Do you want to hire the best, or do you want to hire the rest?
That’s the question Elevate attendees were asked during Hireology CEO and Founder Adam Robinson’s keynote presentation — and for good reason.
Every industry has been impacted by the labor shortage since the pandemic; while some have rebounded faster to their previous staffing levels than others, there are still plenty of open roles since personnel sought other opportunities or even switched careers.
With that in mind, we made the decision to open the doors to our hiring summit to all industries this year. After all, who couldn’t use a helping hand in hiring these days?
While we would love to give you a play by play of the people strategy summit, the overall message of the day can best be summarized in several overarching themes. Take a look at them below to see how you can set your business up for success in 2023.
Elevate 2022 takeaways
The Great Reassessment
When Robinson took the stage, he came armed with compelling data that demonstrates that the way recruiting and hiring takes place has changed dramatically over the last few years, there are still ways for businesses like yours to add team members that aren’t dependent on hiking wages alone. No job seeker is going to apply to a position that is wildly out of a pay range they’d be willing to accept, meaning that competing on wage is a challenge that you can successfully skirt around.
Instead, there are three primary benefits that job seekers choose over higher paying offers. Those three benefits (in descending order of preference) are:
- Schedule flexibility (44%)
- Career growth opportunities (39%)
- Fulfilling/enjoyable work (32%)
Robinson’s presentation was based on The Great Reassessment, an applicant research study Hireology conducted earlier this year where over 6,000 job seekers were asked about their motivations and requirements for their next roles. The best part of this approach? There are so many ways that these solutions can be incorporated into your people policies that there is bound to be a solution that works for your business, no matter what industry you’re in.
How to hire in a gig economy
One of the important topics of the day was adapting preexisting attitudes and processes regarding hiring to match the current labor market in order to competitively hire in the current gig economy. This begins simply by meeting applicants by where they are — sometimes literally. For instance, if your local college hosts sporting events or there are community events that are sure to draw a crowd, make it a prerogative to set up a pop-up interview station. You’ll be surprised by how many stop by and apply.
Another way to make the hires you need is by rethinking how you can offer flexibility at your organization. Not every job can be worked remotely, but that doesn’t mean that flexibility is completely off the table. Instead, consider letting employees have more say in what their schedules look like week to week or offer them split shifts so they have the power to manage their work and personal lives. Alternatively, you could see if your payroll provider would support day of pay options, so that you could operate similarly to gigs that have lured workers away from traditional roles.
Ultimately, the businesses who will succeed in this gig economy are ones who can take smaller gigs and turn them into a well thought-out career path for interested parties. The worker might have an idea of where they want to go, but the onus is on you to prove that that is possible for them.
Find candidates through unique sourcing efforts
Despite what the labor shortage might have you believe, the challenge businesses face nowadays isn’t finding applicants — it’s finding qualified candidates. If you’re like many companies, your open roles are flooded with applicants, but they simply don’t meet your needs and expectations. In order to satiate current hiring needs, businesses have had to get creative with their sourcing solutions. The three most unique sources that participants in the Customer Panel discussed were creating passive talent pipelines, capturing boomerang employees, and incentivizing staff to participate in employee referral programs.
The key to creating a passive talent pipeline is that upon initial contact, recruiters need to capture as much information about the candidate as possible — and record that information in their candidate profile. You can use this information to keep the applicant aware of positions they might be interested in based on what their skills and wants are whenever they become available.
In a rough survey of Elevate attendees, 20% acknowledged that they had rehired a previous employee who had left their staff — aka a boomerang employee. To help your business capture your share of previous staff who might be looking to boomerang back to an environment they know and are familiar with, you need to cultivate an environment that truly cares about your employees. If you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your customers. Your managers need to get to know their employees, what drives them and makes them tick, in order to improve retention rates and overall morale. A secondary tactic to catch boomerang employees is to hand these workers an offer letter good for 30 days after their last day — just in case their next role doesn’t work out.
Employee referrals can provide some of the best employees you’ll ever hire. These personnel are hired faster, stay longer, and are more engaged than a run-of-the-mill candidate. The only issue? Getting your staff to participate. One way to incentivize participation is by creating an emotional attachment to the employee referral program for your employees; you can do this by going back to recipients after they receive their referral bonuses and simply asking, “What’d you use it for?” You’ll likely be surprised by what you hear. You can capture their testimonials (with their permission, of course) to use as you market the program in the future.
Tip: Be sure to put careful consideration into the different kinds of messaging you can create from these responses, as different employee demographics will react differently to paying off a loan or getting a kid braces.
Enhance your employee experience with integrated technology stacks
Retention is the best recruitment method; as we mentioned earlier, those employees are standing testaments to the environment of the business. Getting people to stay, however, requires more than just a great work environment. In order for employees to have a great experience, your HR department needs to successfully utilize available technology in ways that directly impact personnel.
Businesses can (and should) use available HR technology to engage with their employees through every stage of their lifecycle, from accepting an offer letter to conducting an exit interview. When your applicant tracking system seamlessly integrates with your HRIS or payroll provider, you are greatly enhancing the onboarding experience for your employees.
Onboarding is a critical part of the employee life cycle because it truly sets the tone for the rest of their time at an organization. For instance, the second leading reason for leaving before the first pay day was that something was skipped or overlooked in the onboarding process. While there is technology that can simplify the onboarding process, if it’s not consistently followed or applied every time a new person joins the team, it’s easy to understand why new hires might feel lost or frustrated that early on in their employee life cycle. According to data from Netchex, people who had a good onboarding experience are more likely to stay with an organization for two or more years compared to those who didn’t — and that not only matters but directly impacts your bottom line.
While most businesses operate under the presumption that HR processes can be skimped on, that’s simply not the case. A rough survey of Elevate attendees revealed that 50% had a dedicated HR employee at their company; can you imagine what the day-to-day looks like for the person who has to function as an HR representative, then an accountant, supervisor, and more? An HR role cannot be done well if the personnel is stretched too thin or if they don’t have time to dig into the data that is available to them from all of the software they use to perform their duties. Having a dedicated HR professional is the bare minimum; if you want to make the competitive hiring your business needs, you need more people on staff to show you what can happen when you invite innovation to your organization.
The future is inclusive
The first wave of Gen Zers have officially entered the workforce, and with them have come plenty of changes. The main difference? Stereotypes of the past can no longer survive with them around. For instance, it’s an acknowledged stereotype that in the past, the automotive industry was primarily dominated by older white men. That reality has changed as the workforce has grown to be more diverse — and it will only continue to do so.
Your organization will be defined by the workers you can easily recruit, what you attract, and who you want to be. As you can see, accountability goes both ways here. Your decisions (even hiring ones) will be only as diverse as the decision-makers are. Your staff, then, should be a mirror of the community you’re surrounded by. When people purchase a good or service from you, they’re trusting you and that product. Similarly, when your workers trust you with their careers, they’re essentially putting their lives, their families, and their futures in your hands. Give potential employees something they can believe in by making an effort to be as inclusive as possible in your hiring processes.
Elevate 2022 was one for the books! As we resumed our in-person event, we were reminded of all that has transpired since the last time we were able to gather for this hiring summit. There have been unprecedented times and unpredictable changes, but at the end of the day, Hireology is here to help — help you build your best team, best workplace, and a better tomorrow.