Measuring Up—Hiring Best Practices

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Measuring Up—Hiring Best Practices

A new study offers insight into best practices for recruiting and onboarding high quality candidates.

Mid-2016, the job marketplace continues to challenge recruiters and Human Resources professionals seeking to hire.  According to a new report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than 60 percent of hiring professionals are currently having difficulties onboarding for needed positions.

Along with a lack of experienced candidates are hopeful applicants with skills shortages in the area of English, computer, math, and reading comprehension skills.  What is a hiring manager to do?

Quality vs Quantity:  How to attract the type of candidate you want

A new report from Allegis Groups looks at benchmarks and recruiting results associated with so-called recruiting best practices.  From job description to improving the onboarding experience, attention to small details makes a big difference when competing with other companies for the candidates you want.  Consider these findings to fine-tune your organizational hiring methods and achieve better success in the current market.

Let’s take a look at some points of the report:

  • Just not there: Supporting what is known in the industry, the Allegis report notes 83 percent of administrators believe acquisition—and retention—of top talent is a high priority.  Along with that, more than half of responding companies report they cannot locate candidates of the quality they seek.
  • Job descriptions: High-quality job descriptions are a differentiator in the Allegis report.  Survey results show companies are generally satisfied with the specificity and reach of their job descriptions, while candidates do not tend to agree.  With a shortage of candidates and a surplus of job descriptions, the description of your position could make a defining difference.  For example, while 72 percent of hiring managers feel they are on target with a clear job description, only 36 percent of candidates would agree.  There is room for improvement in this gap.

So what makes a job description stand out? The survey ranks, in order of importance, the following factors:

1.   Straightforward delineation of job duties, tasks, and responsibilities

2.  Clear description of salary, compensation, benefits, and perks

3.  Discussion of the company culture, work environment, and opportunities for advancement within that environment

4.  Expression or illustration of employer brand—what makes your company unique?

5.  Just like a first impression, a muddy job description tells its own tale. On social media, job and professional boards, a poorly crafted job description could easily impact your ability to attract the talent you seek.

Consider these tips for creating a job description that describes your position, and enhances your company profile at the same time:

  • Develop a process to create fresh, updated job descriptions. Understand the strategic aim of the position, responsibilities, and goals.
  • Use regular stakeholder input to define the skills and needed experience. Even in the space of a year, the skills needed for a position may change.  Using old language attracts the wrong candidates and leaves you without a proper hire at the end of the recruiting cycle.  Know what you need, and describe (in detail) what you want.
  • Take time and effort to create approachable content concerning your company culture. Describe and demonstrate the values along with challenges of the work environment.  Describe the work setting, what a day looks like, types of projects, and methodologies like groups, teams, or distance work.
  • Screening: An important aspect of the recruiting cycle is candidate screening.  Problems occur when a new hire does not have the skills needed, or worse, made untrue statements on their resume materials that were not caught in the screening process.  HR best practices include careful reference checks, thoughtful interview questions, and informal but thorough peer interviews that allow a co-worker to evaluate the readiness of a candidate for a position.  Use high quality applicant tracking and onboarding software to disseminate job postings, screen applications, and help you to personalize the candidate journey.
  • Onboarding: According to the Allegis survey, it takes an average of two months to fill a position, and about the same amount of time for the new hire to become productive.  With a third of the year gone before your new hire is up to speed, effective onboarding is an important way to improve your investment.  Methods to consider to improve time to productivity include:
  • Create a clear onboarding and feedback process for all hires
  • Develop benchmark plans at 30, 60, and 90 days post-hire
  • Immediately involve your new hire with teams, mentors, and fellow hires in the onboarding process
  • Recognize the new hire as they achieve milestones and organizationally herald co-workers who are taking the time to answer questions and mentor new hires along the way

As the challenge to recruit appropriate candidates continues, HR can make a better argument for increasing budget to recruit candidates, and train current employees to fill vacant positions.

There is no “one size fits all” set of best practices for hiring and retaining high quality talent.  There are best practices that apply across the board, almost all of which require time, care, budget, and real engagement in the process.

When you have questions about software as part of that process—give us a call at Brightmove.  As former recruiters, we understand the importance of the right candidate fit.

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