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What To Do When Job Postings Go Unfilled
The lowest unemployment rate in over two decades, baby boomers retiring at an incredible 10,000 per day, a skilled labor shortage in just about every industry — there are plenty of reasons why recruiters are up for a major challenge when hiring top talent in today’s market. Human Resources professionals are already under extraordinary pressure when it comes to employee retention, so it’s doubly frustrating when vacancies remain unfilled for weeks and even months on end.
It’s not just recruiters that are feeling the heat amid today’s talent shortage. Plenty of worldwide surveys with employers show that difficulty hiring qualified candidates for key roles contributes to a dip in team morale and productivity. Simply put, if your recruitment strategy is unsuccessful, it’s a safe bet that your current employees aren’t performing at their best either.
Thankfully, not all is lost. By utilizing the talent acquisition strategies below, you can finally begin filling critical vacancies in record time.
Strategy #1: Proactively solicit resumes and build databases of talent for hard-to-fill vacancies.
More often than not, an organization’s recruitment strategy is reactive versus proactive. Most recruiters follow a “post and pray” technique, soliciting resumes and cover letters from candidates only when jobs become available.
Instead, you should put efficiency at a premium when it comes to finding the right people for your company. By building evergreen pipelines that solicit resumes on an ongoing basis, you can spend less time gathering resumes and more time screening candidates for the best fit.
Additionally, recruiters that make an effort to consistently build and maintain a database of candidates with highly sought-after skill sets can often circumvent the frustrating process of posting a role to various job sites entirely. This allows you to reach out to candidates directly, and make an even stronger case for your organization and the role itself.
Tips to try:
Partner with companies that excel in specialized recruitment. While building a database with qualified candidates can be a challenge — especially for an organization that’s new to this type of recruitment — it’s often more cost- and time-effective to partner with a firm that already had a well-established database of job-seekers. Plus, recruitment firms that have an advanced candidate screening process can often search for candidates based on very specific skill sets and competencies — something even the most robust internal database may not be able to do.
Work with an agency that can expedite the screening process. Many recruitment firms employ specialized screening processes that filter out candidates based on a variety of factors — skills, experience level, and cultural fit just to name a few. Since it can take up to four months to fill a mid- to senior-level vacancy in today’s market1, this can expedite an already lengthy process and save money down the line.
Strategy #2: Focus on candidates with specialized training and on-the-job experience rather than only those with a college degree.
As the demand for highly-qualified job seekers increases, many companies are starting to relax many of the requirements traditionally attached to specialized or more junior roles. In fact, companies like Apple, Costco and Google are leading the charge in the “new collar” trend, retiring their long-held requirement that recruits hold a degree from a four-year college or university.
Given that nearly two-thirds of American adults do not have a college degree, this strategy is a wise one for companies that have consistent difficulty finding enough qualified candidates for a role. Since many skilled workers have gained much of their expertise on the job or through a specialized training program, companies would be wise to tap into these often overlooked talent pools.
Tips to try:
Focus the talent search on programs rather than graduates. Plenty of programs specialize in providing participants with very specific, highly-applicable skill sets — often in accelerated formats designed to get candidates fully qualified for a role in a matter of weeks or months. Start by identifying which programs focus on sought-after skill sets that your organization needs, and create partnerships with these programs in order to get “first dibs” on new grads.
Strategy #3: Get up to speed on new recruitment trends and platforms that modern job seekers are likely to frequent.
Searching for a job looks vastly different today than it did just a few years ago. The rise of social media and AI-based recruitment platforms puts job-seekers at a distinct advantage when it comes to finding and applying for multiple jobs — and often, comparing various organizations for the best fit.
A recruiter’s best bet in appealing to a new generation of job seekers is to understand the tools they use to find and compare opportunities. This includes how job descriptions are phrased, since a poorly-written job description could cause candidates to misunderstand the requirements of a role — and end up being part of the 1 in 3 new hires2 that leave their job after six months or less.
Well-written job descriptions go far beyond just listing the essential responsibilities of a role, too. Accurately representing your company’s culture can drastically increase response rate — especially since 6 in 10 millennial respondents in a recent Deloitte survey said that a “sense of purpose” is a top priority in their work3. Simply put, articulating your company’s culture and values is a critical element too often overlooked in job postings — and it’s an easy thing to fix.
Tips to try:
Include your current team in recruitment discussions. If you have young or new employees that have been with your organization for less than a year, take the time to ask them about how they found your company and what stood out to them in the job description. This will help you hone in on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to articulating your company’s values and culture in a written format.
Tap into insights and knowledge from specialized recruitment and staffing firms. Consultants that specialize in staffing can be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to emerging trends in recruitment. After all, it’s their job to know what’s coming so they can position themselves to be a vital resource in organizations’ recruiting efforts. Their databases, networks and deep expertise could be exactly what your organization needs to level-up your recruitment efforts.
In today’s quickly moving digital landscape, recruiters simply can’t afford to waste time and resources with underperforming recruitment strategies. Contact our team to find out how LINK Staffing can help you level up your efforts.
- 2. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/onboarding-key-retaining-engaging-talent.aspx