Recruiting top talent is critical to the success of any business, as employees are a key source of competitive advantage. With the right team in place, you can boost productivity across your organization and provide the top-notch customer service needed to drive profitability. Because of this, attracting and hiring the best possible employees should always be a focus at your organization.
Unfortunately as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many businesses across industries have had to put hiring on hold or make layoffs – at least temporarily. If your team doesn’t have an immediate hiring need, you can still focus on recruiting top talent and improving your hiring process for future success. Below, we’ve outlined several benefits of a continued focus on recruitment and hiring.
Showcase your employer brand
Similar to your customer-facing brand that helps you attract new business, you should always work toward improving your employer brand. Even if you aren’t actively hiring at this time, focusing on a top-notch employer brand can help you continue to excite top talent about joining your team down the road.
If your hiring is on hold, this gives you the opportunity to take the time to think through what’s been working with your employer brand and key areas for improvement. With employees across industries facing layoffs, a refreshed employer brand can help your team when it comes to recruiting top talent from outside your specific industry once hiring picks back up.
Nearly 70 percent of job seekers would reject an offer from a company with a bad employer brand. To have an engaging employer brand, you need to effectively answer the “What’s in it for me?” question for job seekers.
As part of your employer brand, your career site should include strong, SEO-friendly job descriptions, defined career paths across departments, employee testimonials, a comprehensive list of benefits and continuous job openings.
When it comes to your job descriptions, while some of your roles might require specific certifications, your team should also highlight preferred competencies, rather than specific required experience. For example, if you’re looking to hire for an administrative role down the line, you can highlight the need for applicants who have strong organizational and time management skills.
Especially given the fact that many job seekers will likely apply to your open roles from outside industries, this will help ensure you’re not limiting your talent pool to applicants who have direct industry experience.
By building and maintaining a strong employment brand and career site, you can attract engaged applicants who are interested in growing their careers with your team.
Even if your hiring is currently on hold, putting the right employer brand in place takes time. Employees will always be a differentiator for your business and by prioritizing your employer brand now, you can build a great team at your organization in the long run.
Build a pipeline of talent
Sharing immediate job openings on your career site can help you attract job applicants for roles you’re actively looking to fill. But it’s also important to stay in touch with qualified candidates who have previously applied to your open roles, and give motivated job seekers the opportunity to reach out about future opportunities. Doing so can help you build out a pipeline of talent to tap into any time you have an immediate hiring need.
Whether or not your team has paused hiring for the time being, beyond your traditional list of open roles, you should include an option on your career site for job seekers to share their resumes and contact information for consideration down the road. Simply including this option on your career site will help you add new candidates to your network, expanding your prospective applicant pool.
When it comes to applicants you might have previously been in touch with, you should also make an effort to stay in touch and keep qualified candidates engaged. If your team has a temporary hiring freeze in place as a result of COVID-19, this doesn’t mean you should let your best candidates fall off the radar.
Your hiring managers can keep in touch with candidates to let them know you’re still excited about the possibility of them joining your team once you have an immediate hiring need. Since you’ll already have their contact information on hand, you can reach out to qualified candidates via text message or email in a few weeks or months, ask how their job search is going and share any relevant open roles on your team.
If candidates have secured other roles by the time you’re hiring again, they might still be interested in joining your team. And the continued communication will make candidates realize you’re invested in keeping your people – including both candidates and employees – engaged during a time of crisis. Even if this doesn’t result in hiring these candidates, supporting a positive experience can lead to future job referrals and even new business.
Decrease your time to hire
Many companies have a reactive hiring process: they only hire new employees when the need arises. This is usually triggered when a top-performing employee leaves the company, a bad hire is finally let go, or the business grows and new roles need to be added. With reactive hiring, you’ll likely be starting the hiring process from scratch and scrambling to fill roles as they open up. Not only can this slow down the hiring process, but it can lead to hiring candidates who aren’t a fit in an effort to fill roles quickly.
On the other hand, if you’re always focused on recruiting top talent, you can maintain a network of candidates and avoid rushing to make last minute hires. For example, if you already have a strong career site and effective job descriptions, you can post roles in anticipation of the need and get the hiring process sooner rather than later.
If you have a pipeline of talent built out, you also might have already completed a few initial steps in the hiring process such as sending prescreen surveys to these candidates and reviewing their resumes. This will enable you to quickly move forward with next hiring steps, such as scheduling interviews, decreasing overall time to hire. Top talent gets taken off the market quickly, so it’s critical to speed up the hiring process, or you’ll risk losing qualified candidates to competing job offers.
Employees can make or break the success of your business, so recruiting top talent should always be a priority – even if you aren’t actively hiring. For additional tips on how to improve your hiring process and candidate experience, read our resource, “The Seamless Hiring Process Playbook.”