It’s no secret - now, more than ever, companies are fighting for talent! In January, the total number of job openings outnumbered the talent pool by nearly 5 million. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were more than 11 million job openings in the United States. In order to land the talent they’re looking for, companies need to re-evaluate their recruitment process.
So, as a company looking to fill vacant positions, what are some things you can do to help humanize the recruiting process?
First impressions are everything
Technology-based job hunting makes finding a job and communication easier than ever. But, if you’re not careful, it can also dehumanize and depersonalize the overall experience. As we mentioned earlier, there are currently 11 million job openings right now, so how can you make your company and position stand out?
Let’s begin with your job description. A candidate spends an average of 14 seconds looking at a job description before deciding whether to apply. If job seekers are skimming your job description, then it must not only be informative but also needs to attract and engage the reader/potential future employee. Many times, the job description is the first impression and interaction that a candidate has with your company. When writing a job description, choosing the right tone can be the first step in piquing their interest. The tone of your job description and the language used should match your company’s principles, values, and culture. For example, if your culture values fun and a laid-back atmosphere, then your job posting can sound a little bit more lively, and less stuffy.
Job seekers are drawn to companies with an established caring culture and they are seeking opportunities that relate to and match their own personal values. A job description is a great way for your company to share its story and should communicate why the company is a good match for the job seeker. Job seekers will stay long enough to apply if the description accurately depicts your company.
Communication is key
Something as simple as keeping lines of communication open with your potential new hire will set you apart from other companies.
Think about your current interview process – do you provide timeframes or updates? If you do give your candidate a timeline of the interview process, be sure to stick to it. Even if your company doesn’t have an update for that individual, let them know “Hey, I know it’s been two weeks since your interview and I just wanted to let you know that at this time, we currently don’t have an update yet, but we are working on it and you can expect an update soon!”
Nobody likes feeling like they’ve been “ghosted”, so a quick job application state update (even if you don’t have an update) will have a lasting impression. Even if that candidate doesn’t get the job.
If the ‘Great Resignation’ has taught us one thing so far, it's that job seekers are wanting more from their employers and the companies they are hoping to work for. Beyond flexible working accommodations and higher pay, job seekers value transparency from companies. While it may seem beneficial to keep things like benefits, salary, and culture relatively vague in job descriptions, these are all things that matter to job seekers.
If you’ve scrolled through LinkedIn or Twitter recently, you may have seen the trending hashtag “Show us your leave.” What started as a simple call to action by theSkimm, a morning newsletter that counts subscribers in the millions, gained traction from major companies in just about every industry. Companies like Pinterest, Adobe, Ocean Spray, Bank of America, Live Nation, the list goes on… all took to social to share their company paid leave policies and encouraged other companies to do the same. Why? To raise awareness and share the importance of companies having public-facing conversations about the necessity of generous paid leave benefits.
One of the first well-known companies to hop on the paid leave posting trend was Etsy. The company’s post signaled a fairly detailed policy noting 26 weeks of fully paid parental leave, for all genders, for: birth, adoption, or fostering of a new child; adoption or surrogacy reimbursement; unlimited sick and caregiving time; bereavement that would cover the loss of loved ones, pregnancy or even a pet; and the ability to trade leave for cash benefits. At the time of publishing, the post had received over 29,000 reactions and more than 400 comments.
2021 was a banner year for job seekers, and 2022 is shaping up to be another huge year. Yes, job seekers are looking for jobs that pay more, but many times, the most important thing that job seekers are looking for goes beyond the paycheck. Companies that are able to communicate with job seekers in engaging, transparent, and timely ways, are going to win big in the ‘war for talent,’ and the new employees at these companies are going to win big, too.