to send gracious but firm rejection messages to the candidates who are not a good fit for your company. Sometimes we hold on to the maybe’s because we’re not ready to say no, but closure is needed so they can direct their energy into opportunities that are a better fit for them.
Technology best practices
Perhaps you have newly implemented technology that not everyone is embracing, or your team hasn’t quite made the most of its capability. Use the Help and Community sections, prerecorded trainings, and your Customer Success contact to get questions answered, learn how to run that report, and make better use of your technology investment.
Personalize your video interview platform. This is a great time to build your digital brand within the platform and maybe even record yourself asking some virtual interview questions to connect with current and prospective candidates.
Communication that surpasses the competition
Audit your communications, starting with your job descriptions – the recruiting content that arguably gets overlooked the most. Are your descriptions consistent and free of formatting errors? Are they written in an engaging, candidate-centric tone that helps people picture themselves in the role?
Check the tone of your email templates. Your emails should be a warm welcome into your candidate journey, not just a flat acknowledgment of the application. Use this email to invite the candidates to continue engaging with your brand and learning about the organization.
Do you have the right communication in the right places? How about automating emails when candidates move to new stages, such as a thank-you email that’s generated once you move them from “interview” into a “waiting for interview feedback” stage?
Have your candidates been less than excited about recorded video interviews or virtual assessments? Try explaining the “why” to them: Why you use video interviews, why it benefits them as well as your company (it’s faster, on-demand, can engage on their time, etc.).
There is no time like the present to build pipelines of talent within our ATS, and from LinkedIn, Indeed, and other sources. Even if we’re not going to message them right away, it’s a good habit to save profiles that look like they could be a great fit.
Do some coaching
Candidates, both internal and external, are always asking for feedback. Sometimes, we’re not confident in providing it. Sometimes we’re just the messenger. Many times, there is no feedback – they’re great candidates, but we found someone who is truly a better fit for our current needs. We can’t always tell them what they want to hear, but we can help them to prep for the next opportunity by taking extra time to constructively critique their resume and coach them on certain interview questions.
Usually, this type of advice is invaluable and can be applied to any search, not just within your organization. You’ll improve your candidates’ experience and make a fan for life.
Take a class
There is no time like the present to recommit to an educational goal, whether it’s a quick online class or a new certification.
Focusing on best practices and candidate experience are steps you can take today to positively impact the bottom line of your organization, even in times of slower hiring, because you’re strengthening your employment brand. This will be an important competitive edge in the war for talent now and in the future.
Talent Acquisition Manager, Expert Velocity
CandE Consultant, Talent Board