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Overcoming Recruitment Challenges In 2019

Change is pretty much the only constant in the world of recruiting these days. The applicant pools shift, the technology that shapes your hiring is upgraded or becomes obsolete, and the pace gets faster and faster to keep up with a digital-forward world. And it’s not just recruiting itself that changes so rapidly—the U.S. economy is always a factor as well. Let’s look at some of the biggest recruitment challenges facing the recruiting industry in the next year and how you can prepare for them.

Making KPIs work for you

With the intense focus on data and analytics in recruiting and hiring, the sheer amount of data crunching can feel overwhelming. Software and apps can help wrangle all of that information, but once you have the data in hand, you still have to convert it into real-world results. Focus your energy on the metrics and information that your organization actually needs. The most common KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics that factor into recruitment and hiring are time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, candidate engagement, employer ratings, and candidate source effectiveness.

All of this information can help you streamline your processes and make better choices about candidates, job advertising, and social media outreach, but it’s important to understand what it is that your organization needs the most. Start by engaging key stakeholders in your organization to see what metrics are the most valued (or which need the most improvement), so you can target your strategy and resources. It’s about using analytics to build your recruitment—not necessarily about analyzing every bit of information that comes through the gates.

Managing your employer brand

Social media and the growth of review sites have become double-edged swords for organizations. This transparency between companies and customers, or companies and employees, can help everyone make more informed decisions. But it also means that you have to be hypervigilant about what your employer brand is out in the marketplace. Today’s disgruntled ex-employee could be tomorrow’s viral news.

Monitoring sites like Glassdoor can help you find out your organization’s baseline reputation as an employer. From there (good or bad), you can either do damage control or make sure you’re broadcasting the qualities that make you a unique employer—or one with a good reputation. Refining your branding in job descriptions and other candidate-facing resources can help you differentiate yourself from other organizations in your field and boost your recruiting.

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Embracing innovators

With the focus on previous performance and historical data, it can be difficult to recruit for the present and look toward the future at the same time. That means innovation has to start at the recruiting level—but how?

The first step is actually managing your employer brand. Are you presenting yourself as the solid, dependable workhorse through the years? Or are you showing that you have an eye toward the future, with its technology and inevitable change? Your messaging is the best way to make sure you’re recruiting for change, not necessarily the status quo.

Keeping up with the economy

In fall 2018, the unemployment rate was at approximately 3.7%—the lowest number since 1969. Still, economic uncertainty abounds, with experts unsure of where 2018’s tariffs and divided political landscape will lead the U.S. economy. In 2019, companies are likely to try to insulate themselves as much as possible from impending changes. That means not only potential belt-tightening or pauses when it comes to hiring, but also increasing efficiency and ROI when it comes to recruiting and hiring.

And this is where those data analytics can really come into play. Lowering cost-per-hire is likely to be the hot metric for just about every organization, so having the data at hand to target advertising spends and cut out unproductive candidate sources is the wave of the future.

Analytics can also provide concrete evidence to support expanding some recruitment channels or scaling back others when the Powers That Be are creating strategy or budget based on results. Having real-time analytics can help make effective decisions and get buy-in, even when things are being scaled down or scrutinized more heavily.

Whatever individual challenges your own organization faces as we move into 2019, the best thing you can do for yourself and your team is becoming more agile and flexible. Whether that’s by using data to make smarter decisions or refining your branding, the best way to meet these challenges is by shaking off the status quo and being ready to adapt.

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Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.

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