I was excited when 2020 ended, hoping that most of the pandemic and economic woes would be behind us. Well, 2021 brought on a new batch of economic constraints and variants to COVID. Many leaders are still struggling to fill critical roles in their organizations and have hope that 2022 will bring some relief to the recruiting challenges experienced over the last 18 months. If you find yourself wondering where to start, here are two areas to focus on to increase hiring in 2022.
Minimum Qualifications-Let’s get real
Think of minimum qualifications as the “price of entry”. What do candidates absolutely have to possess to be qualified for the job you’re posting?
LinkedIn data scientist Brian Xu, analyzed 3.8 million job postings since 2017. He found 35% of entry-level job listings called for at least three years of experience. Analysis showed employers asked for at least three years of relevant work experience on 35% of their postings. That rate dipped briefly to 30% in June 2020, when labor markets were in freefall. It’s higher now, though, at 38.4%.
So it’s not that entry level workers “just don’t want to work”, many may feel they’re unqualified.
Recruiters should do a better job coaching hiring manager on realistic qualifications and shift their focus to transferable skills. There are a number of job seekers who may not be in your particular industry or have job specific experience, but may have the skills needed to succeed in the role.
Insisting on extensive prior experience does speed up the training cycle. But this “harvest-from-others” approach has a catch. It assumes, perhaps wrongly, that there’s an abundant pool of people who already found some other employer willing to hire and train them when they were quite green.Brian Xu, LinkedIn
Work with hiring managers to determine what competencies are needed to be successful for the role. Using this list as your minimum qualification along with a more open minded hiring manager, may increase your candidate pool and hiring. There’s an added benefit: studies have shown hiring for competencies tends to increase retention as well. #WinWin
Fix the length of the process
Analysis of 400,000 confirmed hires on LinkedIn from June 2020 to March 2021 shows that the full run of stages between a candidates’ initial application – and the ultimate start date – can average as much as 49 days in some industries. Conversations with many peers in the industry confirm this is the minimum in some areas as managers like to drag the process out while complaining about how long it’s taking to hire candidates.
In my opinion, there are two areas to focus on for this topic: mindset and feedback.
Hiring Manager Mindset
I’m amazed when I speak to hiring managers who still have this idea that candidates should be honored or feel privileged to be interviewed. They put the candidate in the hot seat, shooting one question after the other and then end the interview with a decision on whether the candidate will be a job fit.
The market has changed. Candidates are now in the driver seat so you might want to inform your hiring managers to step down from their self-built pedestals. As an industry, we need to spend time with our hiring managers to make them brand ambassadors. So many surveys show how candidates want to feel connected and empowered by the brand they work for. It’s up to our managers to set the tone from the first interview.
It’s also a good idea to share the communication responsibility with hiring managers. Recruiters should not be the only ones engaging candidates after the interview through to Day 1. Managers should be actively involved in reselling the opportunity once the offer has been accepted. I recently attended a webinar with an onboarding company that stated 85% of candidates determine how long they will stay with a firm within the first few months of the job. It is more critical now for managers to be just as focused on the candidate experience as the recruiters are.
Want more ideas, try these previous blog posts:
The Interview Feedback Loop
Managers love to call me and complain about their open roles not being filled quick enough by recruiters. Of course, my job is to ensure all of my clients are happy but about 80% of the time, the obstacle to filling the job is not the shortage of talent or the lack of talent but rather, the length of time it takes for managers to provide feedback on the talent. I find a lot of managers don’t understand why it’s important to provide quick feedback on candidates.
Some of the common complaints I hear are from managers include:
- “My positions aren’t being filled quick enough.”
- “You guys take so long to get a new hire on board.”
- “Why does recruiting take so long?”
As a recruiter, I am always more apt to work harder and quicker for the managers who have a quick turnaround time for feedback. Usually, these managers are not the culprit of complaints because we’re in constant contact throughout the process. For those managers who don’t understand why it’s important to provide quick feedback on candidates, let me share some recruiting secrets for you.
If you want more ideas on how to fix the feedback process, here are some previous posts to get your started:
- Why Radical Candor is Important in the Recruiting Process
- What Recruiting can learn from Netflix on the importance of the Feedback Loop
- How to use Work in Progress (WIP) Limits in Recruiting
- The Importance of Hiring Manager Feedback
It’s a new year but don’t exhaust yourself early on by trying to fix everything with your recruiting process. Focus on these two areas first and once you feel that progress has been made, set your sight on your next two monsters to slay.
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