(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at iCIMS, a leading provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent acquisition software solutions. They recently extended their very successful Lunch & Learn Series with 12 additional cities around the U.S. Be sure to check out the tour and find a city near you to stay current with latest trends in recruitment. Enjoy the post!)
Terms like “war for talent” and “skills gap” are becoming a regular part of our vocabulary. And it’s no surprise, recruiting is getting tougher. Even if you’re still getting lots of applications, finding qualified candidates is a challenge.
At some point (if you’re not already there), the frustration will prompt organizations to ask themselves – Why aren’t we attracting the best talent? What is our competition doing that we’re not doing? In talking with job seekers, here are some of the reasons they don’t apply at a company. Think of this as a mini-assessment. Ask yourself if any of these situations apply to your company and what you can do to remedy the situation.
1) Problem: The company reputation isn’t stellar. Let’s start with the elephant in the room. People want to apply at companies who have a reputation as a good employer. Candidates see those “Best Places to Work” lists just like everyone else. They are reading reviews and talking with colleagues.
Solution: This is certainly easier said than done but organizations should take an inventory of what they do well and, honestly, what’s challenging about working for them. For example, I’ve always worked in industries known for long hours (i.e. hospitality). Those companies focused on employees’ passion for making a family’s vacation memorable. They promoted the fun, warm, family work environment. The company made no excuses for their “work hard, play hard” culture. Companies should play up their strengths and be prepared to address their challenges in the recruiting process.
2) Problem: You aren’t where the candidates are. Companies know their ideal candidate and they need to focus their recruiting efforts in that direction. If the vast majority of your employees have a smartphone, chances are your next employee is tapped into mobile and social.
Solution: Frankly, I’m still a little amazed at the number of companies that haven’t even tried social and mobile for recruiting. Recruiting technology solutions are offering mobile and social integrations. Companies don’t have to try everything at the same time – that would be overwhelming and probably not yield the results you’re looking for. But it is time to experiment. Pick one platform you’re not recruiting on and give it a test drive. Evaluate the results.
3) Problem: Your career website isn’t complete or current. Candidates visit your company website before they apply. They want to do some pre-application shopping. If the company website has “under construction” pages or out-of-date information, it sends a message that the company doesn’t have their act together.
Solution: Your company website is a reflection of your company. Updating a company website used to be a big deal and a laborious task. Not anymore. This applies to career sites as well. Human resources departments should regularly review the information they’re sharing to make sure it’s up-to-date. Set up a recurring calendar appointment. And every once in a while, consider giving your career site a facelift. If your website was designed in the 70’s and hasn’t been updated since, what do you think the site says about the company? Either you’re not profitable enough to update the site or you’re stuck in the past (or both).
4) Problem: Recruiters don’t engage with candidates. We constantly tell candidates that they’re interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing them. This means recruiting is a two-way conversation. Not responding to candidates has become gripe number one.
Solution: Turn on those auto-responders! Candidates aren’t always looking for personalized messages; they want acknowledgements. Recruiting technology solutions offer templates to create the messages. With just a small amount of customization, you’re set. This will go a long, long way when it comes to company reputation (see #1).
5) Problem: Job postings are confusing. The company knows their jobs better than anyone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always mean that they clearly articulate their expectations. Job openings should be clear and succinct.
Solutions: Ask an employee to read a job opening (without the title) and tell you what position it describes. That will tell you right away if you’re job postings are on target. This will not only help with external postings but internal ones as well. It might be interesting to give employees after they complete onboarding a copy of their job posting and ask them if they felt it was an accurate representation of the job they’re currently doing.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The better the candidate experience, the better the candidate.” quote=”The better the candidate experience, the better the candidate.”]
All of the reasons lead to one thing: creating a better candidate experience. The better the experience; the better the candidate. And more of them. If you want to learn more about how to improve your company’s candidate experience, check out iCIMS latest whitepaper on the subject (authored by yours truly). Download a copy here.0