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Attracting and Identifying Top Talent

Unemployment is below 4% making today’s job market, a job seeker market. What does that mean for your company? It means that job seekers can be more selective about where they apply since there are fewer job seekers than job openings.

Today’s labor shortage conditions can make it difficult for employers to attract top talent. Since there is less talent to choose from, employers must do a better job of selling to both active and passive job seekers.

For many employers, even when they are able to attract applicants, they have a tough time determining candidates from applicants, those who applied versus those who are a fit.

Here are a few strategies that can help you maximize your time spent in hiring and recruiting efforts.

Attracting Top Talent

Many job descriptions for similar positions will have similar responsibilities and qualifications. With today’s job market being driven by job seekers, it is more important than ever to sell potential candidates on company culture and other benefits. If you want to attract high performing candidates, you will need to leverage your employer brand and reduce barriers to entry.

Brand Your Careers Page

From a Harvard Business Review study, 40% of senior executives believe that leveraging employer branding for long-term recruiting needs should be a future goal. Although most online sources strip company branding, employer branding is still valuable to the applicant experience.

Why is employer branding still important?

Even though many applicants won’t see your employer branding when they initially apply, they will research your company once you reach out to them. Team photos, team videos, core values, testimonials, and social media are all things candidates will research before an interview. If candidates can’t find this information, it could be a deal breaker for them to move forward.

Reduce Time to Apply

Time to apply is the amount of time it takes for an applicant to fill out your job application. This can be one of the biggest barriers to candidates completing an application. Longer applications can lead to significant applicant drop-off.

According to a report by Indeed, applications with more than 20 questions lose 40% of candidates. Some of the biggest culprits that increase application length are forcing a login creation, requiring a full employment history, and requiring an upfront assessment.

At CareerPlug, we require no login, no full employment history, no upfront assessments, and recommend about 4-5 prescreen questions. As a result, most of our clients experience an average time to apply of 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Post Jobs to Social Media

Post to Job Boards and Social Media and Utilize Your Employees

Your careers page is a great place to list all of your job openings. Posting to only your careers page, however, will limit your ability to attract talented people. If you want to find great talent, you also need to post your jobs to major online job boards and social media. Online job boards serve as the largest source of applicants.

Attracting top talent is similar to fishing. If you want to gather a lot of fish, you need to put out a lot of nets. This also applies to attracting talent. To gather the most candidates you need to put your job in front of as many eyes as possible.

You should also utilize the networks of your employee to maximize employee referrals. A study by Silk Road found that employee referrals have one of the quickest applications to hire, meaning it takes less applications to make one hire.

Promote Your Benefits

While this is more of a subsection of branding your careers page, we felt it was so important it deserves its own section.

When candidates research your company, they will want to see what benefits your company offers. More candidates are weighing benefits that will help them create a strong work life balance. If your compensation struggles to match up to competitors, sell candidates on benefits such as schedule flexibility, time off, and growth opportunities. Benefits should be listed on your careers page and on job descriptions.

Identifying Top Talent

Once you have attracted applicants, it’s time to identify which applicants are candidates, people you would actually hire. If you treat all applicants as candidates, you run the risk of finding employees who may not stick around long, may decrease your productivity, or may cause problems for other employees. Great companies do a great job identifying top talent to help grow their business.

Create a Standardized Hiring Process

The best first step you can take to better differentiate applicants from candidates is to create a standardized hiring process. Your hiring process should outline all of the steps a hiring manager should take before hiring a candidate.

These steps can be phone screens, interviews, assessments, background checks, reference checks, and more. Whatever you decide on for your hiring process, make sure all of your hiring managers are using it.

Once you standardize your process, you can evaluate whether your hiring process is working or needs to.

Use Prescreen Questions

Prescreen questions make applicants identify themselves as candidates. By using prescreen questions in the application process, you can filter for the most talented people based on how they respond to your questions.

Prescreen questions can be used to ask a number of qualifying characteristics. You can ask applicants questions about their experience or ask about specific licenses or certifications.

Without prescreening questions, hiring managers will need to ask more questions to applicants to determine whether they are a good fit for the job. Using prescreen questions can help you save time in determining whether an applicant is more of a candidate.

Use Assessments on Candidates

Use Assessments in Your Hiring Process

While prescreen questions can help to learn about an applicant’s experience and qualifications, assessments can help to determine their aptitude for a job. At CareerPlug, we offer candidates both a personality and math/verbal assessment.

Assessments can be used to benchmark candidates against your top performers. Have your high performers take the same assessments and use their scores to find how candidates compare.

Final Tips and Thoughts

Only you can know if your hiring process is working to attract and identify top talent. The best way to improve your efficiency is through trial and error. If you struggle with getting applicants, consider bettering your candidate experience or promoting your job. If you are struggling with identifying talent, consider using software to make better hiring decisions.

Making the right hiring decisions very much depends on having a strong, consistent process in place.

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