The leaves are changing. Temperatures are dropping. Pumpkin spice everything is filling pantries. The holidays are here. It’s time to spread joy, give thanks…and rethink the hiring process.
Let’s face it, the end of the year presents several hiring challenges, like talent shortage. Inevitably, potential rockstar candidates are going to be reluctant to apply or hiring mistakes are going to be made.
Top quality talent is afraid to take a leap into a new job. Often, this is due to the unlikelihood they can take time off to spend with family. And recruiters are faced with what appears to be shining stars who are actually just looking for temporary or part-time work to ride through holiday spending.
This slows hiring for permanent positions. It also causes hiring professionals to spend more time and money attracting, hiring, and onboarding employees who aren’t in it for the long-haul.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can still attract and hire talent who actually wants to commit to you during the holidays:
Ask about long-term goals
The end of the year is a time when many professionals take a look back on their year, then set new goals for the upcoming year. If your company doesn’t fit into your candidate’s future plans, you might be wasting your time.
Valerie Streif, the senior advisor at Mentat, a professional networking technology company located in San Francisco, said develop interview questions around the candidate’s New Year’s resolutions
“Asking about their long-term goals will give a lot of insight on whether or not they would be a good choice,” she said. “It’s really important to give people a chance around the holidays – even though it is difficult with all the other things going on for a company, it can be the moment to make some great hiring decisions.”
Encourage them to share what their professional goals are for 2018 and even beyond that. If they express interest that aligns with the role you’re offering, that’s a good sign they’re committed.
Define success upfront
You might be attracting candidates just looking for some extra bucks during the holidays who will then try to jump ship in the new year. While you can’t fully vet out all of these candidates, you can focus on attracting the right talent who wants to commit and grow with your company
To ensure this, offer a clear definition of success for the prospective role. Define performance goals in the job description so they know early on in the hiring process that you’re looking for a long-term commitment.
Share how you measure success in the role, and demonstrate how accomplishing those goals can lead to higher earning potential. For example, if you have a career path designed for the role, promote that path up front. Indicate timeframes, like three, six, and nine months, when you evaluate the new hire’s goal progress and show how it impacts earnings.
This attracts talent who are truly excited to learn, take on new responsibilities, and achieve ongoing performance goals.
Showcase your awesome culture
“Finding long-term candidates comes down to culture,” said Brad Owens, the host of the Small Business Hiring Podcast and the hiring and retention expert at HR Coaching, a business consultancy located in Brunswick, Ohio, helped a client place a particularly talented seasonal hire.
The client realized the new employee was doing a great job managing a department of their retail company. Leadership wanted him to stay on after the holidays. Fortunately, the hire knew right away that he could truly grow in this environment and he has stayed for more than four years.
Why? The culture was clear from the start. They showed him they could develop him in a way that matched his career goals.
“Do you have a corporate culture of developing talent? Do you offer your employees challenges, growth opportunities, autonomy, flexibility, impact?” challenges Owens. “If you’re offering those types of opportunities, you’ll start attracting career-minded candidates.”
If you attract candidates who don’t know much about what your company values or what your mission is, it’s time to take a look at your employer branding.
How are you promoting your culture? This is vital to your hiring process.
You want to weed out talent who doesn’t fit long before you engage with them. Empower your candidates during the hiring process by developing a branding strategy that clearly communicates what you value the most in your employees.
Host holiday events online
Attracting talent is one of the biggest challenges to your hiring process at the end of the year. Those who were actively looking become more passive in the final months.
This is where you can kick your employer branding strategy into high gear. Considering hosting themed ‘events’ on your social media channels every month leading up the end of the year.
In November, for example, host a Thanksgiving-themed chat on Twitter. Your employees can share what they’re grateful for with candidates who participate. For December, host a live Facebook video for a Secret Santa giveaway. Participants who view and engage can win rewards, like company apparel and free gift cards.
Consider throwing a holiday-themed open house party as well. Employees can invite referred candidates to tour the workplace and give them a sense of the employee experience. You can also tie this referral initiative to end-of-year bonuses.
Your hiring process thrives when you fill your talent pool with excited candidates. Give yourself an early holiday gift by hosting these fun events.
How are you improving your hiring process and finding retainable talent during the holidays? Let us know!