Strategic HR Wheel of HR Services highlighting the Recruitment wedge.

How Can I Improve My Recruitment Processes?

Cartoon resumes spread out and reviewed

HR Question:

We’re in desperate need of the right talent, but I can’t seem to attract or engage the number of candidates I need! How can I improve my recruitment processes to attract more candidates?

HR Answer:

You’re not alone! Recruiting the right talent is a challenge in almost every industry and market right now. Because the competition for candidates is incredibly tight, employers everywhere are looking internally to find ways to improve their recruitment processes to catch more prospective employees. By eliminating barriers for candidates and making the job search and application process engaging, efficient, and user-friendly, employers can see an increase in their candidate flow, further increasing the likelihood of finding the right candidates for their organization.

So, let’s dive in to identify what employers can do to attract more candidates – without losing them during the application process.

Optimize Your Job Ad

First, make sure your job ad is designed to show off your company by highlighting the areas that candidates want to know more about – the culture, the day-to-day, what success looks like, and why they would want to join your organization. What makes you stand out against your competition? Take note of these reasons and work them into the ad, as just placing your job description on your company’s career page is not likely to attract many candidates. Paint the picture of your company and the open role with clear and concise language, limited bullet points, and the key requirements of the position.

Consider researching similar positions in your area for popular job titles to make sure you are not reducing your audience by titling your position something unfamiliar to your target applicant pool. For example, don’t name your Customer Service Representative a “Client Wizard” or “People Pleasing Person.” While the titles may bring a smile to your face, they won’t show up in basic keyword searches.

Although it may cause some hesitation, it is also recommended to include the salary range in your job post, even if it is a broad range. Research has proven that candidates are more likely to apply if they know the compensation range, and it eliminates time down the line by not considering candidates significantly out of range.

Cast a Wide Net to Attract More Candidates

Now that your job ad is written, it is time to get the right eyes on it! In order to make sure you’re spending your time and money to optimize your return on investment, take some time to do a brief search of where similar positions are being advertised. Check out any applicant stats that the job board may highlight about those roles. How many people have applied? How long has it been posted? Are there other similar positions posted on the site? This will help you understand if this is where your desired audience might be found.

If you have the budget to advertise your job, use it. If not, there are also online recruitment platforms where you can post your positions for free, most of which take little time to use and can help with visibility. You can also look for local, county, or state job networks where you can share your position for free. You may want to consider joining some professional associations or alumni groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that align with your organization so that you can share your open positions. You can also use your involvement in these organizations and groups to build a network from which you can source current and future candidates.

Keep It Simple

Once you have a candidate interested, it is important to make your application process as simple as possible. Keeping the process short and simple will help convert the number of views of your job into completed applications. Mobile-friendly application processes are now “a must,” rather than considered “nice to have.” In fact, almost 60% of job seekers apply via a mobile device, so having a long application results in fewer completed applications.

Several job posting platforms allow candidates to apply with one click, which has become an increasingly popular option for applicants and recruiters alike. If you do require an application, first make sure it is mobile-friendly and that your system can auto-populate employment history from the applicant’s resume. Any additional screening questions should be yes or no questions and only those things that are essential to the position at the application stage in your process (i.e., age requirements or required certifications). Save any other questions for later in the recruitment and hiring process.

If you want to improve your recruitment processes, it won’t necessarily require a full overhaul of your entire department. Particularly when departments might feel stretched thin or understaffed, simplifying the steps required and creating targeted materials can make the process easier on both the recruiter and the candidates. Consider taking some time today to review your processes and find ways to simplify your steps!

Special thanks to Lisa Johnson, CIR, and Samantha Osborne Kelly for contributing to this HR Question of the Week.

Recruitment is more than just placing an ad in the newspaper. It takes a targeted message, the right sources, and lots of follow-up. But recruiting doesn’t have to take up all of your time and money! Our team at Strategic HR knows what it takes to attract, hire, and retain the best employees. Check out our Outsourced Recruitment page to learn more or contact us for recruiting help!