How to Attract Top Candidates During the Talent Shortage

With month after month hovering near record unemployment lows, hiring has rarely been as challenging as it is today. 

When job openings outnumber job seekers by the widest gap ever, companies have to innovate recruiting strategies in the hopes of separating themselves during a time of ultra-competition for top talent. 

We’ll share some insight into a few of the latest methods to help boost your hiring efforts in what is a historically tight labor market. 

Promote your employer brand 

Already enjoying a long life as a favorite buzzword, employer branding has quickly become a competitive imperative. 72% of recruiting leaders worldwide agree that strong employer brands have a significant impact on an organization’s ability to recruit top talent. 

Your employer brand, in essence, is your company’s reputation. Contributing to that reputation is everything from your company’s culture and core values to your job descriptions and social media postings. 

In an environment where qualified candidates are scarce and spoiled for choice with job opportunities, an organization’s reputation can carry significant weight in the minds of job seekers:

78% of people will look into a company’s reputation as an employer before applying for a job, and an additional 88% of millennials report that being part of the right company culture is a top priority when they consider job opportunities. 

Spend time evaluating the health of your employer brand, and ensure that everyone who represents your organization is unified behind a common message. This way, no matter who interacts with your brand or how they interact with it, they’re engaging with an idea that is consistent, appealing, and truthfully representative of why working for you is special.

Improve your candidate experience 

Like the employer brand, the candidate experience is gaining considerable momentum in modern recruiting efforts. Where once employers held all of the leverage and could revel in a lengthy hiring process that could stretch well over a month, today, the script has flipped; top candidates are now readily moving on from organizations if they fail to receive an offer in just two weeks

A slow, unresponsive, and stressful candidate experience can quickly get you ruled out among potential candidates: 83% of talent reports that a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked.

Already have a strong employer brand? Well, a poor candidate experience can eliminate whatever advantage that provided you.

However, a good candidate experience can have just the opposite effect: 87% of talent says a positive interview experience can change their mind about an organization that they once doubted. 

This doesn’t support the idea that you can substitute a great candidate experience for a weak employer brand. Instead, these statistics shed some light on the power of both working in concert to successfully attract the candidates you want and eliminate any roadblocks if they decide to apply. 

Devote time to trimming the fat off of your application and interview processes, and emphasize ease, transparency, and responsiveness above all else. 

Target passive candidates

With so many Americans already gainfully employed, companies are wise to direct parts of their recruiting efforts to professionals who are already working but are open to a change of scene should the right opportunity present itself. 

Effectively engaging with this group of professionals (also known as passive candidates) drastically increases the pool of candidates from which you can recruit—the trick is doing it right. 

Here are a few tips:

  • Scour your own recruiting database: No matter which ATS your internal department uses, odds are there is a considerable amount of prospects already housed within it just waiting to be found. What may not have been a fit for a specific candidate at a certain point in time may now be ideal. Dig into the roster you’ve already developed; don’t miss an opportunity that may be right under your nose.
  • Engage with them on social media: LinkedIn is the obvious target here, but other mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Reddit are also very viable places to engage with passive candidates. Share posts about your employer brand, showcase new openings your company has, and get active on a subreddit relevant to your business. 
  • Referrals: If you do reach a passive candidate open to a new opportunity, there is still a chance the one you’re offering may not be the perfect fit. Rather than quickly moving on, ask them if they know anyone else for whom the position may be more agreeable. The odds are high that they have a good read on who else within their network may be looking for greener pastures. 

Partner with a specialized staffing firm 

For as much as you can do on your own, the demand and competition for candidates may simply be too taxing for you to take on alone. 

Partnering with a staffing firm that specializes in your industry can alleviate the entire burden of the hiring process, and drastically reduce how long your job openings stay open. 

At RHM Staffing, our team of veteran recruiters specializes in the engineering, light industrial, and commercial industries. Get in touch with us today and learn how our industry expertise, mastery of the current hiring environment, and expansive network of qualified candidates can go to work on your behalf.