According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce. This is a scary thought for people reviewing their hiring budgets, because the average employment of a Millennial with a specific company is just two years, according to a 2015 article. To further complicate the process, there are fewer candidates entering the market, so the setting is ripe for competition among companies for employees. Here are seven tips for finding quality candidates for your applicant pool that might also help halt the trend of increasing turnover:
- Define your brand
Just as important as developing a vision statement to show where your company is headed, defining your brand helps candidates decide they want to come along for the ride! You’re selling your company as a workplace, so determine your competitive advantage in this arena and market it the same way you market your product or service.
- Keep your eyes on the boomerang
In a recent article, Forbes contributor Vicki Salemi lists “boomerangs” – that is, employees considering returning to their former employers – among one of the top five trends to watch. While it’s difficult when a good employee leaves, having a known quantity appear in your candidate list for a new position can be a great advantage! With their tribal knowledge, the onboarding process looks like more of a brief update to bring them up to speed than a comprehensive training regimen. Consider setting up an alumni network if you don’t have one in place, and make sure to leverage that audience whenever you have a job posting.
- Ask those who know
An employee referral policy can be an incredibly effective tool! You can get great insights into potential employees based on who refers them. Incentives should be motivating, but they do not need to be cash – consider gift certificates or even company merchandise.
- Review your offering
According to consulting company Mercer, the average salary will increase this year by 2.9%. However, the increase to top performers is nearly twice that of average performers – that is, the trend is differentiation of salary based on performance rather than longevity or job title. This is an area in which you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Successful companies will offer bonus programs that reward innovation and achievement in addition to regular salary adjustments; provide opportunities for flexibility (telecommuting, flex-time, on-site child care); and offer non-salary benefits such as tuition reimbursement, cross-training programs for employees interested in switching departments, or transportation and parking reimbursements.
- Analyze the data
Become your own trend analyst. In an April 2016 article on recruiting trends for HR Magazine, Roy Maurer noted that some companies are using data, such as that compiled through applicant tracking systems, to better understand the overall talent pool or whether full-time or part-time workers bring the company the highest benefit for their payroll dollar. Maurer also quoted Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of Futurestep, as saying, “HR Technology will become more streamlined as clients turn from multiple vendors to bundling their human capital management, applicant tracking systems and video interviewing on one platform.” Any company that invests in such an integrated package will certainly reap the rewards in terms of being able to more fully understand their own data.
- Cast a wide net
As the market shifts toward increasing competition for candidates, HR professionals will need to use every opportunity to market their company to potential employees. As we noted in this blog last year, you can network at professional events, trade shows, or even in your personal life – are you looking for a great customer service representative? Give out your card to someone who offers you spectacular service! If you’re looking for someone in your IT department, ask the person who helped you out at the local electronics store or with your latest cell phone purchase to give you a call if they’re interested. Your experience as a customer gives you keen insight as to how someone would perform in a similar capacity if they worked for you.
You can tie this in to the employee referrals as well – ask your employees to identify exceptional people they run into as they go about their daily business, and to send them your way!
- Make it easy
Probably the simplest way to find quality candidates is not to send them packing with a frustrating and overwrought application process. Again, you’re marketing your company – you are the product and the candidates are your customers, so make it easy to close the sale! Ensure your career site is mobile-friendly, allow your applicants to easily upload their data, and provide feedback. This last one is especially important, as a recent survey showed that almost 80% of applicants say that not receiving any updates after submitting an application or coming in for an interview is their top most frustrating job search experience. Maurer notes that a tedious job application process and lack of communication afterward can leave an applicant feeling unappreciated and disrespected – the last thing you’d want a customer to feel, and the last thing you need your candidates experiencing in a tight labor market.