Blog Post

Finding the Rock Stars in Today's Employee Market

Stephanie Cambell

Why Hiring Rock Stars Matters

It doesn't matter what your business does, what it sells, or where it's located...the success of every business starts with your people.

The best idea or strategy in the world will not achieve its potential to be wildly successful without the right people to execute on your vision and bring it to life.

"Right" means looking at capability & skills, potential, the capacity to learn, the cultural fit, the whole package. It's a critical step to be accomplished before people come in your door, and before you make huge investments in money, time and resources.

"Hiring people is by far the most important thing companies do. When organizations hire the 'wrong' people, no amount of HR or management can fix the problem." Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte

What's Driving the Need for Change?

Let's take a look right at the beginning of the employee journey: the talent acquisition stage. The landscape has changed dramatically:

Candidates call the shots: Unemployment is at a record low, which means most qualified candidates are already employed. It's a great position from which to pick & choose their next job. It's a candidate's market and the pool of available, skilled talent is in short supply.

Social media levels the playing field: Social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. are great places to find candidates. The problem is that not only you can find them, but so can everyone else. Speed has never been as important.

Looming talent crunch: By 2030 estimates show that the worldwide talent shortage will reach about 85 million people with needed skills.

A signed offer doesn't mean what it used to: Candidates today are always shopping. So even after a candidate is signed, there's a chance that a better offer will come along before they start or in the first 90 days, which means you need to start all over again.

Before people come through your door, think about this:

60% abandon complex online applications.

72% share bad experiences via social media and personal networks.

85% won't consider your company again after a bad experience.

Putting a New Approach Into Action

These trends are driving the need to shift your mindset to creating engaging experiences. It only takes a moment to disengage someone. Every touchpoint between your company and the candidate is critical to get right.

That's where a shift needs to happen. A shift in mindset and focus, so you can get down to the business of creating strong people experiences, starting right from the very first time they look at your organization. You need to provide an early engaging experience in the talent acquisition stage that creates that first tingly feeling in the candidate, the little voice that says: "Ooohh, I want to work here."

The old scope of recruiting focused mostly on administrative efficiency, the old "post and pray" strategy - post a job ad on a few job sites and sit back and hope that the rock stars will come to you. However, the demands of today's rapidly changing workforce mean that businesses cannot afford to NOT change their approach.

The foundational pieces are still very much required: the candidate needs to apply, the recruiter needs to qualify them, the hiring manager needs to conduct an interview, and hopefully all of that effort results in a hire.

But if you're going to not only successfully compete, but ensure that your new employees come into the organization engaged and ready to bring their best, you need to introduce several other strategies into your approach:

Keep it Real

In a world of almost constant communication, a conversation that is authentic, two-way and personal stands out. That means putting the conversation back in recruiting.

Communicate with candidates through the channels they are most familiar with: text, video, social media, chat, etc.

Keep the tone casual, and make sure you don't sound like you're reading from a script.

Encourage open feedback and don't forget, speed is important - if you're not talking to your candidate, someone else likely is!

Look at Your Website with a Critical Eye

You know what they say about first impressions, and that is definitely true when potential candidates are on the lookout for their next role.

Put yourself in the applicant's shoes - how long does it take to apply? More or less than 2 minutes? How many steps? And can you do it from your mobile device?

Make sure your employee value proposition (EVP) is front and center, so it's obvious to candidates why they should choose your organization over another. Showcase your culture and core values, which will help you attract candidates that will be more likely to stay and grow with your company.

Current employees are the biggest and best megaphone - ask your current employees to share what they love most about your company and post them on your career site and on social media.

Put serious effort into your brand on social media - many applicants look at a company's social media page before they apply. Competition for top talent is fierce, so make sure your brand reflects all the truly great things about working for your organization.

Keep Candidates Warm

There's nothing worse than jumping into a freezing cold pool! Ok, maybe that's just me, but it's all about the warmth when it comes to building a talent pool.

You may not have a role for that talented candidate right now but have identified that they are someone who'd be a great asset for your company down the road. Take the time and continue to engage with them through their preferred social media channel. A quick personal message goes a long way towards building a solid relationship with both active and passive candidates.

Candidates that are referred by current employees have higher job satisfaction and performance and lower turnover than employees recruited via other sources, so provide an incentive by offering a rewarding referral program.

Now that you have a warm talent pool, take it to the next level and divide it up by role. A segmented approach means that you have candidate names at your fingertips, reducing the time it takes to identify those likely to be most qualified for the role.

Streamline the Journey

Everyone loves a hassle-free experience, and in today's job market the candidate's expectations are higher than ever.

Develop a game plan to address potential bottlenecks. Make sure everyone on the hiring team is on board with the plan, and in ongoing communication about the current status and next steps. For example, have a plan B if a hiring manager is traveling for business or on vacation, so their absence doesn't slow down the process.

Ensure your experience is mobile-friendly. Business today is done anytime, anywhere. That includes recruiting, so ensure that your candidates can apply via their mobile device.

Create email templates in line with your company brand and culture, so you can send them to active candidates to keep them engaging throughout the recruiting process.

Focus on the Person, not the Process

It's no longer about carrying out traditional recruitment processes and hoping for the best. It is about shifting your focus to the person and understanding what they need to have an engaging experience. The success of every business starts with your people - so build a recruitment strategy that integrates engagement touchpoints into every interaction, so you'll have talent rock stars knocking at your door.

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