10 recruiting trends for the years ahead

Panelists on HR Talent Recruiting Trends Panelists at the recent SHRM Talent Conference shared their insights on adapting the recruiting process to keep up with candidates’ changing expectations.

One of the most pressing areas for HR professionals these days is recruitment and talent management. Whether an employer is picking up the pieces of a mass exodus caused by the great resignation or shoring up their hiring process and benefits package in anticipation, having a competitive recruiting process is an absolute must.

Related: 2022: Human resources and recruiting predictions

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Talent Conference in Aurora, Colorado, is the place to be this week for recruiters and hiring managers looking to brush up on best practices and the latest tools and technology. For those looking for a high-level overview of the trends impacting recruiting, SHRM vice president of content Tony Lee, along with panelists Marie Artim, vice president of talent acquisition at Enterprise Holdings; Kristen DesPalmes, director of talent attraction strategy and innovation at Bayada Home Health Care; and Chelsea C. Williams, founder and CEO of Reimagine Talent Co., offered some quick takes in their session, “Top Recruiting Trends for the Years Ahead.”

1. Make the candidate experience great

Job applicants are now expecting a customized, personalized experience.

The labor shortage has led to shrinking applicant pools, extreme competition, and what Artim refers to as “candidate experience on steroids.” One of the key differentiators for her hiring team has been the personal touch. Every person who reaches out or applies hears back from an actual person, ”Artim said. “We use technology to make that easier, but there’s not a no-response email. A person with contact info and the ability for that person to be reachable and approachable.

“Be very mindful of how many steps you have in the process,” DesPalmes added. “The first question to ask: what’s your selection process, how do we trim that down?”

2. Make applying easy and fair

Be sure your career website is user-friendly, fast and avoids algorithms that induce bias.

How long does it take a candidate to fill out an application at your company? Lee shared with employees one company’s strategy, the red-light test: “Is your application so easy that a candidate can apply while sitting at a red light in a car?” You don’t have to find out every detail about them during this initial step, but once they’re in the system, you can follow up and take the reins.

“We also want to think about fairness, this concept of are we asking questions in our candidate experience that actually relate to the job?” Williams added. “People’s impressions are being formed through the process. They may wonder why this is necessary, relevant, and it informs that branding impression. ”

3. Focus on screening in, not screening out

Strive to hire the best candidate whether you have a specific job open for them or not, then be prepared to train them.

This is one area where companies and HR departments are still in the Great Recession mindset, when unemployment was high and companies had their pick of qualified candidates. “We have a tendency to over-select,” DesPalmes said. “We should assume that the person we’re hiring is competent, and it’s our job to train them.”

Another way to look at it is skills-based hiring versus role-based. “Hire for the enterprise, not the individual role,” DesPalmes said. “Set your recruiters to fill for the enterprise, not just for the open job. Then you hire for talent, not need. ”

4. Communicate and demonstrate a commitment to internal mobility

Job candidates who see a promote-from-within culture, which includes the ability to change jobs without changing companies, are more likely to accept an offer.

Career progression is definitely a trending topic among recruiters these days, and with good reason. “We have a management training program that’s been in place for 50-plus years,” Artim said. “There’s this commitment to developing talent, and that gives us a significant advantage when we talk to that candidate pool. It drives employee engagement, commitment and loyalty.

5. Tell your story before others do it for you

Investing in employer branding is critical so you control the narrative of what it’s like to work for you.

“In a cancel culture, being aware of storytelling is so important for employers,” Williams said. “For jobseekers and employees alike, there are some things they need to understand to feel important: Values, purpose, clarity, and belonging. How do I tell the story? ”

It’s not as hard as it might seem. It’s very likely your company already has the components to create a meaningful narrative for candidates; it’s simply a matter of finding them and connecting the dots. “Connect your story to one of those core components,” Williams recommended. ‘It’s a great way for people to start opt-in or opt-out:’ Does this connect to me, can I see myself growing? ‘ You aren’t just focused on recruiting; your giving people an opp to think about their career journey. ”

6. Invest in artificial intelligence

Take administrative tasks away form your recruiters and let machines do what they are best at.

“At the end of the day, recruiters don’t want to do admin tasks,” DesPalmes said, with the caveat that there are still some things that should always be done by a person and not a machine. Having a thoughtful and purposeful conversation with recruiters about that process can lead to finding a balance that works for everyone. “Where can you reimagine how work gets done, and what can technology do and take things off recruiters’ plates?” DesPalmes asked. “A trend I anticipate is that we will all be talking about speed to first paycheck. Who can get that check out first? ”

7. Do well by doing good

Many job applications, especially Gen Z and younger millennials, want to work for a purposeful organization that is making a difference. Be ready to explain how you are doing just that.

This ties back to point 5 on story-telling, but with broader application. “We need to make sure our consumer messaging mirrors our candidate and employee message when it comes to purpose,” Artim said. “Make sure our customers understand where we are from a point of purpose.”

“This isn’t optional anymore,” Williams added. “We have a whole business area that focuses on workforce development with college students, and this one comes up almost weekly. It’s important to have an opportunity to make a difference. ”

8. Tap into untapped talent

Partner with organizations that serve underrepresented populations. including HBCUs, STEM programs, returning veterans, candidates with disabilities, older workers, and those with criminal histories.

“The thing with this is, whether we call it untapped or underrepresented, it’s a matter of us going beyond what we’ve been doing,” Williams said. This means not only considering HBCUs but also community colleges, tribal colleges – anywhere there is potential to reach a new segment of potential candidates. And while that might seem like a tall order, it doesn’t have to be.

“Partnerships are the way to do this,” Williams noted. “Things take time, and we have to be thinking about the long-term game.”

One suggestion: Don’t just call a potential partner and ask for something, but be prepared to offer something in return, such as skills training.

9. Prioritize what HR can do well

Recruiters are burning out and in short supply, so better align recruiting resources based on prioritization and restructuring of how we work.

In their quest to fill the talent pipeline, companies don’t want to leave any stone unturned, but that’s a heavy weight to bear for their recruiting teams. “A recruiter can’t do it all,” DesPalmes noted. Rather than place that onus on them, redesign the process so they can focus on the few key tasks that really leverage their skill set. “What could be coming off their plates? I’ve seen organizations try to measure everything. If you have more than two to three things you’re measuring your recruiters on, it’s probably too many. ”

10. Maximize employee referrals

Referrals are still the primary resource of new hires. So why are most incentive payments so low? Some employers are turning every one of their employees into recruiters and tapping into community and religious organizations.

“I’m a huge fan of referral programs,” DesPalmes said. “They hire faster and are more likely to stay. The key point when talking about upping the program is to speak and measure the terms of the business outcomes. ”

Consider what your hiring priorities are, what you’re willing to pay to fulfill them, and whether you’re really tapping into the right incentive for employees. “We have found that pto is worth more to our employees,” Artim said. “We give them that option. Our sell has always been… we’re spending the money one way or another, what if we can do it in a way that rewards our employees? ”

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