According to the 2017 Talent Acquistion Benchmarking Report from the Society of Human Resource Management, the average time to fill a job is 36 days. This timeline varies across industry, position, level, and contract rate, however, knowing the expected timeframe will allow for appropriate planning to take place. Due to the lag in hiring, finding the right candidate is a challenge for many organizations. Companies must compete against direct competitors, in addition to competing against large well know organizations like Amazon and Google. Due to social media and the rise of candidate awareness, companies must also consider how they present themselves to potential candidates. As traditional recruiting techniques are no longer viable for finding top candidates; organizations must shift their hiring practices and get more creative in the recruitment practices.
Social media is one of the most common recruiting techniques used in today’s environment. There are obvious places to put a job post such as LinkedIn or Facebook. However, some social media platforms are less frequently used. One way to find top candidates is to identify where top candidates congregate online. Try and find message boards, or websites, or groups that your candidates tend to frequent to advertise job openings there. Posting jobs in these unique locations online will result in better attracting the specific talent you are after. Also, make sure to utilize social media outside of the normal locations such as advertising on a podcast or doing an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit to help people understand the job and the company.
These techniques are best applied for positions that require a certain amount of technical know-how or a specific understanding of a program or process like coding for example. These skills are more likely to have online message boards or areas where people with the skills and capabilities congregate.
Another creative way to source candidates is to use gamification in the interviewing process. Gamification can be used as a fun way to test for specific skills within the interviewing process. Create or utilize a program already in place to test how well a candidate can accomplish a technical task that will be a big part of their day-to-day work. Using a game to test for these skills is an easy way to confirm the candidate can do the work at a high level. Another creative way to find some of these candidates is to hide job posts in places or in ways where only candidates with the right technical skills and interest could solve the puzzle. Any candidate that applies this way you know not only has the skills to do the job but also is interested in the position.
Re-evaluate Your Talent Pool
Re-evaluating your current talent pool will also help to build your talent pipeline. In some cases, this is simple and only requires going through previous candidates that have applied. The pool of previously applied candidates is a quick way to find people that might have some of the skills and capabilities the organization is targeting. Additionally, since these candidates applied there is a good chance that they are interested in your organization. Thus, are more likely to accept a potential job offer. The current job pool should also include current and previous interns that may have worked for the organization. Interns will have a good sense of the organization and the work that would be doing. Additionally, they are already familiar with co-workers and expectations so training and getting them up to speed will take less time.
A less commonly used technique is to target boomerang employees. If a high-performing employee leaves your organization reach back out to them in a year or two. Perhaps they are unhappy at the new organization, are looking to move into something different, or just missed the culture and colleagues they had working for your company. This is a good way to attract someone that should be familiar with the work and the culture or your organization. It should be noted that this candidate has likely developed new skills and capabilities so likely would not be interested in return to the same position they held previously.
Finally, change the skills you are looking for in a candidate. Most companies or organizations target technical skills that directly equate to the job. Technical jobs require lots of technical skills. However, these candidates often lack some of the softer skills that jobs require like business acumen, communication, and critical thinking. The reason to target these skills is that many of the more technical skills can be taught over time however these softer skills are much more difficult to learn. Softer skills are crucial for a candidate to grow, advance, and add value to the organization.