With headlines like these, how can hiring managers, HR departments, and recruiters manage? There’s no question that we in the talent acquisition profession are struggling to find and hire good candidates, at all levels. We initially thought this was occurring mostly in high volume roles, such as in healthcare where we have a lot of clients (because of the expanded unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, and pending childcare credits); however, currently not even the most well-known healthcare providers can fill say a home healthcare job, period. While this is somewhat attributable to COVID discouraging workers from entering or returning to that type of role, that is certainly not the entire picture.
Other factors squeezing employers include uncertainty in the job market and in the economy at large. In times like these, people remain hesitant to make any move away from their current employer. Even though the market can be in the candidate’s favor, our view is that people are holding onto their current jobs. Another sign of this is that our own Research Specialists at DoubleStar have been struggling with response rates. Typically, our outreach produces a 10% response rate—and up to a 30% response rate in hot fields. While building a customized candidate pipeline is still important and recommended, an employer should not expect a tremendous response from a passive pool of candidates. Nurses, salespeople, software developers, lending specialists, and laboratory scientists are all in demand, yet many of those same people are staying put. Employers cannot rely on the ‘post and pray’ model.
“In a candidate-driven market, you need to have experienced recruiters that know how to take care of candidates and how to advise hiring managers to keep the process moving. This is not the time to have an extended hiring process. Candidates are getting offers within days. You need to keep the communication flowing and the process moving. In fact, our team is excellent at that.
As the market remains challenging for employers looking to hire, they need to take a close look at their interview processes to retain the candidates they have in play.
Here are some recommendations to keep the communication process going when engaging with candidates:
1. Let them know you received their resume and that someone will be reaching out to them soon.
2. Go into your video interviews knowing and communicating the next steps and set expectations regarding when a candidate will hear back from you.
3. Life happens, so if something changes, communicate immediately if you can’t honor your schedule.
4. Find a reason to reach out, if you have a week or more between interviews.
5. You never want candidates to feel that they’re in a black hole. It’s always my goal to reach out first, before they ask me for an update.
6. Don’t bother with multiple rounds of interviews. The more you can condense your process into a few interviews, the better.
7. Whoever is making the hiring decision should be empowered to control and speed the hiring process.
8. A lot of interviews occur over video, but people are still human. Don’t keep someone on a Zoom call for long hours interviewing with your entire team without breaks. Take care of your candidates.
9. Communicate right from the start regarding work from home, hybrid, or office requirements—let the candidate decide whether to opt in our out.
10. COVID has opened up opportunities to reach new people beyond your traditional local pool of candidates—be prepared to take advantage of this.
Even after an offer is made and accepted, it’s important to stay in contact for those two weeks between acceptance and start date to make sure no counteroffers or competitive offers hinder your plans. Keep the lines of communication open and your potential hires engaged throughout the interview process and you are more likely to have the hiring outcome that you desire!
IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND QUALIFIED CANDIDATES DURING THESE CHALLENGING TIMES, REACH OUT TO THE TALENT EXPERTS AT DOUBLESTAR. WE BRING DEEP INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE, OUR PROVEN PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGY, TALENT MARKET INSIGHTS, AND EXPERT TA PROCESS TO EVERY PROJECT WE UNDERTAKE.