Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that unemployment reached the lowest rate in 50 years, at 3.6 percent. And there are currently 7.5 million job openings in the U.S.
The low unemployment rate is significantly impacting businesses across industries – and small businesses are getting hit the most when it comes to hiring qualified employees. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, small business job growth has fallen to the lowest levels in almost eight years, largely due to hiring challenges.
Given the competitive hiring market and low unemployment rate, how can your team attract top candidates, who can help drive productivity, profitability and top-notch customer service at your business? We’ve outlined several tips below.
Sell Job Seekers on the Opportunity of Joining Your Team
The tight labor market means most job seekers are already gainfully employed, which gives them the flexibility to be more selective when considering new roles. In today’s applicant-driven economy, job seekers are motivated by far more than simply an exchange of time for money. To attract qualified candidates, your team needs to focus on the overall value proposition you have to offer employees – and this can be made possible with a strong employment brand.
The most engaged job seekers complete significant research before applying to open roles. They read employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor and learn about what employers have to offer by reading their career sites. The average job seeker reads six reviews before applying to a role, and 69 percent of candidates would reject a job offer from a company with a bad employer brand. So it’s critical to have a compelling employment brand built out on your career site and reflected in employee reviews.
Through your employment brand, it’s important to answer the “What’s in it for me?” for job seekers. To get job seekers excited about the possibility of joining your team, develop an employment brand that encourages job seekers to build long-term careers at your company.
Your employment brand should include strong job descriptions, a compelling career site, defined career paths across departments, employee testimonials, a comprehensive list of benefits and continuous job openings. By building and maintaining a strong employment brand, you can attract engaged applicants who are interested in growing their careers with your team. And Hireology data found that a top-notch employment brand can boost your applicant-to-hire conversion tenfold.
Keep Candidates Engaged Each Step of the Way
Employers wait an average of 10 days to initially review and respond to applicants. In today’s competitive hiring market, top job seekers are likely off the market quickly, meaning you risk losing top applicants to the competition if you don’t keep them engaged. By reducing the time to review applicants – and keeping applicants engaged and excited throughout the hiring process – your team will have a better chance of securing quality candidates and you’ll fill roles quickly and efficiently.
Some steps you can take to speed up hiring and keep candidates engaged include automating steps such as prescreen surveys, reference checks and background checks. By partnering with a recruitment CRM platform like Hireology, you can cut down on a lot of the administrative time it takes to review applicants and streamline other steps in the process. Prescreen surveys are sent automatically to all job applicants and can include knock out questions, so applicants who aren’t a fit are automatically eliminated. And eliminate much of the back and forth with reference and background checks by automating these steps using a recruitment CRM platform.
Beyond making your hiring steps more efficient, another way to keep candidates engaged throughout the hiring process is with effective candidate communication. While you might play phone tag with candidates or emails might get overlooked in a crowded inbox, you can improve candidate communication with text messaging. While 82 percent of text messages are read within five minutes, the average person only reads one in four emails they receive.
A recruitment CRM platform with integrated text messaging enables you to centralize all candidate communication, rather than worrying about your team managing text messaging on their personal phones. With integrated text messaging, your team can create and save templates, send candidates interview reminders, share directions to your business location, and more. Hireology data found that candidate text messaging can help you speed up overall hiring time by up to eight days. And by continuously communicating with candidates throughout the hiring process, candidates will stay engaged, feel valued and eager to join your team – rather than accepting an open role from another employer in today’s competitive market.
The low unemployment rate makes hiring more challenging than ever before. But with a strong employment brand and engaging candidate experience, your team can stand out from the competition and attract top candidates. For additional tips on getting top talent excited about joining your team, read our resource, “The Hireology Candidate Engagement Playbook.”