There are no two ways about it, the talent market has been a roller coaster over the last few years. At the onset of the global pandemic in early 2020, economies were thriving and unemployment was low. Companies were packed with high-performing talent, knocking one goal out of the park after another. But as the working world worked through the challenges of social distancing and relearning roles for remote and hybrid work models, candidate and employer expectations changed.
This is not the first widespread event or movement that has impacted the way companies hire and manage their workforces – and it won’t be the last. That’s why it’s imperative your team is prepared to reach for growth goals even when talent runs thin.
We pulled together a few tips to help you navigate the talent shortage by improving your hiring process from the ground up. You can work through these steps at whatever pace your team needs to revamp your HR and hiring strategies, but we’ve made it easy for you to follow our suggestions with a 30-60-90 day plan:
Close easy-to-fill gaps with internal talent solutions
It can be overwhelming to rework your entire talent acquisition process to ensure your team’s needs are met, especially during a talent shortage. Fortunately, there are likely some easy-to-fill gaps in your current workflow your team can cover easily if you do a full audit of your team members’ skills.
It’s likely many of your employees have skills from former roles or personal hobbies and side-gigs that could be used to ease the workload of your team without burdening anyone. In fact, there may be skills they are eager to show off or sharpen. By looking at gaps in your current process, you can access the numerous untapped talents right under your nose.
Start your investigation right at the source and ask employees what causes delays and inefficiencies in their workday. It may be possible to shift responsibilities around between team members to make the best use of each employees’ skills. You can also assess where you may need to fill in with training and tools rather than new hires. Finding these hidden-in-plain-sight solutions can save your HR team time and money while boosting team productivity and morale.
Follow these tips to align your internal mobility and talent acquisition strategies!
Determine obstacles and outcomes for hard-to-fill roles
Sometimes, hiring is unavoidable and in the best interest of your team. If this is the case during a talent shortage, you’ll want to understand fully what obstacles you may run into in filling certain necessary positions.
Determine if you’ve attempted to or hired for this type of role before. How long did it take for you to find the right fit? What has occurred that you need to fill it again? Dig deeper into your HR metrics to head off hangups in the hiring process and get straight to the candidates that fit the role. For instance:
- Did filling the role fix the issues your team needed to be addressed?
- Did anything cause delays in the sourcing or hiring process?
- What were the most difficult qualifications to identify in candidates for this position?
- What requirements did you realize you didn’t need for the person in this role to be successful?
If you’ve never hired someone for this particular job description, you lose the benefit of learning from this type of specific hiring data but don’t despair. It’s likely many of the skills you’re hoping to find in candidates are among your team. Even if they cannot step into the role, they can be valuable resources for identifying sources of similar talent and possibly even obstacles.
Decide what’s non-negotiable to succeed
Whether you decide you need to hire for an entry or high-level position, you need to decide what’s non-negotiable before you lay out your assessment process. Once again, you can look to your team and your hiring metrics to determine what new hires need to succeed.
You’ll want to scout and screen specifically for these skills and qualifications so it’s critical you get an exhaustive list from the start. You can whittle it down to realistic expectations before you begin building out your hiring strategy. Consider what drives your team. Is it your workplace culture? Is it your overall company values or mission? Do you want employees who can blend seamlessly into your current team, or do you need a new hire that can offer something different to motivate your team and bring fresh perspectives?
Aligning with the company values is important, but do you want a new hire who’s passionate about your mission and can inspire new solutions and goals? Or would you rather have someone who can fit into your process and drive your bottom line according to plan?
Do top contenders for this job need specific knowledge of programs or products or can these factors be learned on the job as long as they can show they have sales, tech, customer service, etc. experience that meets your needs?
There’s no wrong answer to these questions. Your team just needs to agree and understand what is most important to your new hire’s success on your team before you search for this essential employee so you can not only hire the right person but also so candidates know what is expected of them.
Outline the skills that are trainable and an onboarding plan
There are few jobs, if any, in which a new hire can slide into a role without appropriate training. But in many cases, hiring managers make final decisions based on which candidate needs the least amount of training – that’s what makes them most qualified. It’s cost-effective in terms of time and money to spend the least amount of your budget getting a new hire up-to-speed in their new role. Unfortunately, you may not have this luxury when the talent market is thin. In fact, your most qualified candidates may require more onboarding than ever before.
This is the time to decide what skills are easy to train on the job and what skills need special attention to learn through dedicated training when the new hire starts. To do this, look at your skilled team and determine what skills they picked up quickly, what they easily learned on the job, and what skills they are qualified to teach without impacting their performance and productivity.
For example, you may make a list of soft and hard skills you can expect or train for:
- The use of task management and communication tools
- Time management and communication skills
- Client relationship management
- Emotional intelligence
After you’ve created your comprehensive list of what you can train on, consider the timeline you’d need for each skill and identify if you have the team members and resources to adequately onboard or if you’ll want to invest in a helpful program like Lessonly or BabooHR.
You can even look to see how well your video interview platform serves your needs in the HR process. With the right video tools, you should be able to create custom messages new hires can save and even train face-to-face with live video meetings with team members no matter when and from where your team is working.
Build a structured interview process
Once you’ve determined your non-negotiable qualifications and trainable skills, you can get to work creating your structured interview process. This is crucial because it removes bias from your hiring process and improves the quality of your interviews. Not to mention, candidates feel more comfortable and confident in your interview process meaning you can make more accurate assessments of their fit with your team.
Interview Questions – pull up those old interview questions you’ve turned to time and again and assess them honestly for their effectiveness. You can even ask your employees for feedback on these questions:
- Did they feel they could answer them with a clear understanding?
- Were they pertinent to the information you needed for the role?
- Did they feel fair to candidates?
- Did they accurately represent your diversity, equity, and inclusion policies?
Dump all of the old, ineffective questions and improve on those you can use to grow your team. Consider what questions need to be a part of your early screening through one-way video interviews and what questions are best to ask in-person of candidates who advance. This ensures your interview process is consistent and saves time streamlining evaluations at each stage which gets top candidates through your hiring process faster.
Evaluation Criteria – arguably more important than having a structured set of interview questions is having a consistent and fair evaluation process all hiring decision-makers can get behind. Not only do you need to have clear evaluation criteria for each question, but you also need a simple system for decision-makers to provide and review feedback.
If your team is still passing on manila folders stuffed with yes/no checkboxes and illegible notes, you’re not giving your candidates their best chance in your hiring process. Instead, you may want to look to make your evaluation process virtual. For example, if you’re using a dedicated video interview platform like ours, you can add notes in real-time and track everyone’s feedback to the same questions and answers.
Employee KPIs – Outlining expectations of employees for candidates makes a big difference for talent considering your offers. It’s confusing and frustrating to go through a hiring process believing you’re gaining insight into what it will be like to be an employee, only to find the way you interact with leaders and peers or how you’re reviewed on the job is devastatingly different.
Take a look at the Key Performance Indicators by which you measure the success of your current team. How can you evaluate candidates in the hiring process to ensure they can meet the expectations you have for your employees?
Sharing with candidates how they will be reviewed and in what ways those reviews will impact their advancement as well as what resources the company offers to help them succeed every step of the way is invaluable to winning over top talent. These details could make or break your ability to hire a top contender for your open role before a competitor grabs them up.
Check out these 4 signs you should be using a structured interview!
Evaluate talent sources
By this point in your 30-60-90 day plan (or however quickly you need to move through this process), you are ready to put the magnifying glass to your talent sources. You should have learned a lot about your team’s skills and needs and the effectiveness of your interview process by the time you’re ready to start sourcing. If you took all the steps necessary to improve your hiring process and make great hires no matter how abundant the talent is, you likely need to adjust where, or at least how, you are connecting with candidates.
Social media – new social media platforms pop up all the time. Your HR team doesn’t need to blast your employer branding across all of them. In fact, you’re going to attract a lot of the wrong candidates if you’re not deliberate about the social platforms you’re targeting. This goes both for trying to fit into social trends that don’t align with your brand and sticking with social media platforms that do not connect you with the right talent or clients.
Pro tip: Find out where your employees like to hang out on social media and why? Do they have professional connections or groups they follow? Do they find useful industry tips or influencers on certain social media platforms? These are the places you likely want your brand to be if you want to attract similar talent.
Video library – in 2022, if you don’t have one of these, you’re missing an incredible opportunity to keep your talent funnel teaming with top candidates. What better time to access a pool of qualified talent your team has already vetted than when there is a talent shortage standing in the way of your growth goals?
Using one-way video interviews and saving automatic recordings of live video interviews with evaluation notes intact means you cut out more than half the legwork for finding quality candidates no matter the role.
Employee referrals – direct referrals from your trusted team are a way to hire with confidence no matter the state of the talent market. But it’s especially important to consider when applicants run thin. Your employees know what you need to fill gaps and they likely have old college peers, former co-workers, and professionals in their network who fit the bill.
Looking at employee referrals cuts down on time sourcing talent and candidates who are referred are likely to want to move forward with your job opportunity, meaning you don’t waste time screening candidates who are actively entertaining other offers.
Ready to grow? Tips for virtual hiring!
Review ROI of recruiting and hiring tools
You’re probably eager to jump into taking applications and moving candidates through your hiring process. But you’re only as ready as your hiring tools are capable of supporting your interview process. For this reason, you need to do a thorough review of your recruiting and hiring tools to be sure your return is paying off. If not, it’s a great time to allocate your new year budget toward more effective interview scheduling, screening, and communication tools.
You’ll get the best bang for your buck if you invest in a platform that does it all. A few examples of hiring features to look for when identifying the best hiring platform for your company include:
- Easy scheduling
- Communication features for internal and candidate communication
- Video interviewing capabilities – both one-way and live video interviews
- Interview evaluation tools
- Hiring team collaboration features
- Video messaging
- Talent library
When you’ve committed to the hiring tool updates your team needs to make the most effective and efficient hiring decisions, you’re ready to get out there and meet talent. And you can connect with the confidence that you’re introducing candidates to a positive experience with your HR team long after the offer has been made.
Get out there and hire!