Written by Alex Roland, Marketing Intern
Finding qualified candidates to do the job we need has never been the easiest process. With the way the world is evolving, every company is competing against each other for the same talent no matter the geographic region, industry, or size. This has been a challenge that employers have faced when hiring for a little while now. But when you add a strong economy with low unemployment, you have a challenge that many HR professionals are left scratching their heads over.
It has been a while since companies have had to deal with an unemployment rate as low as it is now. Meanwhile, many new large companies have emerged who probably didn’t even think about this as a possible issue. The key here is to do the right things to stand out among the competition. To do that, let’s look at some of the biggest talent acquisition hurdles that companies are facing with this low unemployment rate, and what can be done to overcome them.
1. You’re competing for more than just market share.
No longer are potential candidates competing for the jobs you offer. On the flip side, recruitment professionals are competing for applicants, more than ever. This kind of competition is not the same as simply competing for market share in the same industry. You are competing against nearly every possible industry all over the globe.
So, what can you do? One way to stand out is to increase your social media and digital presence. With the increasing number of millennials and Gen Z individuals entering the workforce, it is important to have a positive online image. If someone can’t find anything out about your company, they may not even apply. Make sure you have a clean website that clearly states what you do, who you are, and what you value.
Candidates don’t want a simple job description anymore, they want details about the culture and work environment. You can integrate this into your website by using themes that go along with whatever sort of environment or culture you feel your company exudes.
Another way to compete for candidates is to listen to what the candidates want. While obviously you can’t triple their salary, you can listen to what is important to them and consider giving it to them. If a qualified candidate comes through your doors and values a work life balance, it is probably worth it to give them a day or two where they can work from home. Coming up with these policies early on is also a good idea as more and more candidates value things like work life balance, gym memberships, paternity leave, and many other benefits. It will go a long way in a candidate’s eyes if they see that these are already policies that you have in place, giving you a leg up over those who are slow to adapt to this change.
2. Poor Job Descriptions.
Writing good job descriptions has always been an issue for talent acquisition. Long job descriptions that lack detail and struggle to get the point across are still way too common. If someone can’t understand the job description, the qualifications, or what exactly your company does, then they will just stop halfway through and move on in their search. Another issue is that these job descriptions are just plain dull. Nobody wants to work for a company that has a job description that reads like an IKEA instruction manual. This is even worse when talent is short, as candidates have to sort through hundreds of job descriptions and advertisements during their job search. Being concise while creative at the same time is the way to attract top talent to your company. But other than going back to college and majoring in creative writing, how are you supposed to make that happen?
One great way to fix the challenge of boring and hard to follow job descriptions is to ditch text job descriptions all together. If you really want to show creativity and also get the point across, consider using video job postings instead. When using video instead of text it is shown that candidates retain the information from the job description 300% more. Not only will video demonstrate that your company is modern and adaptive to change, but it will allow you to really show off the culture of your company and your environment. Candidates won’t have to imagine what it would be like to work for you, they can actually see it when they apply. Video also helps reduce your cost per hire by up to 56% which can really go a long way when in a talent shortage.
3. You’re not the only offer.
As you compete for candidates you must know that if you find the one you want, then it is likely that someone else found them too. Many candidates today are fielding more than one job offer at a time and you cannot risk letting them go somewhere else if you think they are the one. As discussed earlier, listening to what the candidate wants is something that can go a long way. But because candidates may have multiple offers, you must go beyond simply giving them what they want.
When candidates come in you should always be prepared. You want the environment that they walk into to meet their expectations and hopefully they will be impressed. This must carry on from when they walk in throughout the entire interview, and until they have left the building. Offer them something when they arrive, make sure the interview itself is a pleasant experience, and make sure they ask questions. You want them to feel a connection with you and your company, because if they don’t, then there is a greater chance they may go somewhere else.
4. Analytics are confusing.
Analytics and data are playing a bigger role in almost every aspect of business including hiring. It is hard for some companies to keep track of where they are putting out ads, how often, if those ads convert people to applicants, and how much they cost. Not keeping track of these analytics can be a huge mistake for companies. When the pool of candidates is nearly dry however, it can be an even bigger mistake. When there is an abundance of talent available this might not matter much, but when there is little out there, you need to know exactly where, when, and how much to be spending to attract candidates or else you will struggle to fill the position.
To make dealing with analytics easier it would be advisable to hire people with experience in these areas or use recruiting tools that make analytic tracking easy. Video job ads, as discussed earlier, are a great way to monitor analytics. These videos can be tracked from the source in which they are posted all the way to if someone applies or not.
This can be valuable information, as knowing exactly where your candidates are coming from and how they are finding your job openings online can help save time and money when recruiting. It will enable your organization to create a better digital recruitment strategy. You’ll know exactly where to advertise, post and share when recruiting in this talent shortage!
5. Don’t ignore the labor force participation rate.
While the unemployment rate is low, and it is obviously difficult to gain skilled talent, there is one key area where recruiters should be paying attention, and that is the labor force participation rate. When unemployment is low, the labor force participation rate is also low. This means that there is a large number of people out there without jobs but are not actively looking for a job either. This rate is low due to a few factors, such as people going back to school, more stay at home parents, or taking time to travel and enjoy life. However, not all of these people are staying out of the workforce forever. This means that you could be tapping into unsought after candidates.
If the right job came along, many of these people would go back to work. Many are passive job seekers, meaning that they are not actively searching but can be swayed if the right job came along. As a company, you can target these people when you have good quality jobs available that you know, if not for the low unemployment rate, many would apply for. Making sure that you offer the right benefits, pay, and environment can really go a long way in pulling someone out and into working for your company. Just because these people may not be actively looking, it doesn’t mean that they would not take a job if the right one came along. Do not ignore that fact like so many do, and you could reach a whole new group of potential candidates.