While we’re all being urged to update our skills and competencies in order to navigate a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, have companies done enough to update their hiring processes in this climate?
Because of Covid-19’s far-reaching economic impact, many think that we’re in an employer’s market. However, high-performing individuals in growth sectors are still scarce and companies that want to truly thrive have to do their part to attract the best.
Even if your particular industry isn’t suffering from a talent shortage at the moment, being lax with your hiring processes is likely to work against you in the long term. Bad behaviour could easily tarnish your employer brand and leave you struggling to attract talent when the economy improves.
While many companies have jumped on the technology bandwagon, deploying high-tech software to rapidly identify qualified talent, many have neglected the importance of the high-touch approach.
To attract the right candidates while ensuring they have a positive experience whether or not they ultimately get the job, you need to rethink the following:
1. Job Ads
These should not only highlight required credentials and job responsibilities. They should also provide candidates with a sense of your company’s culture and highlight opportunities for professional development and growth within your organisation.
You should see job ads as marketing tools to get the attention of the best and most suitable professionals, hence reduce the time and effort required to screen and hire candidates.
Think about which aspects of working in your company would resonate with the people you’re trying to hire. Highlight these. For example, research has shown that millennials are interested in how their work will contribute to the organisation’s goals and mission. As such, in addition to credentials, responsibilities and experience required, you should describe how these connect with the company’s culture, values, vision and mission.
2. Road Blocks in the Application Process
Some aspects of your application process could be turning away qualified candidates.
Lay out a clear map of the application process including how long it might take to fill up application forms. Get rid of onerous forms. This goes beyond using the right software to capture data from uploaded resumes. It actually requires hiring managers to be more discerning about the types of information they ask candidates for. Only ask for information that is necessary to fairly assess if the candidate deserves an interview. The best application forms will ask candidates to highlight their latest experience, qualifications, skills and attributes that are directly relevant to the position he or she is applying for. There’s no need to insist on 20 years of work and educational history.
Ensure that the application process is aligned with the values your company espouses. For example, if your brand promises efficiency, but your application process is grossly inefficient, talented applicants are certainly going to be turned off.
3. The Interview Process
Even during these times, candidates should be able to move through your interview process efficiently. While some companies want to take their time and make candidates jump through more hoops than before, remember that even in what you deem an employer’s market, this could damage your employer brand. To keep your candidates engaged, we suggest limiting the process to four rounds: a quick phone screening, two panel interviews at the most, and a final interview.
During this process, remember that while the candidates sell themselves, the interviewers should also be selling the experience of working at the company. Again, think about which aspects of working in your company would resonate with the people you’re trying to hire and highlight these.
4. Don’t Lead People On
If you have taken a candidate off your list, tell them. Most avoid doing this out of guilt. But for the candidate, uncertainty, especially in a tough economy, is often worse than being told they’re no longer being considered. Applying for a job can be stressful. Letting them know when they’re out of the running could help them move on more quickly and focus on the next opportunity.