Barbara Mitchell is a human resources and management consultant and author of The Big Book of HR and The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. Do you have a question you'd like her to answer? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hiring today is a challenge, which means associations can’t rely on their standard recruiting process to get the job done. Your new approach must move faster, include constant communication, and have more of a focus on selling your organization.
Q: Our association understands that competition for talent is fierce, but some members of the team are reluctant to make our recruiting process more proactive or even more aggressive. Can you help us?
A: You are right—If you want to hire the best available talent, you and your fellow hiring managers need to approach things differently. Here are some suggestions:
It may be time for your organization to totally revamp your recruiting process. Moving quickly from job opening to offer is what you should be doing. I am not suggesting that you cut corners in your hiring process—just move a bit quicker than you have in the past and do a lot of the legwork before a job is open.
For instance, consider proactively building a talent pool of potential applicants so that when a job opening is posted, you have already developed a relationship with people who may be interested in the position. As part of this, also market your organization by sharing the exciting things you are doing and how an applicant’s skills would be an asset to your organization.
Be sure your website is up to date. Most job seekers check out your website before deciding to apply. Here’s where you can share your culture, benefits, and anything else that sets you apart. Include a video that highlights the value you place on your employees and how you reward great performances. Your brand is important to applicants—they want to work for organizations they can be proud of, and they want to work where their contributions are valued. Also consider how you post the position on social media, including LinkedIn.
It may be time for your organization to totally revamp your recruiting process.
In addition, make sure your job postings are easy to read on mobile devices. Applicants expect that your hiring process will be available to them on whatever device they choose to use. Make your application process user-friendly as well. Consider allowing applicants to import their LinkedIn Profile or resume directly to your system to shorten the process.
And once you have a strong candidate, move fast. Whenever possible, contact them within 24 hours of receiving their application. Communication is the key to keeping the applicant interested: Your policy should be to keep in touch via email and text no less than every few days.
This communication should include letting the applicant know more about your hiring process. For example, share that you will be scheduling screening interviews in the next five days, and if their qualifications fit your job criteria, they will be notified. Remind them to check out your website for information on your culture, mission, benefits, and anything else you think they might be interested. Let them know to email with questions at any time.
Staffing today is a challenge. By moving quickly, communicating often, and selling your organization, you will increase your success ratio.