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Overcoming Recruitment Challenges In 2018

The world of recruiting has undergone a major transformation in the last decade or two. Changing employment trends, social and technological advancements, evolving employee demographics, just to name a few. These factors have all contributed to the ever-evolving recruiting industry. In order to keep up with these changes, it makes sense for corporate recruiting leaders to be proactive and keep an eye on current and upcoming strategic challenges in talent acquisition and work towards implementing them.

Here are some challenges plaguing the recruiting landscape today and solutions to overcome them.

The pace of the recruitment process

Demand for talent far outweighs supply in many industries. We live in a candidate-driven market, where a candidate is approached by multiple recruiters at any given time. Despite this war for talent, recruiting has not kept up its momentum.

That top candidate might simply not be around when you finally decide to extend the offer after several weeks of interviewing. In today's competitive environment, delays in hiring can cause employers to lose out on top talent.

Unfortunately, reducing time-to-hire also happens to be one of the most difficult tasks for companies.

The importance of good relationships between hiring managers and recruiters cannot be stressed enough.

Effectively conveying what the position entails and communicating the exact qualities that you, as a hiring manager, are looking for in candidates would significantly reduce time and money spent on interviewing mismatched candidates.

Conducting multiple candidate interviews on the same day, and having follow-up interviews within a week saves both hiring managers' and candidates' time, resulting in the process taking only a few days, instead of several weeks. (This might also give your organization bonus points in the minds of candidates as they know that you value their time - now that is called enhancing candidate experience!)

Employer branding

When a candidate is approached by recruiters from multiple employers, one of the most important things that sets you apart from your competitors is your brand image. Cold-calling, mass emails, and even personalized emails simply do not make the cut when it comes to great candidate conversions. A weak social media presence might even prevent candidates from applying for positions in your firm at all.

Though building an employer brand is time-consuming and expensive, it is an investment that is well worth the effort.

So, how do you differentiate yourself in the candidate market? The answer is content marketing. In other words, use content and social media to your advantage.

Identify target candidate personas (based on their professional challenges, topics they read about, social networks they frequently use, preferred blogs or publications etc.) and tailor your content towards this audience. Conduct targeted email campaigns with knowledge articles and infographics catered specifically to them. Advertise your annual awards and show off some of your fantastic employees that candidates would get to work with.

Lastly, do not forget to measure the impact of your content marketing initiatives. Proactively measuring ROI and tweaking your talent acquisition strategy accordingly will go a long way in attracting top talent.

Identifying recruiting metrics (KPIs) using analytics

Recruiters today have a host of technological tools at their disposal. While these automated tools reduce the margin of error and streamline the entire recruitment process, recruiters are unable to use the data from these tools to make smarter choices. They are not sufficiently trained to crunch the numbers and summarize insights from these tools to effectively use them.

Related:  3 of the most common recruiting mistakes

In order to demonstrate the dollar impact of your talent on revenue, partner with key stakeholders in your organization to come up with the most important recruiting metrics for your organization.

Cost-per-hire, time-to-hire, candidate sources, candidate engagement (social media shares, number of followers) and company rating and employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor, all of these form a good starting point for data-driven recruiting.

Measuring quality of hires and other recruiting KPIs not only allows recruiting leaders to make a business case for more targeted recruitment spending but also uncovers upcoming recruiting challenges and opportunities in a timely manner.

Retaining Millennials

Millennials are expected to make up 35% of the global workforce by 2020. As a generation that values money and more importantly, a sense of purpose and a desire to make a positive contribution to the society, it makes sense to have a unique strategy to attract, retain and develop this talent.

Since millennials are more tech-savvy compared to previous generations, it would benefit companies to target them on sites that they frequent, like Snapchat and Instagram. They thrive on open communication and regular, candid feedback - therefore, informal weekly or monthly one-on-one discussions might yield better results than annual performance reviews.

Millennials value the ability to make a positive impact on society. Consequently, highlighting the non-profits that your organization supports, making an employee-matched contribution to a charity of their choice or allowing them to take a paid day off to work with a non-profit, all of these demonstrate that you have a social conscience and help promote your organization as an employer of choice in the candidate market. Get the guide for other best practices and creative ways for attracting and retaining the most qualified Millennials and entry-level candidates.

Recruiting innovators

Considering the rapid evolution of technology in recent years, it is increasingly becoming difficult for organizations to set themselves apart from competitors. It is, therefore, crucial to hire employees who are innovative and willing to not just think outside the box, but who are willing to get rid of the box altogether. In other words, companies would greatly benefit from having brilliant employees who tell them what to do and how to do it, instead of the other way around (Think Apple and Google).

Unfortunately, most organizations do not have the right recruiting processes to effectively filter out and recruit innovators. It all starts with building a strong employer brand. Making an effort to hire those who demonstrate an appetite for risks, who have taken a different approach in their careers or who have tried something new (and failed) and then succeeded in their chosen fields, shows that you value creativity and demonstrates your commitment to hiring those with a creative mindset.

Every organization has its own set of recruiting challenges to deal with. In today's rapidly changing recruitment landscape, hiring the right kind of candidates has never been more important....which means that recruiting leaders need to be more proactive in their approach towards talent acquisition, identify challenges and work towards executing them.

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Anagha Madhaven Srinath

Anagha is an engineer and a former recruiter, who has identified talent for tier-1 consulting firms. As a writer, she has co-authored academic papers related to management and intercultural communication. Presently, she writes/edits web content related to technology, engineering, and HR.

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