Employers are facing unprecedented labor shortages in 2021. For a myriad of reasons, employees are leaving their jobs and the pool of talent to replace them is shallower than ever. The continued unemployment benefits, concerns about COVID, and remote schooling are three of many factors that go into this complex circumstance. Employers are also facing a learning curve related to the best ways to recruit employees who will be, at least partially, remote. MP’s HR services team and Recruitment Process Outsourcing team share the three top challenges that employers will face in recruiting in 2021 and recruiting tips to handle these challenges.
Top 3 Recruiting Challenges and Tips
1. Candidates have a harder time connecting to an employer when the hiring process is remote.
As employers are hiring remotely, they are missing the benefit of having employees physically come into the office, meet members of the team face-to-face, and get a sense of the corporate culture of the office. In a market where employers are trying to woo a smaller pool of candidates, these disadvantages can be impactful. Employers are rarely just selling a job; they’re selling a manager people enjoy working under, a team they want to collaborate with every day, and a workplace that feels comfortable, supportive, and even fun. It’s significantly harder for hiring managers to sell their open roles to candidates when they need to represent these benefits remotely.
Recruiting tips: The best recruiting tips for employers who are hiring remotely are to find ways to share their culture, their employees, and a real connection with candidates. Some ways to do this include using video chatting technology as much as possible in the interview process. Video may feel slightly awkward, but so much of communication is nonverbal. Video will be an exponentially better way for candidates to build a connection with their interviewers, potential teammates, and potential bosses. Another of the best practices for hiring top talent remotely is to give the candidate time to meet with smaller groups of people over video chat. If they can meet with a few potential teammates, no supervisors or members of HR, they can get to know them better. It would also be ideal for the candidate to meet one-to-one with their potential boss(es) so they can get to know them better and get a better impression of how they’d interact. Even if a candidate never comes into the office, they can still make strong connections with the people in the company. This may be just as impactful. Lastly, interviewers should be trained in interviewing best practices and be prepared to sell the company as a workplace and its open positions. Proper training will also help avoid any discriminatory practices, which can hurt candidates’ impression of the employer.
2. The employer brand is more important to remote candidates.
When candidates are looking for jobs online, the organization’s brand as an employer becomes more important than ever. This includes their presence on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed, and other employment websites. It also includes how they discuss their corporate culture and employee experience on their own website. (Of course, on public sites, employers can only control a certain amount of their employer brand online. Complete control over an employer brand isn’t always easy or even possible.) One last item employers should consider when it comes to employer brand is diversity. If the organization isn’t embracing diversity and displaying it through their employer brand, it will be harder to recruit top talent. Diversity is a high priority to many job seekers, particularly in younger generations.
Recruiting tips: Employers should assign one person to focus on curating and sharing the employer brand. They can ensure that the organization has a presence on important sites for job seekers (like Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn), as well as social media, and that it’s represented well. They could run social media campaigns focused on recruitment and selling the employer brand of the organization. This person can help solicit reviews from happy employees and previous employees. Bad reviews should receive a response, especially one that is not defensive and graciously thanks the reviewer for their feedback. This person should also work on building out content on the employer’s website about corporate culture, employee benefits, and how they embrace diversity and serve their community.
3. The quality of direct applicants is notably lower in 2021.
Because of the pandemic, unemployment requirements, and other factors, many organizations are receiving an excess of candidates who are either not actually interested in open jobs or aren’t qualified for them. With an unprecedented amount of people on unemployment this year, many are suddenly subject to the requirements of state unemployment departments to do a minimum amount of job searching activities. To satisfy these requirements, many people will send in applications for jobs they’re not genuinely interested in. Additionally, some candidates are indeed interested in the open roles they apply for. However, they’re not qualified. They may be either over or underqualified for these roles. Hiring managers are frequently being left empty-handed, even if their inboxes are full of resumes.
Recruiting solutions: When employers only draw from the pool of candidates that directly apply to their postings in a normal year, they’re severely limited. In 2021, this effect is amplified. It also becomes more difficult to hire diverse candidates simply by focusing on direct applications. To find the best talent for the job, an organization can take two steps. The first is adding ‘knock-out questions’ to their applications. Examples of these could be “Do you have X years of experience in [insert skill]?” or “Do you have at least a [insert lowest required degree]?” Employers should also consider using Recruitment Process Outsourcing services (RPO services) like MP’s. These services help employers actively search for the best talent for the role, reducing the time and cost of the hiring process. Later, this small investment into RPO services will pay dividends in multiples when the employer has top-performing talent dedicated to advancing its business goals.
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