The labor shortage is intensifying. Companies large and small are struggling to find qualified hires. Upper level positions sit unfilled a year after the job was posted.

ApplicantStack Understands Recruiting Challenges

For universal, detailed guidance on each step of the hiring process, consult our series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. Make sure you are following best practices. We have a blog post for each step:

If you are following the guidance in our series, keep reading for additional techniques.

Because of the challenging hiring market, we will be focusing in detail on hiring strategies for specific industries. In the next few weeks and months, we will describe innovative methods for finding talent in the current hiring climate.

Today’s post outlines methods that can be used in any industry. Some work better for smaller businesses. Others work better for larger enterprises. If you can’t find workers, there should be several techniques here that can help.

1. An ATS Is Not A Luxury—It’s A Necessity

It bears repetition, if you haven’t adopted an ATS, do it now. If you are using paper-based recruiting, you are already at a disadvantage. An applicant tracking system (ATS) is no longer a luxury. Some of the techniques described in this post can be used with a manual recruiting process. But many have to do with HOW you use your hiring software. As such, they wouldn’t help you if you don’t use an ATS.

2. Contact Your Local Colleges and Universities

If you need college grads, grab their attention right when they graduate. Or better yet, just before. During their last semester, they are worried about finals. Many haven’t launched a full-on job search yet. You can catch their interest before you are competing with other employers.

Your local schools have careers offices that can help you advertise your jobs on campus. Participate in career fairs. Or host your own! Demonstrate your commitment to your community and strengthen your employer brand.

This technique is crucial if you are in a rural area. If you have highly specialized positions, it’s also a great method for targeting educated employees.

3. Network With Educators

This technique builds on the previous. Don’t forget to network with local college and tech school professors and careers counselors. If you employ remote workers, you can expand beyond your community. Build a relationship with those that are training the next generation of workers. They will become a valuable hiring resource.

4. Refresh Your Recruitment Marketing

If your current advertising is not working, you’ve got to mix things up. Tweak your job descriptions. Search your competitors to see how they are advertising for the same jobs.

Do your current job descriptions start out with the skills and experience needed? Re-organize your descriptions. Start with your organizational culture. Follow that with soft skills. Finish up with the other requirements.

In addition to reformatting the layout, refresh on a micro-level as well. Re-write your job titles, skills descriptions, and company perks.

Talk to your current employees. Ask them what they like most about your company. Make sure you include those things in your descriptions. They will give you ideas for articulating your company culture.

In ApplicantStack, you can save your job descriptions. ApplicantStack analytics show you how different versions perform. Use your ATS data for A/B testing.

5. Expand Flexible Working Arrangements

Consider creating more remote positions. This will expand your hiring pool to, well, the entire English-speaking world. Use ApplicantStack to post to additional locations.

6. Make Social More Effective

When it comes to recruiting, many companies treat social media as an afterthought. This is unfortunate because more and more job seekers are looking on social media sites for jobs. Or, perhaps more accurately, they are finding jobs on social media even when they AREN’T job hunting. This fact is important.

Post jobs on more social media sites. ApplicantStack makes this quick and easy.

As far as how you label them, don’t segregate these postings only as ‘Careers Postings’ or ‘Job Openings.’ Work them into more of your company’s social marketing. This takes creativity, but it will expand your reach with passive candidates. And remember, many people who see your social sites are passive candidates.

7. Tap Your Applicant Pipeline

This technique depends on a good ATS. For all previous hires, you isolated a pool of top candidates. You screened them. You interviewed many of them. A lot of work has been finished. Reach out to the almost-hired’s. The fact that they already applied means they were interested in working at your company. This is an important advantage.

8. Build Candidate Relationships

This technique is the natural progression from the previous. Think of each previous quality applicant as a ‘client.’ Nurture your client/applicant relationships. Formalize communications in your ATS.

9. Never Stop Evaluating Your Candidate Experience

Here are important questions to ask:

  • Do you have an employee-centric application process?
  • Is your application too darn long?
  • Do you communicate with their preferred methods? (Hello texting!)
  • Do you make it easy to schedule interviews?
  • Is your careers page optimized for mobile?
  • When they come in for an interview, is your team ready for them?
  • Do you offer video interviewing?
  • Is the interviewer prepared?
  • How long does it take your team to make a decision?

10. Expand Internal Recruiting

It’s not enough to send an email that says, ‘We have a sales position open, spread the word.” Expand your thinking. Ask your employees about great co-workers from previous jobs.

Use a well thought-out process for asking for referrals. Create a script for referral communications. ApplicantStack has a template for requesting employee referrals. If you aren’t currently using it, now’s the time to put it to work.

Adapt the process you use for outside applicants. (Again, consult our series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee.)

An HR portal is invaluable for internal recruiting programs. SwipeClock’s WorkforceHUB has tools for internal recruiting and employee engagement. WorkforceHUB now includes ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard! This all-in-one HR platform allows you to integrate your recruiting and core HR functions with ease.

11. Consider Promotions

Internal recruiting can include promotions. If you are having trouble filling a mid-level position, consider training a lower-level employee. It might be easier to fill the lower-level position.

Talk to managers. There might be a team member performing the necessary tasks. Especially if the position has been unfilled for a while. After all, someone is doing the work.

Consider the advantages of an existing employee. They have already been vetted. They have assimilated. This fact may trump their relative lack of experience in a higher position.

Use performance reviews to evaluate soft skills that could transfer to another position. Hopefully, you have a formal performance review process with thorough documentation.

Make it effortless for your staff to post open positions to their own social media sites. Create a referral reward program.

12. Leverage the ApplicantStack Knowledge Base

Review these articles in our recruiting and HR library. They are full of valuable hiring guidance—especially for hiring during a labor shortage. If you previously read them, keep in mind that some things may be more relevant for your company now. We wish you success as you work to overcome your hiring challenges.