The pandemic has completely changed how we work. For employers, it’s been especially hard to find the right candidates for so many reasons (though the one everyone talks about is The Great Resignation). Because we’ve been through such an upheaval in the last few years—with clients and candidates both expecting the world from one another—we’ve also witnessed some bad behavior on both sides of the job hiring experience. From impatient ghosting to candidates who won’t budge on benefit requirements, it can all feel both frustrating and defeating at times.
But there are some actions that you, as the employer, can do to both manage your expectations and make the process more pleasant for everyone involved.
1. Go into this optimistically
Remember, not everything you read about the current state of hiring is terrible. While a November headline reads that hiring slowed, headlines aren’t everything. What’s also true is that unemployment went down as 600,000 workers came back to the workplace. People are still looking for all kinds of jobs right now, regardless of what headlines say. It’s totally possible that a candidate believed that freelancing was for them… until they saw your incredible posting and applied for that full-time job. But if you’ve remained optimistic and haven’t seen much change in your applications, maybe there are more levers you can pull—which leads us to our second tip…
2. Make sure your job posting is realistic
We know you need to fill several positions, but don’t pile on these responsibilities on one person. Candidates know when an employer is asking for too much—and the message it sends is that you’re looking for a workhorse or a unicorn instead of a real human with a regular amount of energy. If you have one of these postings that's asking for, say, a designer who is also a copywriter, it’s time you have an expert look at your listings to ensure they’re both realistic and inclusive. Ask this expert to make sure you’re not asking for technical skills that are outdated or unnecessary, too. You’re sure to see a boost in applications just by sending the right message through your clear, concise, and accurate job postings.
3. Repeat after us: Do. Not. Ghost!
Patience is very important for both the hiring manager and the potential client. Ghosting has unfortunately become somewhat of a big issue for both parties involved these days. You as the employer can take a few precautions to avoid this ugly trend (and assess whether you're really ready to hire). First, begin every interview process with an overview for the applicant. Outline how many interviews they’ll potentially attend and give them an estimate on how long the whole process takes. Second, remind them that there are other candidates also applying and that this might add a little more time to the overall process. If it’s been a while since you’ve talked with the candidate, invite them to a check-in where you let them know you’re still interviewing, but that they’re still in the running for this position. Take the time to answer any of their questions and let them know how much longer until they’ll hear from you again. As soon as you’ve made your decision, contact every top applicant as soon as you can and let them know whether or not they were chosen. Also, be open to giving feedback to help the applicant in their next interview process. It’s not just respectful, it’s kind—and we could all use a little more kindness.
4. No takers? Get creative with benefits
If you’re finding it hard to attract the right talent, maybe you can change something about your job listing. There are many reasons people are struggling to return to the workforce. Maybe they are without the necessary childcare or senior care options. Maybe they are immunocompromised and require remote work options indefinitely. Point is, you’ll need to get creative with your benefits if you want to attract and keep talent.5. Be willing to compromise
Along with getting creative with benefits, you may need to find more ways to compromise with applicants, whether it’s around time or skills required. All of our lives and businesses have been turned upside down by this pandemic and compromise is key to meeting one another where we are each day. Consider posting listings that are full-time, part-time, and contract to offer more options. When you get applicants who you really like but lack just a few skills, consider hiring and teaching them on the job. Remember that none of us started working and were absolutely perfect—we had to grow into our professional unicorn selves.
If you’re having trouble getting enough eyes on your job posting or you haven’t found top-notch talent, we can help.