Your Recruitment Process is Too Slow, You Need to Act Fast!
[Why Doing These 5 Things is Important for Quickly Meeting Your Staffing Needs] We live in an “instant gratification” world. Anything you could possibly want to buy – including a…
[Why Doing These 5 Things is Important for Quickly Meeting Your Staffing Needs]
We live in an “instant gratification” world. Anything you could possibly want to buy – including a car or a house — is available online, and anything you might want to eat can be delivered from your favorite restaurant or grocery store at a time of your choice.
Despite what you may have experienced, or what you perceive to be true, staffing companies can – and should — operate at the same speed as consumer product companies. Any pace that’s slower should raise a red flag in the minds of managers and executives in charge of hiring skilled tradespeople, administrative staff, information technology specialists, call center professionals and more in manufacturing, distribution, healthcare and government settings.
That’s because Millennials (25- to 40-year-olds) and Gen Zers (18- to 24-year-olds) comprise almost 40% of the workforce. People in those age groups expect instant responses to their job applications in the same ways they get similarly timed answers from the retailers they patronize. Simply stated, the best staffing companies, and the hiring companies that use them to recruit qualified temporary or permanent employees, need to replicate The Amazon Experience.
Think about it. Applicants who have spent their entire lives using computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices connected to the internet expect instant responses to their job applications. If they don’t get them, they’re likely to look elsewhere for employment.
In the same vein, if a hiring company manager or executive – increasingly a Millennial or Gen Zer himself or herself — doesn’t get “instant service” from the staffing company he or she is using, they’re likely to cut ties and find a more responsive partner.
What’s more, companies recruiting employees or temporary workers want to fill openings more quickly than ever so they can take advantage of business opportunities and maximize their competitiveness in an increasingly dynamic marketplace. Those challenges can include finding team members with the right mix of hard skills (learned abilities) and soft skills (personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with other people) that an increasing number of jobs require.
Nevertheless, there is a handful of steps that employers can take to make sure they always have the best people on their team.
Step #1: Ensure Speed to Applicant from Third-Party Online Job Boards
Use third-party online job boards (e.g., Monster, Zip Recruiter, Indeed), which you can think of as specialized search engines, to quickly post openings and answer inquiries immediately. Designated team members should respond to inquiries outside of regular business hours to help ensure that applicants feel “taken care of” or “paid attention to.” Otherwise, you risk losing good people to other employers, perhaps to companies that are your competitors.
Step #2: Ensure Speed to Applicant from Your Own Online Job Board
The same advice in Step #1 about responding immediately to inquiries from job seekers using third-party job boards applies to your interactions with people who find job openings through a job board you’ve created, and which most likely resides on your website.
Whether members of your HR team or others in your company monitor third-party or proprietary job boards, consider rewarding them with additional time off or other perks in appreciation for “going above and beyond” during a hiring period.
Step #3: Use Social Media Platforms
LinkedIn, and Twitter and Facebook to a lesser extent, are excellent vehicles for publicizing job openings. LinkedIn is particularly useful when you’re recruiting managers and, increasingly, executives.
Step #4: Quickly Make Hiring Decisions
In today’s fast-paced environment, the use of algorithms built into software used by third-party online job boards allow you to separate “best fits” from other applicants. Your proprietary job board may have the same feature. If so, make certain your HR team knows how to optimize its use. Otherwise, you could be missing out on candidates who are qualified to fill your open positions.
Step #5: Quickly Onboard New Hires
Take advantage of the skills and enthusiasm of people you’ve just added to the team by helping them understand and carry out their job responsibilities, as well as give them a sense of your company’s culture, and of where they fit in the context of your organization. Put another way, what purpose(s) does the new team member’s work serve? Who within the company is benefitting directly from the new hire’s contribution? How will the entire organization benefit from the new hire’s contributions? What type of growth opportunities might the new hire enjoy if he or she performs well in the new position?
Simply stated, a staffing provider is only as fast as you are in responding to applications. The best way to ensure that you’re hiring the best people responding to your job postings, and whom your staffing provider recommends from its database of applicants, is to establish a timetable and workflow upfront so everyone knows what to do and the time intervals at which tasks should be completed.
Putting Principles Into Practice
Our approach turns recruiting practices upside down. It’s highly effective, and the advantages of using this inverted model is in exemplified by the results it produces for our clients. Our strategy includes:
- Centralized Recruiting to provide employers with the speed to reach candidates and create a robust pipeline of qualified applicants. Employers can then schedule interviews in a timely manner with qualified applicants.
- Meetings by Appointment Only to ensure that only the most serious candidates make it through our screening process for your consideration.
- Accepting Applications Online Only to attract only those candidates who are current with technology and can best add value to our clients’ organizations.
- Requiring Applicants to Present Resumes to demonstrate the professionalism and commitment you expect from your team members.
- Requiring Applicants to Complete Productivity Profiles so we can help you assess whether candidates would be conscientious, productive and reliable employees.
Another feature of our model that sets us apart from other firms is that we work with one company per market in a specific business sector. That’s been our policy since we went into business 16 years ago. It helps to ensure that our clients get the best applicants to fill their open positions because we’re serving “one master” – you – instead of two or more. It also eliminates the need for us to make decisions about “spreading” qualified applicants between or among multiple clients, thereby increasing the quality of applicants we send our clients for consideration.
Navigating Through Challenging Waters
As for an example of how our inverted method works, a top one is Sebring, a boat manufacturer that sells its products nationally. The company experienced explosive growth due to increased demand for outdoor activities during COVID-19. As a result, Sebring’s staffing process was unable to keep up with production. This shortcoming resulted in delayed order fulfillment, lower customer satisfaction, higher employee costs and increased turnover.
When Sebring’s top and senior management asked us to help them improve their staffing practices, we used our remote, facility-focused model to recruit, screen and place candidates in positions that Sebring needed to fill.
All totaled, we recruited and placed more than 100 employees within the first few weeks, helping Sebring become fully staffed, meet production goals, stabilize employee costs and reduce turnover.
Making Things Better
A manufacturer with high-volume staffing needs at multiple locations faced recurring workforce retention issues. The company experienced high turnover, spent too much time interviewing under-qualified candidates and invested too many resources in the hiring process. The company used a local firms and national staffing agencies and got the same undesirable results from both kinds of firms.
When the manufacturer hired us, we focused exclusively on the company’s needs in localities where it was hiring and were not “distracted” by serving other clients in those cities and towns. We also developed a comprehensive understanding of the skills needed and of what would make job candidates an ideal “cultural fit.” We also designated a single point of contact for all positions and created a unique sourcing model to handle repetitive hires at each location.
Our efforts resulted in the manufacturer lowering its recruitment costs by making the hiring process more efficient, as well as in improving the quality of its workforce, reducing turnover and improving morale.
Another client, Lehigh Valley Health Network, in Allentown, PA, had been working with multiple staffing firms to meet its call center needs. The organization was experiencing significant challenges with filling staff vacancies and retaining new hires.
Lehigh Valley requested 28 candidates presented by the end of the first week they engaged us, and openly expressed doubts that we could meet that deadline.
We exceeded our client’s expectation by implementing a facility-focused recruiting strategy to identify, source, screen, and submit qualified candidates. Lehigh Valley used our technology-driven approach to accelerate the process and attract 32 candidates, which allowed the client to fill the required seats with high-quality talent.
The Future is Now
Our instantaneous and inverted approach to recruitment is the wave of present, let alone the future. As more “digital natives” make hiring decisions and enter the workforce, online recruiting and quick response will be the rule rather than the exception.
Companies that resist taking the steps described earlier run the risk of having smaller, lower quality applicant pools, as well as productivity issues. They also leave themselves vulnerable to reputational damage caused by being “an old school company that doesn’t ‘get it,’” and to reduced relevance or extinction often exemplified by a forward-thinking company acquiring an older, change-resistant firm that has growth potential.
What difficulties have you experienced in your company’s recruitment activities?
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