In this six-part series, we explore some of the talent acquisition trends to expect in 2023. As you explore these trends, consider how you can adjust your company’s recruiting and hiring practices to adapt.
The job market has shifted, resulting in a trend known as “boomerang employees.” This term refers to employees who changed jobs or even retired early, only to realize the grass may not be greener on the other side. A changing economy has caused retirement accounts to shrink for many, along with feelings of uncertainty about the future.
Boomerang employees are part of a rapidly growing trend in the workforce as hiring managers are faced with the decision of whether to rehire team members who left. But assuming the employee left on good terms, why not bring them back onboard?
The Benefits of Returning Employees
Losing a good team member is often frustrating for managers and recruiters. You lose the skillset and knowledge of a strong employee, which can leave the department scrambling to fill their shoes. But if that individual wants to come back, and there’s an open position that aligns with their expertise, it makes sense to welcome them with open arms.
Returning employees come with an understanding of the organization, including the expectations and culture. Even if they’re moving into a different role from the one they left, the learning curve isn’t generally as steep as it would be with a brand-new hire. Most rehired employees can transition between roles easily, thanks to their foundational understanding of the company as a whole.
How to Support Employees who Want to Return
A strong offboarding process goes hand-in-hand with the trend of boomerang employees. It’s a trend that no organization can afford to ignore. If your company has little to no offboarding processes in place, now is the time to invest in developing relationships with those who choose to leave.
When employees resign to pursue other opportunities, they typically have reasons for leaving the organization. Tapping into those former team members as resources can help your business improve its culture and give employees what they want. A positive exit interview process can uncover insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. You can find out why people are leaving, and what might encourage them to come back.
Additionally, it’s worth considering technology that can track former workers and figure out who might have the experience and skills needed when a role opens up. With the right software, your business can manage data on applicants and hired employees. If a position becomes available that aligns with their skills, their information is readily available, which may simplify the process of filling that particular role.
Don’t miss out on a potentially stellar hire simply because they already worked for the company in the past. As more people boomerang back to companies where they felt comfortable, it’s worth considering how your organization could encourage former employees to return.
Check out the other posts in our 2023 Talent Acquisition Trends series:
In this six-part series, we’ll explore some of the talent acquisition trends to expect in 2023. A shifting job market has changed the way people think about their careers and progression opportunities, putting more power in the hands of the employer. As you explore these trends, consider how you can adjust your company’s recruiting and hiring practices to adapt.
Part One: More Internal Movement
The job market has shifted dramatically recently, going from “hot, hot, hot” to “somewhat uncertain.” As a result, many workers are looking at different forms of career growth. Instead of seeking work with another company, many employees are moving upward internally. By ditching the corporate ladder and seeking to climb the company lattice instead, talented professionals have succeeded in achieving their career goals while maintaining a sense of stability.
Invest in Workforce Planning
What does this mean for you? Your hiring practices might need to shift, along with your internal training opportunities. Instead of hiring from outside, consider which current employees might be a good fit for an open position. Workforce planning needs to become part of your strategy, which involves identifying and addressing employment gaps. If growth is part of your business strategy, workforce planning is a critical step in that goal.
Offer Training Opportunities
A company can also make a big difference in the lives of its workers by investing in talent development. Developing the skills and abilities of every member of your workforce is a must, and it requires careful planning for proper execution. Provide regular training and options to gain certifications in relevant topics. Ensure that your internal staff members have the chance to re-skill or upskill and use their new or improved skills to seek internal advancement.
Nurture Top Employees
Of course, nurturing your workforce is an essential aspect of building and maintaining a strong company culture. But you can keep a short list of promising employees, offering tailored career development opportunities and customized career paths based on their skills and expertise. Investing in your employees is a win-win: Your workforce is happier and more engaged while your talent acquisition efforts improve. It’s also easier to fill skill gaps and open positions when hiring stalls out or you struggle to find an external candidate who checks all the boxes.
Internal movement is sticking around for the foreseeable future, so it’s worthwhile to consider how your company can promote and support its current employees.
Next up, we’ll cover the expansion of contract work as another 2023 hiring trend.
According to recent statistics, the average length of the hiring process takes around twenty-four days. In a market that favors job seekers, this time span is just too long for some companies. Many have resorted to cutting down on background screening in an attempt to make up for lost time. But more often than not, companies that skip this vital step risk the integrity of their organization and their hiring process.
You don’t have to cut corners to get the hiring results you want. Background screening can be a helpful tool in your hiring process and not a hindrance in attracting talent. With information from Verified First, check out these three ways background screening brings value to your organization.
1. Background Screening Authenticates a Candidate
Screening candidates looks different for all industries, but the heart of the matter remains the same. Background screening is performed to better ensure that the candidate you’re about to hire is the best person for the role. It works to authenticate a candidate by looking into a person’s background to verify their history. These screens can contain a multitude of solutions such as:
Screening also helps you verify that everything a candidate has said to indicate they’d be a great new hire is accurate.
2. Background Screening Protects Your Workplace
Information gleaned from background screening can speak to the potential risk of hiring that person. Choosing not tobackground screen your candidatescould discredit the integrity of your business and put your existing employees, clients, and partnerships at risk.
Certain screens are designed with workplace safety in mind. These screens in particular will check for candidates who have previous offenses that could put vulnerable populations – including the elderly, children, and more – at risk.
National Sex Offender Registry search – Searches if a person has been added as a sex offender to the National Sex Offender Registry.
Federal criminal records search – Uncovers if a person has been convicted of a federal crime such as firearms or drug trafficking.
Global Homeland Security search – Identifies if a person has been added to any known terrorist lists.
Over 70 million American adults have a criminal record. Screening your candidates can help you navigate records and better protect the people already within your organization and community.
Partners keep you in mind in every step of the screening process. They work to take the best care of their clients from integration to implementation.
Background screening adds value to your hiring process by helping you identify which candidates are the best fit for your workplace. A solid screening strategy starts by finding a screening partner with your specific needs in mind. Check out how you can get started with background screening today through Verified First!
Background checks are an important part of an employer’s due diligence when evaluating job applicants. Thorough background investigations protect the business, the employees, and the customers. For some job roles, they protect public health and safety.
1. Delays Are Easing Up–So Don’t Stop Doing Background Checks!
However, some small business owners are considering whether to stop doing background checks because they have become more complicated and time-consuming in the past two years. Hurdles include pandemic-related court backlogs and a patchwork of regulations. In addition, many small businesses are limited by short-handed hiring teams. Fortunately, courts and other government agencies are working to get their records up-to-date. And while some new laws delay the process, some states (like California) are considering bills designed to make things easier.
Recruiters and hiring managers that don’t have the resources to perform them on their own should consider a professional service. It does make the hiring process more expensive, but the cost is far less than making a bad hire.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire costs the employer up to 30% of their first-year earnings. In a CareerBuilder survey, 3 in 4 small business respondents reported having hired the wrong employee for a position, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
2. A Negative Background Check Experience Can Drive Candidates Away
Despite economic uncertainty, the talent market is still ultra-competitive. Job seekers have many options. The companies that win the war for talent have an attractive employer brand and a candidate experience to match.
Any bottleneck or inconvenience in the hiring process–including a lengthy or confusing background check process–increases the risk of the candidate withdrawing their application.
There are two main ways to prevent delays in the background check process. First, if the employer and candidate work together diligently to complete the required release forms and authorizations, the process can proceed more smoothly. Second, candidates can prevent delays by ensuring all submitted information is accurate and correct to the best of their knowledge.Indeed
According to LinkedIn, the average time to hire is 41 days. How does your company compare? Is your background screening stage a bottleneck in your process?
In a CareerBuilder survey, 38% of respondents reported losing a candidate because they had a negative experience with their background check; however, less than half of HR managers who conduct background checks (44%) have tested their background check experience themselves. When employers do test their process, they identify a less than ideal candidate experience, with around 1 in 6 (14%) rating their background check candidate experience as fair or poor.
3. There Are New Background Check Laws
Employers need to stay abreast of the employment laws in the locations where they have employees working–including remote employees. Multiple hiring laws impact background checks, including criminal records checks, drug tests, driving records, and credit reports. Let’s discuss some of them.
According to the National Employment Law Project research, 37 states, the District of Columbia, and numerous cities/counties have recently enacted or modified laws that affect employment screening in general and various types of background reports.
Cannabis Screening Laws
In 2022, Virginia,Connecticut and Philadelphia modified cannabis screening laws. Connecticut’s new employment regulations went into effect July 1, 2022. The law prevents employers from penalizing a job applicant who used marijuana prior to being hired. If an existing employee tests positive for cannabis, the employer can’t take adverse action unless they had a written drug policy in place before the test. Note, however, that there are exceptions for drug background checks for positions that affect public health and safety.
As with Connecticut, the Virginia law also went into effect July 1, 2022. The Virginia law prohibits employers from taking adverse action against applicants for the legal use of cannabis oil. The law also requires current employees to obtain a written certification from a medical provider verifying that cannabis oil use is prescribed to treat a health condition.
Effective January 1, 2022, Philadelphia employers are prohibited from requiring job applicants to undergo pre-employment tests for cannabis use. Visit the City of Philadelphia website for more information on how this impacts background checks.
State and City Fair Hiring Laws
Some states and cities have passed laws that expand on federal regulations that affect background checks..
Effective August 2021, Louisiana restricts employers from considering an applicant’s arrest record or non-convictions in hiring decisions. If an employer believes criminal history could affect job performance, they can get an individual assessment from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to obtain permission to conduct a criminal background check.
As of October 2021, Maine prohibits recruiters from asking about criminal history on applications. The law also bans job applications from saying candidates with criminal histories should not apply or will be eliminated. However, federal or state laws require criminal background checks for certain employment.
Effective April 2022, an amendment to Philadelphia’s Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards (FCRSS) broadens the scope to cover both independent contractors and gig workers. Philadelphia’s FCRSS prohibits asking job applicants about their criminal history on applications and/or in interviews.
Changes to the New York City Fair Chance Act became effective July 29, 2022. The law requires employers to conduct all non-criminal background screenings prior to making a conditional offer. In contrast, companies can only conduct criminal employment background checks and driving history checks after making an offer.
Both Michigan and California added restrictions regarding using an applicant’s date of birth and other information during background screens. Note, however, that California’s provisions have been challenged and are working their way through the courts. If you are based in California or have employees working in the state, stay apprised of the latest rules.
Michigan previously had a DOB redaction rule, but as of April 1, 2022, employers can use an applicant’s DOB with their permission to access criminal databases or for confirming identity.
Salary History Bans
While not directly applicable to employment background checks, be aware that at least 14 states have laws that prohibit employers from asking job candidates their salary history, and 20 states and Washington, D.C. offer protections for employees to discuss compensation.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Though not a new law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) applies when employers hire a third-party service agency to conduct employment consumer credit reports and other investigative reports. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the FCRA.
When in the Recruiting Process Should I Do Background Checks?
The size of your company, the job role you’re hiring for and your industry influence the timing of both background screening and reference checks. If you field hundreds of applications, there are advantages to doing reference checks before the interview stage. It will help you narrow down the applicant pool earlier in the process.
For higher level positions, it’s customary in most industries to delay a background check until the final stages. This could be immediately prior to the formal job offer – and some companies don’t do a background check until they’ve extended a conditional offer.
Verified First Integrates With ApplicantStack for Streamlined Background Checks
Have you updated your Employment Value Proposition (EVP)? If not, get it on your to-do list. It can help you attract and retain talent in a competitive labor market.
Don’t have an EVP? Today’s job seekers expect a prospective employer to showcase their employer brand front and center.
An Employer Value Proposition is also called an Employment Value or Employee Value Proposition. Your EVP should succinctly explain the value you provide to a potential candidate as well as your existing employees. This includes compensation, benefits, perks and, increasingly, your company’s commitment to causes your employees care about.
Why Is an EVP Important?
An Employee Value Proposition is a useful tool in any labor market. But it’s especially important now, because it’s never been more difficult to find top talent. Surprisingly, recession fears and rising inflation haven’t put a damper on hiring, at least in most industries.
Employer Value Proposition Example
You don’t have to be a large business to create and benefit from an EVP. Small businesses can (and should) articulate what they have to offer, specifically the benefits of working at a small company. Swipeclock, for example, is a 100-employee company. Here are some excerpts from our employment value proposition:
Our team casts a wide net across numerous locations, lifestyles and backgrounds. We celebrate the uniqueness and strength found in diversity and inclusivity. It’s our differences that make us interesting, and our shared belief in Swipeclock’s core values that bind us together. Resilient: We are a resilient group of individuals. We know the business environment can be unpredictable. Thriving means being able to pivot, respond to the unexpected and keep the focus on what’s important — our customers. Agile: Phenomenally agile are able to take a problem and work it into a success story. With our agile mindset, we seek to deliver solutions quickly and respond to customer inquiries with the same speed. WorkforceHub.com
How Has Your Value Prop Changed?
As reflected in the title of this piece, it’s time to update your value proposition. Your company and employees have changed dramatically. If your workforce is thriving, you have been successful at supporting your employees and adapting to the new world of work and life. In other words, you have a strong EVP.
Have you revamped your benefits package by adding mental health coverage or childcare? It’s never been more important to strengthen your commitment to work live balance. Do you provide hybrid working and flexible schedules to make life easier for your current employees? What causes do you support? Your ideal candidate shares your values.
How about career development? This has become increasingly important to candidates and employees. A work environment where employees understand their career paths is critical if you want to improve retention and find the right talent.
If so, update your Employer Value Proposition so you can convey these things to prospective candidates. Furthermore, it will help you unify your workforce which will, in turn, reduce employee turnover.
This evolution in thinking has undoubtedly been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which put immense pressure on leaders to not just communicate their values but also to demonstrate them. In the face of difficult decisions, employers suddenly had to decide whether their professed ideals and “north stars” were real and substantive or mere lip service. They gained a heightened awareness of the importance of organizational purpose, team cohesion, and employee experience. Bryan Adams, Harvard Business Review
What if I’m Creating Our First EVP?
It’s important to realize that your company’s EVP merely expresses the value of working for your organization. In other words, you already have an identity and culture. To write your value prop you need to figure out what it is.
Begin by identifying what makes your company special. An anonymous employee survey can help. In addition, you can check Glassdoor and other workplace review sites to see what current and former employees say. Customer testimonials and feedback from your support team can shed light on how your company is perceived in its space.
How Can We Improve It?
Once you understand your current value proposition, you can make a plan to improve it if needed. This is called your employer brand strategy.
If you have high turnover, it’s not just your EVP that’s weak, Unfortunately, it’s the company culture upon which it’s based. If this is the case, it’s time to re-evaluate the employee experience you provide as an employer. Create an ideal Employer Value Proposition to guide you as you work toward it.
If your employees are loyal, but don’t have clarity why, you have a communication problem. This is not the worst problem to have. It means you have a terrific culture and can create a strong Employee Value Proposition. As discussed previously, use focus groups to identify your company values.
Then, work to get your compelling Employment Value Proposition out to your team and potential candidates. Share it with employees in your HR portal. Have your talent acquisition team Include it in your job descriptions and discuss it in interviews. Talk about it in company-wide meetings.
Knowing how to write a job description is one of the key components to attracting and hiring the best talent. That means it’s an essential skill for hiring managers, HR professionals and recruiters.
What is a Job Description?
A job description is a formal listing of the specific responsibilities and important details about an employment position. Though it isn’t the exact thing as a job posting, the job posting includes the job description. A job posting may include additional information about the company.
Assist managers/supervisors with performance reviews and identifying areas for training or development
Prevent legal problems with federal agencies in the event of a discrimination allegation
Why is a Good Job Description Important?
First off, a job description is usually the first touchpoint a candidate has with your company. If it’s professional and compelling it reflects well on your organization. Conversely, if it’s full of cliches and trite phrases, or grammar and spelling mistakes, high quality candidates will pass it by.
In addition, a good job description will set expectations for prospective applicants. This saves everyone time and frustration. If a job description doesn’t clearly outline the role, unqualified job seekers may apply. Or perhaps qualified job seekers will apply without understanding the nature of the position. If they are hired and the actual job is different than what the job description described, they may move on. At that point, you’ve both wasted time and your company has wasted money. Not to mention that the former employee won’t be likely to speak well of the experience. If it happens repeatedly, it can damage your brand.
How to Write a Job Description
What makes a good job description? Creating a standardized process is the first step.
Firstly, gather the appropriate people for the task. The manager to whom the position will report might be the best person to take the lead. If there are other employees performing similar jobs, they can also contribute. Additionally, if the position is new and will relieve current employees of work load, they should be part of the discussion.
Secondly, perform a job analysis. You need as much data as possible. The job analysis may include the job responsibilities of current employees, internet research and sample job descriptions for similar jobs. It would include an analysis of the duties, tasks, and responsibilities of the position. The more information you can gather, the easier it will be to write the description.
Thirdly, write the job description. The format and style for writing job descriptions is different from any other type of business writing. It is not a complex process, but you should follow a basic format and include specific components. The basic components are listed below. Following the list, we discuss each in more detail.
Here is a job description template:
(Optional) Salary or wage
The person the position will report to
Candidate requirements (must-haves)
Desired candidate qualifications (nice-to-haves)
Statement about company and benefits
Many job postings start with the location and job title. We have included an intro because it will set your job posting apart. Today’s hiring environment is very competitive. Job seekers interested in your opening will see dozens (maybe hundreds!) of postings for the same position. What will make yours stand out?
That’s where a unique, enticing opener comes in. Tap your marketing team to help you with this part. Specifically, whomever writes your landing pages, social posts, website copy or email nurtures. It’s their job to grab the reader’s attention using as few words as possible. Recruitment and marketing have much in common. Both seek to bring individuals to your company, whether a job seeker or customer.
Check out this lead-in for a Content Marketing Manager position:
Interested in defining how AI shapes the future of work? Cresta is on a mission to make every knowledge worker 100x as effective, 10x faster and 10x better. (LinkedIn)
Here’s one for a Graphic Designer position at a marketing agency:
Think fast and edit faster? Dream in 9:16? Ok, we’ll cut the BS. Sculpt designers make the attention-grabbing social media creative assets we need and love. Can you help us make awesome content? We’re hiring freelance and full-time creatives.(Sculpt)
Compare it to this snoozer:
Under the direction of the Art Director, the Graphic Designer will perform a wide variety of graphic design functions. Responsibilities include design and production of print and digital collateral: brochures, direct mail, environmental graphics, invitations, advertisements, and graphics for web, social media, e-mail, and video.
If the position is remote, this may not seem important, but include it anyway. Regardless of where the employee will be working, let them know where your company is based. Many job seekers search for positions by city. LinkedIn and other job sites also send postings to candidates. They match up job locations with the candidate’s location. Therefore, if you don’t list a location, you may not get the same exposure for your posting.
The job title should accurately reflect the type of work. For example “clerk,” “processor,” or “analyst”. Furthermore, it should also indicate the level of work being performed; “senior analyst” or “lead accountant”. Avoid acronyms, jargon, and overly-creative job titles. Be clear and concise. Don’t make it difficult for applicants to know if they want to apply. You might call your website manager a Digital Alchemist. Don’t do it in a job description.
The job summary describes the primary reason for and function of the job. It also provides an overview of the job and introduces the responsibilities. The job summary should describe the job without detailed task descriptions. Its length should range from one sentence to a paragraph, depending on the complexity of the job. It is easier to write the summary once you have completed the more detailed information.
Example: A job summary for a Human Resources Director
“Manages the human resources function and day-to-day human resources management activities throughout the organization. This includes employee recruiting, orientation, compensation, benefits, and related programs. Manages all HR functions, staff, and the HR department budget.”
Begin each job responsibility with a present tense action verb and describe the area of responsibility in action terms. Normally, there will be 7 to 10 responsibilities, depending on the job. Examples:
Develops marketing programs directed at increasing product sales and awareness.
Writes programming code to develop various features and functionality for commercial software products.
Designs and develops user interfaces for commercial software products.
Supervises technical support employees in providing technical support to organization clients.
Manages development of advertising and various marketing collateral materials.
Minimum Candidate Requirements
This section describes the minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities. This information helps determine if the candidates are minimally qualified. However, avoid arbitrary requirements that are difficult to validate. Include only the minimally acceptable requirements. Moreover, do not inflate requirements and be specific and realistic.
It’s important to remember not to consider the education, experience, or skill level of current job holders. Include only what the job actually requires. Moreover, ensure the requirement relates to how and why the job is done
Requirements should include:
Education —the type and minimum level, such as high school diploma and/or bachelor’s degree.
Experience —the type and minimum level, such as three to five years of supervisory experience, five years of editing experience, and two years of experience with content management systems.
Special skills — such as languages spoken and computer software proficiencies.
Certifications and licenses — such as industry certifications and practitioners’ licenses.
Desired Additional Candidate Requirements
Of course, there are always additional qualifications on your wish list. Be careful, however. If you list too many, you may discourage perfectly qualified candidates. You also don’t want your job description to be too long.
Work Environment/Physical Requirements
Work environment and physical requirements often overlap, so we’ve included them together. Consider the following example:
Must be able to perform work requiring manual dexterity, climbing, lifting, and working at heights and in confined spaces where advanced mechanical aptitude is required.
In this case, the physical requirements describe the work environment by default.
Consider noise level, temperature, exposure to chemicals, indoors/outdoors, proximity to moving machinery, repetitive motion, UV light, etc.
Here is another example:
Install all types of solar panels and associated equipment in residential and commercial settings. Most installations are performed on rooftops.
When describing physical requirements, list specifics such as lifting heavy objects or standing for long periods of time. Examples include:
Requires ability to lift large and heavy packages.
Must be physically capable of safely lifting a minimum of 50 lbs. without assistance.
Requires the ability to work flexible shifts.
Must be able to travel 50% to other job sites.
Able to meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.
All job descriptions should have a disclaimer that clearly states that the description is only a summary of the typical functions of the job, not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible responsibilities, tasks, and duties. Additionally, disclaimers should also state that the responsibilities, tasks, and duties of the jobholder might differ from those outlined in the job description and that other duties may be assigned. It’s important to understand that in a labor union environment, the job description could be literally interpreted.
Make the Job Description About the Candidate
It is helpful to think about what would make the job enticing to the applicant. Be intentional about this editing step. With any kind of business writing, it’s natural to get wrapped up in our own perspective. It’s takes conscious effort to see the description through the eyes of the job seeker. Doing this effectively will improve the performance of your postings.
What to Avoid in Your Job Description
Unnecessary qualifications: only include what is actually required to perform the job.
Non-inclusive language: remove language that could discourage candidates from underrepresented groups, e.g. “digital native”
The more people that review your description throughout the editing process, the better. As mentioned previously, ask current employees performing the job to review it. If you are not the hiring manager, you need to work closely with that person to make sure it effectively conveys all aspects of the position.
Many people at your company could help describe the culture and work atmosphere. This is another area where your marketing team could help the description come alive.
If your team is working remotely, put your job description draft in a Google Doc so team members can review and add feedback at their convenience.
Job Description Examples
Drywall Carpenter General Foreman
$35-$40 an hour, Full-Time
Essential Responsibilities and Duties
Supervise all field production activities
Assist the Foreman in planning the job, ordering materials and managing employee schedules
Establish project goals and monitor the success of goals throughout the project
Monitor labor efficiencies, project labor needs for the duration of the project
Achieve productivity objectives by effectively managing and assigning tasks to crew members
Maintain an accurate labor tracking log and communicate with key project personnel
Use a proactive approach to anticipate and resolve potential issues
Skills and Experience Requirements
3-5 years experience as a General Foreman Drywall framer or similar role
Lift and/or pull 75 lbs., climb ladders, work off ladders, lifts or other equipment
Ability to maintain a standing position for extended periods of time, fully squat, bend or kneel while wearing a tool belt
Capable of working in a variety of weather conditions
Uphold company core values of integrity, leadership, passion and excellence at all times
Support activities at all job sites as directed
[COMPANY NAME] provides commercial construction services throughout the United States, delivering innovative solutions and outstanding service to our customers for time-tested buildings and facilities. As a 100% employee-owned quality contractor, we hire the best people, give them exceptional training, and provide robust opportunities for professional growth.
What to Avoid in Your Job Description
As you craft your job descriptions, make sure you avoid the following:
Poor formatting (keep things organized with bulleted lists)