Candidate shortages mean you need to think outside the box and get working smarter rather than harder and throwing money at Job Boards and Agencies. For your business and your recruitment strategy, this can include trying things out that you might have heard about or thought about, but never actually put into practice. You might have to go through some trial and error, not just with Plan B but also with Plan C and beyond!
For example, the fewer candidates that are flocking towards a particular job - the more you might have to temporarily shake up the way you’ve always done things in order to get that vacancy filled.
In this article, we’re going to run through some key factors that we think are wise to evaluate when you’re not attracting the volume or caliber of candidates for your vacancies that you'd hoped for.
What Can Help Attract Candidates Engagement is Almost Non-Existent?
When the chips are down, it’s crucial to look long and hard at how you’re hooking candidates, and also how you’re holding their attention once you’ve captured it. Our top tips for this are:
Your Application Process
Your application process is a biggie. It is hugely important to candidate perception. Andrew Brassleay of the Metro sums up the immediate apathy and disengagement of candidates when their first touchpoint with you is an assault course of an application form - “Sorry kids, you’ll just have to go out and forage in the fields for your tea tonight. Dad’s got a six-hour form to fill out, including writing out all the information he’s already got on his CV by hand.
“He also needs to write at least 200 words for each of the following statements: ‘I can work under my own initiative’, ‘ I can take charge of a situation before others do’ and ‘I can assess things independently’ as if they aren’t all exactly the same… thing.”
If this rings the slightest bit true with you, stop it now. Tedious and off-putting application processes in candidate-rich markets are absolute recruitment killers when candidate shortages are rife.
Think about making significant changes to really ease the application process for candidates so they aren’t as inclined to drop off left, right and centre midway through.
Small changes can make differences, such as:
Rethink Your Careers Site
Your careers site isn’t the place to be a shrinking violet. On the contrary, you should be shouting loudly and proudly about how fabulous your company is, how it’s contributing something meaningful to the world, and how your existing team members wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Use your careers site to provide candidates with compelling information about your:
- Company Culture - What drives the behaviours and attitudes of every person in the business?
- EDI Policy (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) – In HR Magazine, Yvonne Smyth makes it clear that days of lip service about EDI are well and truly over. “The focus on EDI isn’t going away and according to the Hays Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Report 2020 an organisation’s EDI policies are important to nearly three-quarters (73%) of professionals when considering a new role.” It matters to candidates. Let them know where you stand on EDI.
- Remote and Hybrid Working Options – The appetite for remote and hybrid working is here to stay. It can be short-sighted to ask team members to be on-site 100% of the time if their roles don’t dictate the need. Bear in mind that if take a hard line, other employers in their thousands don’t.
- Accessible & Inclusive - Make your careers site and your job roles accessible to everyone. Our Applicant Tracking System comes with tools that enable your candidates to view if they if issues differentiating colours. Equally, there are sound options that read out the job roles via their mobile or desktop device.
- Bi-Lingual Options - Why not provide bi-lingual searching for roles within your organisation and make your application forms too? (see example of a Welsh application form)
Rethink Your Candidate Journey
- Mini Application Forms - Pared-down application forms can be just as effective as long-winded versions, especially if you couple them up with some great killer questions and/or CV uploading. It’s a quicker and more user-friendly process for candidates. In addition, it doesn’t have to mean more work for the recruitment team. Quality applicant tracking software can help with CV parsing, keeping manual CV sifting to a minimum.
- CV Only Tactic - To make it really simple, tie up mini-application forms with CV uploads. Ask a couple of Killer Questions - ie questions that are really important for that particular role and end it there.
- QR Codes – Leveraging QR code technology opens up your vacancies to literally anybody who comes in to contact with your business. It’s even more effective when your QR codes bring would-be candidates straight to your careers site or for more advanced Applicant Tracking Software, you can direct them to a particular role. This is a great tactic for retailers, restaurants and pub chains - even charity shopswho have shop fronts, bags, receipts and menus!
- Social Media – Everybody lives their lives on social media to some degree. If you have a careers site, hook it up to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and look at other platforms such as Instagram too! It’s a no-brainer for mass exposure of your vacancies, alongside the ease of candidates being able to apply at the click of a button
Rethink Your Employer Branding
Keeping on top of your employer branding goes beyond the information you spoon-feed on your careers site. Glassdoor explains that jobseekers also look to the following sources for the sweet and lowdown:
- “Job search websites (48%)”
- “Word of mouth (41%)”
- “Professional networking sites/social media (31%)”
- “Personal networking (29%)”
In addition, it advises, “An employer brand is essential for recruiting success: nearly 70% of Glassdoor users say they are more likely to apply to a job if an employer actively manages its employer brand.”
Rethink Your Talent Pool
Your talent pool is like your ‘VIP club’ of past candidates who have already applied for jobs with you in the past.
In addition, there are candidates who haven’t ever applied to you previously, but they’re interested in doing so in the future. To this end, they’ve entered your talent pool by registering an interest to hear about your future vacancies.
Imagine having a pot of hot-to-trot candidates – some of whom have been ‘runners up’ in past recruitment drives. It’s a real leg up when interest is low.
If you have a talent pool, you’ve hopefully nurtured it to keep it sticky. After all, you’ve already got the ears of these potentially highly engaged candidates. Have you been whispering sweet nothings to them on a regular basis?
Now is the time to start building a talent pool if you don’t have one already. And, also, to start giving an existing talent pool some love if you’ve got a neglected one that’s become disengaged as a result.
At Vacancy Filler, we’re experts in platinum standard applicant tracking software and leading-edge careers sites that are perfectly aligned for an exemplary candidate journey. Want to find out more about how we can help you combat candidate shortages? Why not arrange a free demo? Or call us today on 01509 236 434. When the going gets tough, Vacancy Filler gets going.
Inside the Mind of Today's Job Seekers, Glassdoor