Nobody has to tell you that sourcing is hard work. Since the economy started to rebound just a few years ago, top candidates have become scarcer and active job seekers have become rarer still. Knowing that, it might surprise you to learn that the full-employment economy can work for you.
Why? Because it encourages you to think differently and try new things. The strategies that you develop and tools that you use now help form a better talent acquisition process for tomorrow. Post-and-pray might have worked before the recession. Now, talent acquisition is smarter and gets better results. Here’s how you can take advantage of the trends.
#1: Give Job Ads a Makeover
How boring are your job ads? How overly technical? Chances are, whatever you’re doing it could use a little refinement. In a full-employment economy, the overwhelming majority of job candidates are passive ones. Give your job ads a makeover to capture their attention when you find them.
One of the most important elements in a job ad written for the passive market is concision, says HRM Australia. Say the right things, say them briefly and say them well.
What do your job ads need?
- The job definition: what tasks will the candidate perform, what is expected of them, and what are the company’s goals?
- The job story: how will the job benefit the candidate’s career?
- The company story: how does the employer brand fit into the picture?
- Team members and stakeholders: who will the candidate work with and report to?
- Technology: what tools will they have at their disposal?
- Soft skills: what skills, such as leadership, critical thinking and written communication, must the candidate possess?
What can they do without?
- A wall of words: trim them down and tighten them up.
- Itemized requirements lists: top candidates already have the right education and experience.
- Unrealistic qualifications: does the candidate really need a graduate degree?
- Mechanical language: try to be conversational and engaging.
- Too many graphics: Real Jobs Hawaii says they look unprofessional. They can also bog down the load time for mobile users.
#2: Let Technology Help You Source Better
In this age of technology, you have numerous useful tools at your disposal. Use all of them to help you source talent better (and source better talent).
Talent isn’t just in one place and they don’t necessarily have the same characteristics as they once did. Differences in the talent pool since the recession also change what full employment means. SHRM’s Pamela Harding says one important difference is the freelancing community. Not only do they affect the employment statistics, sourcing is different for them than for people who want a full-time permanent position.
Job matching technology helps make targeted recruitment advertising a reality. Predictive analytics helps you make smarter talent sourcing decisions. Artificial intelligence learns from the past for better decisions in the future.
#3: Hand Over Tasks to Automation
Wouldn’t it be great to slide some chores off your plate and onto someone else’s? A co-worker might not appreciate the extra burden, but technology doesn’t mind. That’s what it was made for.
Automation can handle your ad buys, confirmation emails, blog posts, social media replies and followup emails. It can walk a candidate through a text messaging screening survey. Based on survey results, it can take additional action.
#4: Sharpen Your Sales Skills
Talent acquisition is now sales. In truth, it always has been. But in a full-employment economy, your candidates, who are your customers, don’t rush in to buy your product, which is the job. You have to sell them on why they want it.
If you take a quick peek at current job ads for talent acquisition, you’ll see that sales skills matter. These are just a few things you’ll need to feel comfortable with:
- Promoting the employer brand as the best possible choice
- Nurturing candidate leads to keep them in the talent acquisition funnel
- Actively listening to candidates for a better job/candidate fit
- Following up with candidates to keep them engaged
- Considering all candidates valuable, including those for whom a job isn’t available right now
- ”A hunter’s mentality.” ERE says talent professionals have to know where to look, which tools to use and the best way to capture the attention of candidates.
#5: Broaden Your Sourcing Horizons
In line with the hunter’s mentality, to find passive candidates you have to know where and how to look. The easiest way to meet that goal is with technology.
If you have the right tools, you don’t have to know offhand where to look. Technology does that for you and it constantly adapts. That can broaden your sourcing horizons far beyond what you’re used to.
Here are just a few places they may be hiding:
- Their own professional blog
You don’t have to know where they are. You only have to know which tool can find them.
#6: Develop Strategies to Tempt Top Candidates Away
Talent acquisition in 2017 and moving into next year requires strategies that make your offer look better than what they’ve got now. For that, you’ll need a candidate profile. You’ll also need to study the competition.
With a candidate profile made up of average qualities, you’ll know what motivates them, what turns them away and what doesn’t matter at all. You might be surprised by what fits into each of those categories.
What benefits does the employer offer that the competition doesn’t? Of those benefits, which ones matter to the candidate? That’s where your strategies should focus and how you’ll capture their attention.
#7: Use a Combination of Fast- and Slow-Track Strategies
You probably have some open positions now and some that won’t be open for months or even years. Predictive technology can help you learn more about them. And you should source for both.
Fast-track sourcing uses technology to reduce time-to-hire and get the right person into the right job as soon as possible. Slow track sourcing, however, might be even more valuable in the long run.
Technology can help you source better talent for improved quality-of-hire and lower turnover. When you bring as many qualified candidates as you can into the talent funnel, you build a rich resource. Keep them engaged, and the funnel will become your go-to every time a new position opens up.
The full employment economy can work to your advantage instead of against the grain of your goals. That’s because it encourages you to think and work differently. Job candidates are different now. Talent acquisition tools are more sophisticated and help you find more people.
Although economists say that everyone who wants a job already has one, that doesn’t mean you’re up against a wall. It just means that you need a new approach.