Recent reports have found that almost a quarter of UK workers are planning to change employers between now and the end of 2022. In what's been coined the "Great Resignation", experts who forecasted high numbers of job vacancies due to pandemic burnout and employees re-evaluating their current life goals and priorities were correct.
With over two million job vacancies already available throughout the UK, job-seekers are in a uniquely strong position in the labour market - and many employers are speculating on what they can do to hire the most talented people to fill open roles.
So, how can businesses orientate themselves in a labour market that seems so unpredictable?
The answer: Master the candidate experience.
After all, a negative experience during the hiring process is the number one reason given by candidates who decline job offers.
Here is what you can do - in simple steps - to improve the candidate experience at your organisation without uprooting your entire process.
Don't Ghost Your Talent Pool
This should be a given but is often painfully overlooked.
At a minimum, companies should acknowledge receipt of an application. Candidates are four times more likely to re-apply to a company if they were notified about a previous failed attempt.
However, don't send immediate rejection emails to candidates. It's a bit of a slap in the face if you've spent a decent amount of time applying for a job.
After an appropriate amount of time has passed, thank unsuccessful candidates for their interest in your vacancy and acknowledge you have moved on to the next stage of your hiring process. This can help leave candidates with a positive impression of your brand.
Use Data to Create Something Meaningful to Your Audience
Candidates are like customers searching for products and services - they want their needs and desires understood in real-time! That means using data to create hyper-personalised content that suits the individual's of-the-moment circumstances - from location to salary requirements.
Savvy professionals use marketing tools to extract critical information on each candidate's preferences and respond swiftly to their online behaviours with tailored comms that are meaningful to the recipient.
A job-seeker wants more from their recruitment contact if they’re searching for a role with an organisation that displays a similar level of passion as them! A flat, impersonal piece of communication probably won’t cut it.
Those who have plugged in automation can unlock the power of lead scoring. Which is the process of placing a numerical value against each interaction allowing for the prioritisation of future communication.
Those who arm themselves with data and use it to drive relevant content will see their success rate soar, putting them far ahead of the competition. So, if you're not already, have a look at your candidate data and consider what you can do to excite and engage your existing audience.
Introduce the Team
After you’ve identified the candidates you’re most interested in, it can be welcoming to send a video message to say hello. As long as it doesn’t feel forced, a quick hello from your CEO or another Director can let people know a lot about your brand and corporate culture.
Welcoming touches like this can be the difference between success and failure if your candidate is considering multiple opportunities.
Spice Up Your Interviews
Find ways to move away from the traditional question-and-answer format. Try to facilitate interviews that focus on candidates demonstrating they have the skills you're looking for while showcasing their creative spark.
For example, to assess sales-savviness, you could ask candidates to demo software they’re familiar with, or for tech candidates, ask them how they would design an app for a certain task.
This lets candidates help pick the topics of discussion, as opposed to having ideas always thrust upon them.
Interviews that challenge and stimulate potential candidates will help differentiate you from the competition, and offer candidates insight into your company's brand and culture.
Think Outside the Box
To maintain engagement after an unsuccessful application, Ben Martinez, a recruiter with Sumato Coffee Company, mails the top tier of rejected applicants a bag of coffee with a handwritten thank-you note. Why?
“I do this as a warm way to let certain applicants know that I’m interested in staying connected for any future roles where they’ll be a better fit”
Immediately putting himself into a pole position to approach that candidate in future.
Finally, as you push to close the recruitment gap it's important to remember that you don’t necessarily need to overhaul your entire hiring process. By taking simple proactive steps you’ll be better able to fill your open positions in a sustainable way.