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4 recruiting resources to combat a talent shortage

January 24, 2019

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4 recruiting resources to combat a talent shortage

8 min read

You’ve probably heard about a looming talent shortage. Maybe you’ve even experienced it for yourself. If you’re ever working on tech requirements, you’ll be acutely aware of the phenomenon. All those hours fruitlessly scanning CV banks and scouring LinkedIn. Your time to hire spiraling past the month, two-month mark. All those candidates snapped up halfway through your process…

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it looks like it’s only going to get worse from here. Many sources are predicting that hiring is only going to get harder in core competencies like IT, banking, media, and manufacturing. With qualified candidates in demand, recruiters will either need to step up to the plate- and get creative with their sourcing- or struggle to meet growing demands.

4 resources for every recruiter in a talent shortage

So what can you do to combat the talent shortage yourself? Below we’ll share four key recruiting resources to ease future challenges.

1. Recruitment marketing strategy

Recruiters have to be a jack of all trades, but marketing your company and your jobs is a fundamental skill that every recruiter needs. In a talent shortage, this skill becomes increasingly important as it will help work for you in the background, attracting the right candidates- even while you sleep! The way that you market your company and positions to candidates may be the determining factor between an application or just a passing glance on a job board or your careers site.

Recruitment marketing is the process of finding, attracting, and engaging candidates for particular positions or departments. This can be done through a variety of activities, from outreach to application. It should be one of the most powerful recruiting resources you have.

Careers site

Your careers site is a core engagement point for many candidates. And it can be a great opportunity to make a lasting impression on your applicants. Use it to tell your candidates about your company’s offering, culture, values, and people. Here are few tips to make the most of this recruiting resource:

  • Design should be aligned with your company’s brand, but should also be accessible to those involved in the recruitment process for improved flexibility.
  • Audit your own application process through your careers site. Make sure it’s easy enough for candidates to apply so they’re not discouraged by a lengthy process.
  • Consider adding photos of your team or even including your very own recruitment video. This will create a richer impression of your company. Not sure where to start with a recruitment video? Follow this easy Youtube how-to here.
  • Update your careers site regularly. Outdated careers sites or filled positions under your openings can create a negative first impression.

Job ads

All recruiters will know the value of writing a well-worded job ad that connects with your target candidate audience. But sometimes the time crunch of finding the right candidates means recruiters resort to tired templates or a simple list of one-sided requirements. In a talent shortage, nothing short of a perfect job advertisement will make the cut when it comes to discerning candidates with their pick of companies. So what can be done?

  • Spend time when writing your job ads, but save time when posting them. Make sure your talent acquisition platform or ATS can post to your favorite job boards in one click.
  • Consider sitting down with people who currently work in similar roles. Ask them about why they chose to apply initially, what kind of benefits enticed them most, and the kind of language they prefer. Adapt your job ad appropriately.
  • Manage your applicant’s expectations. Tell them about the role and team. What can they expect from your company when it comes to training, skills growth, benefits, salary? And don’t forget to tell them what they can expect from the hiring process.

Cold outreach

Quality outreach when actively sourcing, especially on LinkedIn, will become an increasingly important skill set to have in a talent shortage. Yet it’s a tricky art to master- especially when you have limited information about a candidate’s current work status, communication preferences, or professional interests. Short of doing a (time-consuming) deep dive stalk of every candidate on LinkedIn, there are a few easy ways to improve your cold outreach.

  • Keep the message short, but give them the information they need. Include a link to the job opening or to your careers site.
  • Narrow your reach so that you can make your outreach targeted and valuable. Show them that you’ve at least had a peek at their profile.
  • Consider asking a few colleagues or friends about the last cold outreach they responded to or caught their interest. This can help you formulate your own that replicate the best elements of those.
  • Consider using a tool like CrystalKnows to help you predict candidates’ communication styles and preferences.

Here’s a guide to cold social outreach if you’d like to get more inspired.

Social media presence

Developing a strong online presence is a powerful tool for many employers. A strong careers site is certainly part of this online presence, but many have chosen to enhance it with company social media accounts. Being part of an online community, and engaging with candidates outside of the application process, will become a crucial tactic to attract both active and passive candidates in a talent shortage.

  • Keep an eye on engagements on your posts across social channels. There’s nothing worse than unanswered questions on company pages.
  • Develop your own tone of voice that’s appropriate per channel.
  • Choose your channels. Not every social media channel will be relevant to your company or your target audience.

2. Robust talent pools

As talent shortages become more prevalent, the cost of acquiring talent through paid channels like job boards will inevitably increase while producing fewer qualified candidates. And while every recruiter should always be looking to take advantage of free sourcing channels, it will become more important than ever.

Talent pools are not only free candidate sources, but they can also be a great way of finding prequalified and engaged talent. These candidates will have already come into contact with your brand and may already be familiar with your company offering. Additionally, if you have been in contact with certain pools regularly, they will be well-nurtured with a positive impression of your brand.

  • Build talent pools for future requirements. Keep an eye to your future hiring plans and consider engaging with candidates for this purpose.
  • Consider hosting events for your talent pools to help them get to know your company.
  • Keep your talent pools organized and updated. This way they provide the most value when you need them.

3. Referrals

In 2018, 82% of employers found employee referrals to be the candidate source with the best return on investment. Referral programs should be a recruiter’s favorite tool in a talent shortage. Why? Not only does it provide a great return on investment, but well-run employee referral programs can help deepen employee engagement, lead to a better candidate experience, and produce higher quality candidates. When an external search for candidates yields limited results, it may be time to use the best recruiting resource at your disposal: your current employees.

Here are a few suggestions to make the most out of this rich recruiting resource:

  • Make referrals part of your standard recruiting process. When a job vacancy goes live, make sure you reach out to your team for any potential referrals.
  • Consider setting up a rewards program to encourage high quality referrals.
  • Establish a clear and open communication line with the referrer in addition to the candidate. Referrers should be kept in the loop to enhance employee engagement in the process.

4. Solid recruitment tech stack

As recruitment becomes more challenging, it will become increasingly valuable to use all the tools at your disposal to get the right talent in. The recruitment of the past that has relied heavily on time-wasting manual tasks like updating spreadsheets or uploading candidate profiles one by one. When competing with other recruitment teams for available talent, you’ll need to stand out by offering a seamless candidate experience- whether that be in scheduling interviews easily, evaluating candidates fairly, or sending a prompt offer with all the correct information.

Your recruitment tech stack will be a core differentiator in a talent shortage. Choosing the right talent acquisition platform or ATS will facilitate the candidate experience and free up your time to connect and recruit strategically. When selecting your recruitment tech, consider the following:

  • Consider more than just features: usability is important. Training can wind up costing precious time. No matter the tool, the user interface should be simple and intuitive so that everyone can use it.
  • If you’re working towards a more collaborative hiring environment, the number of licensed users should be prioritized. Doubling up team members on a licensed seat can lead to reporting problems and security risks.
  • When considering tools, also consider the tool’s feature roadmap. Many tools stagnate when it comes to adding features which can leave you with a tool that is okay for now, but less than future-proof.

Future-proof your hiring

A talent shortage doesn’t always mean doom and gloom for recruiters. While finding candidates may become more challenging, it will also highlight the business-critical nature of recruitment. But recruiters and hiring teams should also begin preparations by future-proofing hiring. This means developing a team aptitude with certain recruiting resources and tools. The aforementioned will be your core differentiators and the difference between success or struggle.

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Adrie is a former recruiter and Recruitee's Head of Content. With a passion for hiring and tech, she is responsible for all the awesome stuff that gets published on this blog.
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