Hiring Help For Companies That Can’t Find Workers: 12 Actionable Steps For Recruiting In A Talent Shortage

Hiring Help For Companies That Can’t Find Workers: 12 Actionable Steps For Recruiting In A Talent Shortage

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.

How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Candidate Screening

How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Candidate Screening

Welcome to our series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. In today’s post, we describe how to do candidate screening with ApplicantStack.

Before we continue, let’s review where we are in the series:

Everyone wants to find the perfect hire. But finding that perfect person in a pile of applications can be daunting.

Manual candidate screening is one of the most difficult parts of hiring. How do you review hundreds of resumes and applications? How do you find the perfect applicant before your competition does?

What Are The Challenges of Manual Candidate Screening?

  • Creating effective scoring criteria
  • Isolating a pool of qualified candidates quickly
  • Keeping track of applicants from multiple job boards
  • Tracking each applicant in the hiring process
  • Filtering out unqualified candidates
  • Collaborating with your hiring team

Scoring applications with ApplicantStack is ridiculously efficient.

ApplicantStack shines a spotlight on the best candidates by automatically scoring them.

Manage Applicants in a Central Dashboard

All applications come into a central dashboard. ApplicantStack scores the applications based on your criteria. Immediately.

No more printing and sorting. Everything is digital and accessible wherever you and your hiring team are.

With ApplicantStack, you won’t have to:

  • Print resumes and applications
  • Sort through stacks of paper applications
  • Worry about losing track of candidates
  • Waste time on unqualified applicants
  • Duplicate processes among your hiring team

Sort Applicants By Score

In the applicant dashboard, sort the applicants by score to see the highest scoring candidates at the top and the knockout candidates at the bottom.

Review The Applicant’s Summary and Resume

Select the top candidate on the list to review the candidate’s summary, source (where they applied from) and resume. You can also see how the score was calculated.

Move Applicants Quickly Through The Hiring Process

If the candidate is a fit for the job, send them to Manager Review. If not qualified, mark the candidate as Do Not Pursue. A candidate can also be fast tracked. Continue through the list to process all candidates.

ApplicantStack Auto Notifications

You can set up automatic emails to candidates as well as internal team notifications.

How Does ApplicantStack Expedite Candidate Scoring?

  • Create questionnaires with custom scoring criteria
  • Knockout questions eliminate unqualified candidates
  • Identify a pool of top applicants quickly
  • Assign tasks to hiring team members
  • Checklists show where each applicant is in the hiring process
  • Manage applicants from multiple job boards from a central dashboard

In our next post in the series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide, we will show you how to schedule interviews.

Take a look at this entire series as an infographic!

How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Offering a Job

How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Offering a Job

Welcome to our series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. In today’s post, we describe how to make a job offer to your top candidate.

Before we continue, let’s review where we are in the series:

Making an Offer to Your Perfect Employee

You’ve completed the assessment part of the hiring process and are ready to make an offer to your top candidate. ApplicantStack can help you make this final step quickly and effectively.

There are three main components in extending a job offer:

  1. Creating the offer letter
  2. Communicating the offer to the applicant via phone call and email
  3. Receiving their acceptance (hopefully!)

Don’t Delay!

When you’ve made a selection, don’t delay! If possible, telephone the same day they complete their final interview. Remember you have competition. Now that you have identified this person as the perfect candidate, you can be certain others have as well. The applicant could be waiting for job offers from several of your competitors.

How to Make a Job Offer Telephone Call

  • Be excited! You want your new hire to feel your enthusiasm.
  • Clearly tell them that you are formally extending the offer
    • Start date
    • Job title
    • Compensation/bonuses
  • Ask if they can accept over the phone
  • Notify them that you are sending an email with the formal job offer letter

What Do You Include In a Job Offer Letter?

The job offer letter initiates the employer-employee relationship. It’s a comprehensive document similar to a legal contract.

These are the basic elements in an offer letter. Your company may require additional information.

  • Position/Title
  • Name/Position of Supervisor
  • Reporting Structure
  • Work Schedule
    • Full-time or part-time
    • General work hours
    • Shift, if applicable
  • Employee Type
    • Overtime exempt/nonexempt
  • Job Duties
  • Base Salary/Wage
  • Equity, if applicable
  • Bonuses/Commissions
  • Wage Disclaimers, if applicable
  • Benefits and Eligibility
  • At-Will Employment

Important Documents to Accompany Offer Letter

Depending on the position, you may need to include other documents. These may include confidentiality and noncompete agreements. As well as invention assignment and intellectual property terms.

ApplicantStack Offer Letter Templates

Creating an offer letter template in your ApplicantStack document library is easy. Add as many merge fields as needed (see the previous list). A merge field imports information you have recorded elsewhere. In the video, we show you how to create a merge field for the job start date.

The candidate will receive an email including the offer letter and can sign the acceptance electronically. The offer letter will be available in the candidate profile record.

The Benefits of Using ApplicantStack For Extending Job Offers

  1. Create offer letter templates for each position—you will always be ready to extend an offer
  2. Merge fields in letter templates allow you to import information stored in the system
  3. Brand your offer letter with your company logo and colors to reflect your company brand
  4. Electronic signature allows your perfect candidate to accept the offer upon receipt of the email

Improve Recruiting to Take Advantage of a Favorable Business Climate

If you have a slow hiring process, you are at an extreme disadvantage. If you can’t find qualified people, you can’t implement your business goals. This is an unnecessary obstacle to success. There are growth opportunities in every industry. And a host of emerging industries as well! To take advantage of these opportunities, you need the right people to execute your vision.

ApplicantStack Was Created by Recruiting Professionals Using Best Practices

ApplicantStack hiring software helps you establish best practices to find quality employees in a timely manner. Regardless of the size of your company, follow our step-by-step How to Hire Your Perfect Next Employee guide. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when it comes to recruiting workflows.

Brand New Employer?

If you are a start-up, congratulations! You can incorporate recruiting best practices from your first round of hiring. You will start out strong and continue that way. Plus, your hiring team will never become burned out with tedious manual processes.

Do You Have a Recruiting Mess on Your Hands?

If your hiring process is in trouble—no problem. Follow our guide to revamp your recruiting system. With the right software (ApplicantStack, of course!) it won’t take long to identify and remove process bottlenecks. Get started now and you will finish 2019 strong. Your hiring team will also appreciate using the best hiring tools for their critical job role.

ApplicantStack Helps You Create an Applicant-Centric Hiring Process

ApplicantStack also helps you create an outstanding applicant journey. It’s the only way you can hire competitively and establish a positive employer brand.

Join us for the next video where we will go over the last step in the process: Hire.

You can watch other videos in this series on our How to Hire Your Perfect Next Employee playlist or check out our brand-new How to Hire Your Perfect Next Employee infographic!

Spreadsheets are Scary. Your Recruiting Software Shouldn’t Be.

Spreadsheets are Scary. Your Recruiting Software Shouldn’t Be.

Why do many recruiting teams have to use spreadsheets? Forward-thinking companies leverage the best business management tools for everyone else.

I’m talking about best-in-class software products. The kind built for a specific purpose from the ground up. There are systems for CRM, project management, accounting, tech support—you name it.

Yet the hiring team struggles with old technology and ad hoc systems.

Spreadsheets may have been cutting-edge in 1985, but there is no reason to use them now.

Applicant tracking software is affordable and easy to implement. It improves recruiting so dramatically it’s a no-brainer for business owners. Yet the adoption rate is lower than for many other types of software.

Let’s look at all the reasons that spreadsheets for recruiting are ridiculously scary.

Spreadsheets Don’t Meet The Needs of Recruitment

Spreadsheets are designed to store and organize data. Applicant tracking involves loads of data. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. It also involves ongoing communication among all parties. This includes the applicant, hiring team, talent sourcing agencies, and managers. You have to log each separate interaction into the spreadsheet.

Spreadsheets aren’t integrated with your email system. This is a big drawback. But spreadsheet problems don’t stop with an inability to handle hiring communication.

Recruitment has a marketing component as well. Spreadsheets don’t sync with job boards or your careers site.

They can’t screen applications and advance potential hires through the process.

Spreadsheets Cripple Collaboration

Successful hiring requires real time collaboration. Spreadsheets don’t show where a candidate is in the hiring process. They don’t provide an easy way to enter interview notes or rate applicants.

Unless they are cloud-based like Google Docs, they don’t allow for centralized access. Do you need to improve collaboration to improve hiring outcomes? Spreadsheets aren’t going to cut it.

Spreadsheets Are Vulnerable to Human Error

Spreadsheets use manual data entry. As such, they are susceptible to human error. Their inability to detect and prevent errors is one of the scariest things about them.

Studies reveal that average spreadsheet error rates can be as high as 88%.

Companies of all sizes are at risk of spreadsheet errors. JPMorgan Chase, for example, suffered a $6 billion (yes, with a ‘B’) loss due to Excel errors.

Spreadsheets Take Too Much Time

Inaccuracy isn’t the only problem with spreadsheets. They’re also too dang slow. Entering each piece of data into the appropriate cell is painstaking.

If you are trying to shorten time-to-hire (and who isn’t?) you need a better option.

Companies who use spreadsheets are losing applicants because their process drags on. The fastest hirers are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

Spreadsheets Don’t Create a Great Applicant Experience

If you want to cater to applicants, spreadsheets aren’t the way to go. They don’t allow you to respond immediately to applicants. You can’t trigger precisely-timed auto-emails. Applicants can slip through the cracks.

Spreadsheets Don’t Let Your Company Shine

Spreadsheets don’t let candidates see everything that’s awesome about your company. They don’t expand your company brand to your recruitment presence. An applicant’s first impression is of an outdated application process. Candidates aren’t wowed by a manual system.

If the hiring process turns them away, you can’t draw them in with a fat benefits package or any other perks. A cumbersome hiring process is a major liability if you are trying to attract top candidates.

Why use a system that is slow, tedious, and vulnerable to errors?

Smart Automation Designed For Recruitment

An applicant tracking system (ATS) solves each of the spreadsheet problems we’ve discussed. ATS’ automate each component of the hiring process. This provides a better experience for both the candidate and everyone on the hiring team.

Respond Quickly to Hiring Needs

When you have an opening, simply write a job posting and the system takes over. ATS’ post to multiple job boards with one click. Candidates see your posting the same day you create it. There’s no delay.

An ATS Does The Heavy Lifting

An ATS can track hundreds of applications and resumes. For multiple openings simultaneously. You don’t have to enter applications manually. Nobody falls through the cracks.

There are no economies of scale with spreadsheets. Entering one hundred applications takes one hundred times longer than entering one. It’s scary that so many business owners still use them!

Applicants Always Know Where They Stand

Improved communication makes the process better and faster. Customized auto-emails keep each applicant informed throughout the hiring journey.

ATS’ Weed Out Unqualified Candidates (Fast!)

An ATS stores resumes and provides an easy way to score them. You create personalized screening questionnaires for each position. Knockout questions eliminate unqualified candidates before you even look at their application.

Your ATS delivers a pool of qualified candidates soon after you receive the first bunch of applications. The system continues to add to the pool throughout the process.

The ATS handles everything that doesn’t require a human brain—all the busywork and data entry. You spend your time performing hiring tasks that require critical thinking. (You’re a brilliant hiring genius, aren’t you?)

Improved Collaboration = Improved Recruitment

Disparate recruiting systems hamper collaboration. With an ATS, every member of the team can share notes in a centralized location. This alone can shave days off the decision-making phase.

An ATS Makes You Look Good

You can’t excel with Excel. ATS’ create a professional applicant experience. This is becoming more and more important in today’s labor market. With an ATS, you won’t lose any candidates because of an unprofessional or confusing hiring process.

Customize your ATS with company branding. Your hiring and marketing presence will be seamless from the candidate’s point of view. Your organization shines from the very first ‘We’ve received your application’ email.

Your Company Needs A Mobile-Friendly System

When researching ATS’, pay attention to whether they work on small screens. A mobile application process enlarges your pool of potential hires. According to Monster, U.S. job seekers perform one billion job searches from mobile devices each month.

Ready To Upgrade Your Hiring Process?

SwipeClock ApplicantStack meets the recruitment needs of small to mid-size businesses. 2500+ companies use ApplicantStack to achieve better hiring outcomes. Start a free trial today and learn how ApplicantStack can help your company with every component of the recruiting process.