Enhance your hiring process in 2023 and beyond
by following these six steps
2023 is only a month away. And with a new year comes new opportunities to enhance your hiring efforts in order to attract more quality talent. Plus, the end of the year is typically slower for hiring, making it the perfect time to take a step back and revisit your recruiting and hiring fundamentals.
Why revamp your hiring processes at all? Because next year is shaping up to be just as unpredictable as the last. Although many large technology companies are grappling with layoffs, the number of open roles overall in the job market still outweighs the number of active job seekers by about two to one. And this gap is even higher when you look at industries hiring skilled hourly labor, like hospitality and healthcare. Many of these businesses still haven’t replaced all of the roles they lost throughout the pandemic and are still struggling to attract and retain enough talent.
To brace yourself for the unknown in the year ahead, set yourself up with a solid hiring process that allows you to build a great pipeline of talent no matter what the economy and labor market brings. We’ve put together a checklist that includes everything you need to focus on in the next four weeks in order to set yourself up for success as we enter another unpredictable year.
Document everything that makes you unique
Take some time to write down your unique selling points as an employer. What makes you a better workplace than your competitors? Maybe you have a great culture that values work/life balance. Or, you offer career growth opportunities. Whatever it is, document everything you currently have to offer in one place so you can use it for the rest of your recruitment marketing efforts we’ll touch on later in this checklist.
From there, identify your weaknesses. Maybe you can’t compete on pay and benefits. Or perhaps remote work just isn’t an option for the types of roles you’re hiring for. Then figure out how you can address these weaknesses. If you can offer higher pay or revisit your benefits offerings, great! If not, figure out what it is you can do to compete and add it to your list.
Rewrite your job descriptions
Job descriptions are often your first and only opportunity to convince a job seeker that your company is a great fit for them. So if you’re relying on outdated job descriptions, it’s time to throw them out. Your descriptions need to sell your company and your open roles much like your marketing materials promote your products and services. They need to be structured in a way that clearly demonstrates what makes you a better employer than your competitors.
Here’s the best way to structure your job descriptions:
- Lead with an overview of why you’re a great place to work. Start with the highlights from the list you formulated in step one
- Follow your overview with a list of benefits such as your healthcare plans, 401k options, or tuition reimbursement programs
- Next, list out the responsibilities of the role along with required and “nice to have” qualifications such as education, experience, and skills
- And lastly, be sure to include an equal opportunity employer statement
Finally, when writing your job descriptions always follow SEO best practices to ensure that your roles appear in Google search results. That means you need to include keywords that your target audience is searching for and break down the content into subheadings and bullet points. And to maximize clicks, keep the job titles themselves within 1-3 words and the entire job description between 200-800 words.
Add new sourcing channels to the mix
If you’re only relying on Indeed to source applicants, it’s time to consider adding some new channels to the mix. If you’re looking to reach a wider and more diverse audience, the makeup of your sourcing channels needs to reflect that. While sites like Indeed can be a great source for generating a high volume of applicants, they’re not always your best source for quality or diverse talent. Typically, they drive applicants who are not serious or underqualified. What’s more, they can get really expensive — fast.
Here are other sources to add to your mix:
- Social media: In addition to sharing your open roles organically on your company’s social media pages, various social media job sites like LinkedIn and Facebook can also be a really great source of talent. In fact, Hireology customers with a Facebook integration drive three times more applicants on average than those who do not.
- Your career site: A great career site can be a really excellent source of quality talent. So take some time to revamp your site. Optimize it for SEO so that it appears in Google search results and update your images and videos to give it a fresh look and feel.
- In-person community events: Look for local job fairs or other events (e.g., community colleges) where you can connect in-person with local job seekers. This is a great way to get your name out there as an employer, start building relationships, and also connect with more diverse groups of talent. Tip: Use QR codes on your in-person flyers and signage that make it really easy for job seekers to pull up your open roles on their phones and apply on the spot
Reimagine your employee referral program
You probably have an employee referral program in place, but chances are, it’s not yielding the results you’d like. Take these slower weeks to figure out how to revamp your program a bit to get your teammates excited about participating in the new year. Employee referral programs can be a really great way to connect with more talent when hiring is tough. In fact, among Hireology customers, referral programs are the top source of talent — driving roughly one out of every eight new hires.
Here’s some tips for updating your referral program for the year ahead:
- Increase your bonus amount: As a rule of thumb, the amount should be equivalent to how difficult it is to fill the role. For roles like engineers or c-suite executives, the bonus should be in the $2,000-$5,000 range. For seasonal sales associates, for example, the bonus can be closer to $100-$200.
- Get more creative with communication: How are you spreading the word about your program internally? If you’re relying on email only, consider channels like text or physical signage in high-traffic areas in order to connect with people where they’re spending the most time.
- Make it easier for people to participate: Folks aren’t going to participate in your program if you make them download apps or complete lengthy forms. Make it as simple as sending a text or a quick Slack message with the name of their referral, and your recruiters take it from there. This way, people don’t have to spend too much time outside of their day-to-day work to refer a great candidate.
- Pay bonuses on time: This may seem simple but many organizations lose track of how much they owe to referral program participants and when the payout is due. As a result, people lose trust in the program and stop participating. Make it a point to always pay the correct bonuses on time.
Simplify your applications
In a 2022 survey of job applicants, 52% of applicants say they completed the majority of their most recent job search on a mobile device. Additionally, 59% say they have given up on a job application in the past year because it took too long to complete. On top of that, 46% of applicants complete the majority of their job search on a mobile device. So if your application is tough for people to navigate on a smartphone or it takes too long for them to complete the form, they’re going to give up and move onto the dozens of other job opportunities at their fingertips.
During your holiday season downtime, consider reworking your applications to make it as easy as possible for applicants to complete them. Here are some tips:
- The shorter the better: Keep the application to 4-5 fields maximum. Your recruiters can gather any additional information later on. You might even consider removing the resume requirement as it can be difficult to upload documents from a mobile device and in some industries they’re not necessary.
- Optimize for mobile: Your applications need to be responsively designed so that job seekers don’t have to zoom in to read and complete the fields. Also, be sure to avoid too many drop down menus that hinder the experience. Finally, consider the flow of the information given that it’s on a smaller screen — try to keep any copy short and sweet and avoid long paragraphs of copy.
Audit your hiring process steps
What steps do you typically follow once an application comes through? Document the entire process — from initial application review to offer — and be sure to include the average time each step takes along with key stakeholders. If your process is taking more than two weeks, you need to find ways to cut it down and streamline. Maybe you’re taking too long going back and forth to schedule the interviews. Or perhaps it takes you a few days or even a week to respond to new applicants. Whatever it is, identify the bottlenecks and figure out how to streamline them.
Here are some tips:
- Use automatic screeners: If the initial application review is slowing you down, you can add automatic screeners into the process that eliminate the need to manually review every single application.
- Embrace group and virtual interviews: If interviews are the bottleneck, think about doing group interviews to reduce the amount of logistics planning you need to do — even better if you can do virtual interviews as they allow for more flexibility.
- Use text instead of email: The back and forth with candidates via email can add days to every step of the process. That’s because email inboxes are crowded and it’s often difficult to respond to an email on a mobile device. Use texting to cut through the noise and reach candidates more directly. With text, candidates can also more easily respond to you on-the-go.
- Work with an ATS with built-in verification options: Verifications like background checks, reference checks, and skills tests can slow you down too. If this is the case for you, consider working with an ATS that has built-in verifications so you can order these directly from your platform, eliminating the need to move from system to system and spend time going back and forth with the vendor and candidate to schedule.
Evaluate your hiring tools
And finally, many of the steps we discussed earlier are difficult to do with piecemeal tools or outdated systems. Figure out what your priorities are and find a tool that helps make your life easier. Are you trying to move faster in the hiring process? Look for an all-inclusive ATS. Are you hoping to better analyze and optimize your sourcing channels, look for a good recruiting tool that automatically tracks these insights. The start of the new year is the perfect time to start fresh with a new hiring and people management tool.
Better yet if you adopt a tool like Hireology that includes everything you need in one platform. Whether you’re recruiting, hiring, or managing your people, Hireology has everything you need in one place — cutting out the time it takes to jump from system to system and reducing the risk of data entry errors.
Don’t let the last few weeks of the year go to waste. Check off as many of the above as you can before the new year to set yourself up to build your best team in 2022 and beyond. To learn more about how Hireology can help, schedule a demo today.