Are you struggling to find the right people to fill open roles in your organization? According to several surveys of talent acquisition and HR professionals, you aren’t alone.

  • 64% of HR professionals responding to an XpertHR survey said that finding high-quality applicants was their top challenge.
  • 83% of business and HR leaders told SHRM that they struggled to recruit suitable candidates, citing competition from other employers, candidates’ lack of experience and technical or soft skills, and a lack of interest in their organization among the reasons.

Record low unemployment rates and gaps in training account for some of the challenges you and other employers are facing. But that’s not the whole story.

Shift your strategy to attract quality candidates

The recruitment strategies that worked in the past don’t address the demands of today’s marketplace for talent. In modern recruiting, marketing your organization and its jobs plays a crucial role. To improve your candidate funnel, think of the jobs you need to fill as products and prospective candidates as your consumers.

Then, use the following strategies to win them over.

Your winning strategy for recruiting

5 methods to develop a healthy candidate pipeline

1. Assess your needs and set reasonable expectations.

As you begin the recruitment cycle, take a close look at what you are asking of candidates and what you are offering to them.

Are you limiting your candidate pool by classifying too many nice-to-haves as must-haves? Does the role offer benefits other than compensation such as opportunities to gain new skills or work in a challenging environment?

When performing this assessment, it is important to be both honest and realistic when evaluating your organization and its goals. Not every candidate will be the right one for your organization.

The more clarity you achieve when defining your organization and its needs, the easier it will be to attract qualified candidates.

2. Communicate your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and values across multiple channels.

In a connected world, job seekers expect information about your organization to be plentiful and available on demand. To impress the best candidates, your business must go beyond posting your latest jobs on the careers page on your website.

Instead, use your careers page to showcase what makes your company special, writes Natalie Davis in How to Make Your Organization Attractive to Job Candidates in a Competitive Job Market. Use this page to offer career development advice, publish testimonials from current employees, and provide other details about your company that give people a reason to choose your company over the competition.

But, don’t communicate only through your website.

Publish your recruitment marketing content in the places where your ideal candidates are already spending time. For example, use your company’s Instagram page to post images of your facilities. Share social posts about what it is like to work for your organization. Create specialty pages on LinkedIn that highlight your organization’s community involvement or interesting projects.

Today’s job seekers want to work at organizations with values aligned with their own and they are looking online to discover those companies.

3. Enlist the help of your current employees.

Your employees can also be powerful advocates for your company both online and in-person. When your existing employees refer a candidate, participate in recruitment fairs, or post online about the benefits of working with your organization, it serves as powerful social proof and enhances your company’s reputation.

In How One HR Officer Tackled the Task of Staffing Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum, Kelly Kauffman describes how enlisting current employees as temporary recruiters at two job fairs was one of the best ideas her organization ever had.

Of course, you can’t require employees to say great things about your company. So, make sure that you are living up to your promises to current employees, then encourage them to share their experiences.

4. Leverage technology to keep candidates engaged.

Automation and AI can be used to eliminate busywork and smooth the candidate journey. Use technology to keep candidates informed and engaged throughout the application and hiring process.

For example, Goldman Sachs uses asynchoronous video interviews to open its application process to a broader range of candidates. Asynchronous, or one-sided, interviews also provide prospective applicants with more flexibility as well because these interviews can usually be completed at a time of the candidate’s choosing.

Text messaging has also gained popularity as a recruiting tool as more communication takes place via mobile devices. Using text messaging allows recruiters and hiring managers to reach prospects who are on the go and shortens response times.

Explaining CDW’s decision to use text messaging to SHRM’s Roy Maurer in the article Text Recruiting Is the Future, talent acquisition manager Jared Bazell says, “We allow candidates to choose how they want to be communicated with... We want candidates to be in the driver’s seat.”

Many organizations are now embracing the use of chatbots and other tools to improve their communications with job seekers.

There are many ways that technology such as AI and automation can be used to make recruiting more efficient. Just make sure you are using technology to support the human touch in your recruiting efforts, not to supplant them.

Enlist current employees as recruiters for your company

5. Deliver the best possible candidate experience every time.

A single bad candidate experience (CandE) can damage your organization’s reputation with many potential applicants. Unhappy applicants and interviewees will talk about their experiences with others. They may also post about their experience on social media or third-party review sites such as Glassdoor.

To ensure higher levels of candidate satisfaction,

  • Communicate with applicants about what to expect at each point in their candidate journey.
  • Be honest about the job offer and your organization’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Build a transparent, consistent, and fair system for evaluating potential hires.

Everyone who engages with your company has the potential to become a supporter or a detractor. Create policies and processes which ensure that every candidate is treated with courtesy and respect at every step in the candidate journey.

Your winning strategy for recruiting

Winning the competition for talent requires understanding how the game has changed and leveraging every asset at your disposal. Carmen Hire can help. Let us show you how to use our solutions to surface more qualified candidates and eliminate the busywork of talent acquisition so you can focus on delivering a great candidate experience.  Every time.