When you post a job opening, are you getting so many excellent candidates that you have trouble choosing? Are you getting many highly qualified prospects? Or do the experience and skills of applicants fall short of the posted job requirements?

Consider the following best practices for recruiting and engaging highly qualified candidates.

Understanding Technology Limits

While job posting platforms give recruiters the ability to pre-screen candidates more carefully, the results can limit your talent pool. It’s important to carefully think through the parameters you set to screen candidates. As an example, is the Master’s degree really a requirement you want to screen for? If so, you could be losing out on candidates that have the required skillsets to do the job.

Additionally, many talent acquisition systems will search based on a company’s current role or look for specific licenses or certifications. If a candidate, say, is ready for a director role but isn’t currently in one, or is studying for a certification, the software won’t flag them as highly qualified candidates.

Look Outside The Industry

Often what’s most important is that a candidate has certain skills and knowledge, rather than specific industry experience. Many skills transfer from one industry to another with a relatively brief learning curve. An accountant who works in the healthcare sector can apply those same skills successfully in a manufacturing organization.

If you’re not focusing on skills and knowledge, you are eliminating the number of potential candidates.

Build A Referral Program

Employee referrals are often strong candidates. Conscientious, motivated employees will generally recommend people they believe in since that individual will reflect well (or not) on them.

Creating a robust referral program where every employee is responsible for recruiting can yield a pool of highly qualified candidates. Make referrals part of the culture. Encourage employees and offer incentives, such as referral rewards and recognition. A referral is essentially a prescreened candidate who’s often worth interviewing.

Make Your Brand Compelling and Inviting

The best people apply to companies where they want to work; often, that desire is based on the organization’s brand. When networking and reaching out to potential candidates, recognize that those prospects will research your brand and reputation.

More than ever, organizations need to establish an active presence on social media so candidates, prospects, and the world know who you are, your culture, and your values. Leverage employees’ stories about their experiences with the organization. Let them help tell your story.

When speaking to candidates, go beyond the company history and drill down to strategic goals. If a candidate becomes an employee, are they becoming part of something that excites and motivates them? They want to know.

According to a survey on Recruitment.com:

  • 77% of candidates say reputation of a company is important.
  • 74% of GlassDoor users are more likely to apply to an organization that actively manages its employer brand.
  • 60% of CEOs view employer brand as their responsibility.
  • 80% of HR leaders think that employer brand has an impact on recruiting.

Understand What Candidates Want

Right now, candidates want the flexibility to work on site and from home and, often, to have a say in setting their own hours. Throughout the pandemic, people had an opportunity to work at night or early in the morning, to take time for their kids or other priorities. They still want that flexibility. They also want autonomy to do their jobs the way they think their jobs should be done. For organizations, that means prioritizing goals rather than how the work gets done. Let employees figure out how to manage their jobs, their outcomes, and their careers. While the specifics can change, finding out what employees want is a critical part of attracting highly qualified candidates.

Make It Easy

Don’t ask candidates to upload a resume and then fill out an application that asks for the same information. Use software that can extract the information you need. Removing barriers in the application process will produce more applicants.

Also, be transparent about the role, the salary, and the benefits. If you don’t post the salary range in the ad, discuss it during the initial phone screen. Communicating these important details up front will avoid wasting time, both the candidates’ and yours.

Write Better Job Postings

As mentioned earlier, focusing on specific experience or industries might limit your applicant pool. Many candidates have the potential for growth and development and will take career risks to go into a new industry, but they don’t have the opportunity when organizations limit candidates to those with industry experience. This approach restricts diversity of thought, which improves when you focus on skills and competencies.

In addition, job postings should include information about the department and company. Candidates are concerned about company growth, stability, the work environment, and the organization’s culture and focus. That should be included in the job posting as well. If they’re not interested, they can skim through it.

Finally, think about what skills and experience are musts and which ones are “nice to haves” when advertising a position. Does the candidate really need a college degree or five years of experience? Advertise positions by listing which requirements are truly necessary and which ones are optional.

The Lindenberger Group has extensive expertise in helping organizations recruit and engage the best candidates for positions at all levels. For more information or to discuss your HR needs, please contact us at 609-730-1049 or send us an email.