3 Ways To Speed Up Your Hiring Process

The unemployment rate dropped considerably in 2015, driving up the competition for top talent. In a candidate’s market, employers must find ways to stand out as the best choice.

Are top candidates choosing your business?HM

One of the biggest barriers to landing top talent for many organizations is the hiring process. A longer, more drawn out hiring process with multiple layers of approval or more calls, meetings and stress for candidates makes it increasingly unlikely you’ll land the best talent.

Streamline your hiring process to attract top talent

For many organizations, the hiring process stalls or is challenging around several key areas. The good news is that many of these areas are easily fixable, so you can start improving your hiring process and recruiting top talent in no time:

  1. Focusing too much on hiring the “perfect” candidate. “I’ll know him/her when I see him/her” is not the best way to identify the right candidate for a position. In fact, you should clearly define your needs, wants and “musts” well in advance of posting your job opening. Without having a specific list of background, skills or experience requirements, you could end up so focused on hiring the “perfect” candidate that you pass on highly talented and qualified candidates who could make a real impact on your business. If multiple people are involved in your hiring decisions, bring them in early in the process to help you define a range of skills and background necessary to succeed in the given role. Then carefully articulate those requirements in your job descriptions and throughout the hiring process. You’ll get better quality candidates applying to the job, and you’ll be able to make much more efficient decisions during the hiring process.
  2. Lack of awareness over current market conditions. Depending on the industry, specialty, skill set or even town/city, the market for talent could vary considerably. For some specialties, the current market for talent compensation is extremely competitive. If you’re entering the process without the most up-to-date knowledge, your definition of the role and your specific desires in a candidate could be off track, causing unnecessary delays in your process.
  3. Eliminate unnecessary steps. The easiest way to streamline your hiring process is to document it – many organizations don’t have a formal hiring process. You might be surprised just how many steps are required to join your company (and how long it takes!). For an outside perspective, consider bringing in someone from a different department to look for opportunities to eliminate, reduce or streamline steps. Do you really need to collect references in the beginning, for all candidates? Or could you use them as a last step when deciding between a handful? Do five people really need to interview that candidate, or would two work? Could both interviews be scheduled on the same day to save time and prevent bringing a candidate in twice? These are just a few places where you can start cutting/streamlining – get creative, think objectively and see how you can make things run leaner and more smoothly.

Of course, one of the easiest ways to streamline your hiring process is to partner with a staffing firm (like Helpmates!). We’ll help you craft job descriptions that attract the right talent, and we’ll only present those candidates who are the right fit for the job. We can help eliminate unnecessary steps and identify ways for you to improve your internal processes. Plus, we have an extensive network of top talent across Southern California. Contact your nearest Helpmates office to take the first step.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How You Are Turning Off Candidates on Social Media

By now it’s not a matter of if you should be engaging candidates and recruiting talent on social media. And with good reason — employers who used social media to hire found a 49% improvement in candidate quality over recruiting through traditional channels. Instead, it’s a matter of how you can do it better. Competition for top talent is fierce, and social media is no longer a differentiator, but a necessity.

Today’s candidates are more discerning than ever.december blog 2

Although businesses are spending billions of dollars on social media, it is ultimately a very personal tool for many people. With the personal nature of social media — particularly as it relates to job searches and careers – adhering to best practices when engaging with candidates is important. Seventy-three percent of job seekers aged 18 to 34 found their last job through a social network – can you afford to turn off these candidates? Commit any of these social recruiting faux pas, and you risk alienating talent while building a negative reputation online:

  1. Lacking a plan. What are your specific goals for social media – to stay top of mind with candidates? To provide useful information for candidates to find jobs? To demonstrate thought leadership? These are just a few of the goals many businesses have when it comes to social recruiting, but yours may be different. And the steps you take to achieve those goals can vary widely. Do some research into social media best practices, be sure you understand the social sites where your company will be active, and map out a plan to help you achieve your goals. A little work ahead of time can go a long way toward building a strong social media reputation.
  2. Ignoring your profile. If you’ll pardon the comparison, your company social media profiles are essentially your online resume (how’s that for irony?). If your profiles aren’t up to snuff, just as your recruiters are likely to throw away an imperfect resume, candidates are likely to pass by your profiles. Engaging photos and complete descriptions (that sound “human” and are filled with more than corporate speak – remember, these are “social” profiles!) are the first tip off to candidates that your profiles are genuine, engaging and worthwhile. Once your profiles are set up, though, it’s up to you to keep them “social.” Guidelines can vary, but be sure to post to Facebook at least a few times per week, LinkedIn as well, and to Twitter a few times each day. Once you get a handle on these most popular networks, you might even want to consider looking at additional networks like Instagram or Snapchat. But be sure to post often: Content that is useful to your audience (eg. resume tips, interview advice, etcetera) or provides insights into your company (eg. holiday parties, birthday celebrations, employee recognition) help candidates feel “connected” to you before they ever speak to a recruiter or visit your office.
  3. Spamming candidates. Although your job openings may be great, exciting opportunities, the reality is that not every candidate is interested. Spam is universally abhorred, and when you spam candidates they don’t forget it (they also tell people…a lot of them). If you’ve sent LinkedIn InMail to a candidate and haven’t heard back, one or two follow ups within a few weeks is completely acceptable. Five messages over the course of a week (particularly with sales-y language) are not. And spam goes beyond frequency – if you’re sending sales letters to candidates on social media, you may as well be telling them not to apply to your jobs. It has been stated here several times but bears repeating – they call it “social” media, so be social! While it’s often impossible to craft custom messages for every candidate, be sure to do more than send mass emails to hundreds of candidates, all containing the same generic message. Block candidates into groups by criteria like age, experience level, alma mater, etcetera, then craft messages that offer personal elements to show that you’ve taken the time to reach out to them online. Candidates will absolutely remember you after you’ve reached out to them on social media – it’s up to you to make sure it’s not for the wrong reasons.
  4. Getting too personal. While social media can help you make stronger connections with candidates, be careful not to get too personal. Connecting on LinkedIn and (often) Twitter are acceptable and encouraged ways to stay in touch with candidates, but many candidates prefer to keep their Facebook profiles for friends and family. Avoid sending friend requests on Facebook, or any requests to connect on other social sites where you notice that posted content is strictly personal.

Here at Helpmates, our network of candidates across Southern California is engaged and ready to contribute to your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions.

Writing Job Descriptions That Deliver

In many instances, job descriptions serve as your unofficial introduction to top talent. Many candidates are viewing your job descriptions before visiting your website or reading your brochure.

Are your job descriptions doing THEIR job?

Today’s candidates are more discerning than ever. They want to work for companies that align with their culture and beliefs, that offer a strong culture and possibly flexibility. Are your job descriptions selling them on your job and your company?

For many organizations, job descriptions are little more than a checklist of requirements used to weed out unqualified candidates. Changing your view on job descriptions and putting a bit more time and effort into their creation could make a big impact on the number and quality of candidates applying to your jobs.

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Effective job descriptions: A checklist

This checklist can help – print it out and hang it by your computer to help you truly create job descriptions that deliver:

  1. Sound like a human being. Are you hiring robots or people? Then why do most job descriptions sound as if they were written by a machine? Today’s job seekers are much more discerning about companies and opportunities they apply to – your job descriptions should be elevated to meet those needs. And the first way to do that is to add some “human” to them. If you’ve been writing job descriptions the “old” way for years, this might be hard at first. Here’s a tip: Record yourself talking about the job and its requirements as if a candidate was siting right in front of you. Type it up, format and you are done. It really is that simple.
  2. Sell your company. We’re in a candidate-driven market, and the notion that candidates should be grateful for any opportunities is an outdated one. Today’s job seekers have more choices than ever, and they need a reason (other than your job) to choose your company over the competition. So take the opportunity and sell your company in the job description. Were you named a best place to work? Is your break room fridge always stocked with great snacks? Now’s the time to share it! Anything you can do to differentiate your business from the competition, while building your employer brand, is going to help your job description stand out for the right reasons.
  3. Quick and easy. Remember the last time you were applying to jobs? Applying to jobs is in and of itself a full-time job for many people! Crafting unique resumes and cover letters, searching for jobs, then reading descriptions and applying to jobs (often with a fairly long and tedious process within the applicant tracking system) is exhausting for candidates. If you can convey the first two bullet points in a clear and concise manner, you’re much more likely to be on candidates’ good sides. Focus on the most important facts and points, and leave the rest to your hiring process. The simplification will make it that much easier for candidates to get to the “good” stuff (and will look much better on a mobile phone, where more and more candidates are reading and applying to jobs).
  4. Include a call to action. Want candidates to apply now using your ATS? Prefer that they send a resume to your hiring manager? Tell them! Be specific in next steps to ensure that candidates can clearly take the correct next steps in your hiring process. As a bonus, candidates who don’t follow these directions may not be as detail oriented as candidates you would need for certain roles, so you can potentially weed out those who don’t follow directions here.

Job descriptions are one component of a successful recruiting strategy, but there is much more to attracting and hiring top talent. At Helpmates, we have an extensive network of top candidates across Southern California. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business maximize its talent investment.

Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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