5 good practices for your recruitment plan

Recruiting and retaining top talent is the key to growing your business successfully. It is also one of the biggest challenges for HR teams in every industry. Even household-name brands can struggle to attract the talent they need. Changing your approach to recruitment and onboarding can make the difference that helps your business become the number one choice of applicants.

Why Recruitment Continues to be Challenging

Recruiting top talent is often quite complex for human resources professionals, as the most sought-after candidates are often being pursued by several potential employers. However, right now, recruitment is being made even more challenging by the so-called great resignation. The term describes a trend that started toward the end of 2020 and saw employees voluntarily leaving their jobs.

Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University coined the term ‘great resignation’ in early 2021. Experts believe that the beginning of this phenomenon was most likely a delayed reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. As the pandemic took hold, workers who were about to leave their jobs or retire put off that decision and remained in their jobs. A few months later, the trend started reversing.

But there is more to the great resignation and today’s recruitment challenges than delays. The pandemic caused workers and professionals across all industries to re-evaluate their life priorities. Spending more time with family and friends or pursuing interests outside of work became a priority.

In addition, the pandemic also changed the way top talent wants to work. Remote working or working from home may have been the last resort in early 2020, but by now, employees have started to embrace the freedom and flexibility of this approach.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center concluded the three leading reasons for Americans to leave their jobs. These reasons included low pay, and then a lack of advancement opportunities and a feeling of lack of respect.

So, how can you supercharge your recruitment to attract the talent you need? HR pros can make a difference by refining their recruitment plan right from the start. By putting applicants’ desires first, optimizing recruitment messages, streamlining their onboarding process, and investing in skills training, they can set themselves apart from their competitors. More concretely, here are five practices to adopt now regarding each part.

1. Start with Applicants’ Desires in Mind

Do you know what potential applicants are looking for? This is more than a rhetorical question. At a time when we are experiencing labor shortages across almost every single industry, applicants have a choice. Understanding their priorities will help your company become their number-one choice.

The results of the Pew survey indicate that employee priorities can be very diverse. For that reason, your HR teams need to invest some time to understand what your candidates are looking for. One of the best ways to find out about your candidates’ desires is to ask recent hires. Why did they choose to join your company rather than another? Asking open questions in a forum of candidates will give you some of the answers.

Human resources teams are not the only ones who can help answer these questions. Break down the HR silo and work with colleagues across different teams. Consider the individual teams looking to fill vacancies and hold a brainstorming workshop with them. Of course, you could simply hold a meeting or send an email, but research has shown that workshop formats encourage more participation and engagement.

Participation and engagement are also essential in generating new ideas and approaches. Every idea can’t make it into your new recruitment plan, but all suggestions play a part in bringing you closer to attracting the talent you want.

Competitor research is another option, especially if you notice that your company struggles to attract talent more than others. No two companies are ever exactly the same, but you can generally gain insights into practices worth adopting or casting aside from competitors.

2. Optimize Your Recruitment Messages

Think of recruitment as if it were marketing. Your company is effectively marketing itself as a workplace for prospective hires. Just as your marketing team is answering customers’ needs and desires, your HR teams need to craft their messages with future employees in mind.

Traditionally, HR professionals might approach recruitment with an empty document and start jotting down some bullet points. That approach works for some, but it doesn’t truly invite or facilitate collaboration. To bring people together, a visual approach often works better. Using tools like virtual whiteboards makes it easy to capture and organize ideas. Those ideas can then be turned into candidate-facing messages.

Isn’t this too messy? Most professionals will remember brainstorming meetings that ended with indecipherable flip charts that ended up being stored in a corner somewhere. Technology has made it far easier to organize visual input from a variety of sources in a virtual space that you can organize in seconds. This way, you retain all the creativity while staying organized.

Ideal recruitment messages are clearly structured and speak directly to candidates’ concerns. Let’s assume you know that the employees you are looking for value a flexible approach to working hours and locations. If that’s the case, your hybrid or remote working policy needs to be obvious.

Even though hybrid working models have grown in popularity, collaboration remains one of the key characteristics of successful businesses. Most remote workers understand the importance of easy ways of working together without being in the same room. Make it clear how your business facilitates collaboration to reassure candidates applying for remote or hybrid working positions.

3. Optimize Candidate Interactions

How you interact with job candidates can have a major influence on their decision to take or reject a job offer. Optimizing candidate interactions throughout the recruitment process sets the tone for potential future employment.

We all know that first impressions are hugely important, and this applies to candidate interactions, too. This argument goes back to the point we made above about approaching human resources and recruitment as if they were marketing. Right now, many candidates have a choice of employment options. Leaving a bad taste in a candidate’s mouth through a lack of interaction, or, worse, confusing and haphazard communications, may be hard to correct later.

How can you optimize candidate interactions? Don’t leave them to chance. Instead, it is worth laying out planned candidate communications in your recruitment plan. Integrating candidate communications like this ensures that candidates are kept up to date with how the process is progressing.

Once again, it is worth considering the process from a candidate’s perspective. Even if changing their employment equates to a promotion and a pay rise, it inevitably also brings disruption and uncertainty. Candidates may have to hand in a notice at their current job, they may need to re-arrange their commute or adjust their childcare provisions. All of these tasks are made easier by clear communications from a prospective employer.

Make sure that candidates know the steps involved in the process, and update them regularly to let them know where they are. If several people are communicating with potential candidates, everyone needs to have access to all candidate communications. Choosing the right collaboration tool to facilitate this is critical. Nothing looks more disorganized than one team member being unaware of what another has said or team members contradicting each other.

Whilst it’s only human to make a mistake, it will also tend to make the company look disorganized in the candidate’s eyes. As a result, they may question whether your business is the right place for them.

4. Streamline Onboarding and Skills Training

Have your new employees signed on the proverbial dotted line? Congratulations, you are getting closer to expanding your team and building your business. But the quest to successfully integrate the new team members has only just begun.

Onboarding and skills training are two key factors that need to take priority now. Successful onboarding and training make all the difference when it comes to having a happy team member that supports your business for years to come. 

Even if your business is small, onboarding generally includes more than one department. Several team members from different branches of the company become involved, which makes collaboration essential. Scheduling everything in an accessible calendar may seem like the simplest way to ensure no appointments are being missed, but there is a better approach.

Consider using a platform-based collaboration tool and making the onboarding process more visual. This makes it easier for new employees and their colleagues to see what has been completed and what remains outstanding. It also helps line managers understand what the new employee already knows and where they may need support. Customizable onboarding templates make it easy to improve your onboarding in a few simple steps.

There are other benefits for your business at this stage: your new employee offers a completely fresh pair of eyes. That puts them in a unique position to notice things that could be improved. To put you ahead of the competition, don’t just ask for their feedback. Instead, you can encourage their input through a tailored input template.

Skills training is another critical component to help integrate new employees smoothly. Granted, you may have hired your new team member for their specialist skills. However, most companies use slightly different apps and other tools, and internal processes can vary widely. Don’t underestimate how disorientating those differences can be even for the highest-qualified employee and invest time and resources in structured skills training. The time you spend now will pay returns by minimizing confusion and unplanned delays later.

5. Bonus Practice: Focus on Retention

Why are we talking about retention in a post that is focused on recruitment? Because an effective approach to employee retention can vastly limit your need to recruit new employees. Employee retention is one of the most efficient ways to save time and money across your entire organization.

Recruitment is not only time-consuming for human resources teams. Persistent vacancies make it harder to maintain cohesive teams that work less efficiently than they could otherwise. As a result, their performance may be dropping, or existing team members may start to feel overwhelmed. It’s easy to see how this could start a negative spiral for the business.

On the other hand, employee retention supports cohesion and collaboration. Employees have the opportunity to grow and develop within the organization. The business benefits by keeping skills in-house and minimizing the need to replace lost skills and competencies in a challenging labor market.

Final Thoughts

Recruiting qualified employees may be more difficult at the moment than it has been for years, but companies have plenty of options to attract even the most coveted talent.

Understanding the needs and requirements of sought-after candidates is the foundation of an effective recruitment plan. A hybrid workspace driven by effective collaboration tools may be one of these needs, and it is certainly one request that employers can accommodate cost-efficiently.

Ensuring your company’s recruitment messages are clear and engaging with the right audience is equally important. At the same time, employers do best when they optimize candidate communications and interactions throughout the entire recruitment process. Recruitment doesn’t end when a candidate accepts an offer.

Well-planned onboarding and skills training plans pave the way for a new employee to become a long-term team member who grows with your company. Optimizing your recruitment process in this way doesn’t need to be difficult. Choosing a collaboration platform like Klaxoon facilitates optimization every step of the way.

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