As we come into the new year, recruitment strategy is more important than ever. A company’s brand is cultivated in the social field through a network of influencers, social media, promotional endeavors, and HR. A recent CareerArc study shows that poor candidate experience directly impacts purchasing decisions. Practically, this makes complete sense—if your friend was applying to a job at a company and they were unprofessional throughout the hiring process, would you continue to purchase goods and services from that company? Probably not!
There’s a lot that’s new in 2018. As digital technologies evolved, so have candidates’ expectations for communication. The culture of work itself is changing too; as new positions tend to be temporary, part-time, or contract-based, recruitment strategy must adjust to the increasingly blurry boundary between work and life.
New Standards for Recruitment
2018 recruitment is all about forefronting candidate experience. Why? It’s simple. If you don’t communicate with your candidates in an efficient, professional, crystal-clear manner, you lose out on top-tier talent. Luckily, there are numerous digital tools to help you streamline this process.
A great candidate experience begins with job listings. A thorough, well-formatted posting that is consistent with your overall brand will set you apart from other listed positions. In addition to essential information such as location, salary, benefits, and necessary qualifications, take the time to talk about the company’s mission and break down the responsibilities of the position.
Recruitment software allows for instant replies. Small gestures such as acknowledgement emails when you’ve received an application go a long way in making candidates feel they’re getting their fair shake. On the flip-side, it’s courteous to candidates to let them know if they haven’t been accepted onto the next round, so they’re not left wondering for weeks or months at a time.
Two-way communication is essential for a positive candidate experience. Applicants should feel they can reach out with questions at any time in the recruitment process. New developments in artificial intelligence make 24-hour communications possible on a budget: ChatBots programmed by companies such as Job Pal and Mya Systems are sophisticated enough to answer even multi-part recruitment questions.
What Your Candidates WantRecruitment strategy is linked with candidate expectations. To update your recruitment strategy for the new year, you have to consider what the 2018 workplace will look like.
- A blurred work-life boundary… Sometimes! WeWork’s rapid rise to prominence has many companies looking to see how they can increase productivity by blurring the line between work and living. Many candidates will also be excited about these luxurious, unconventional office spaces. However, recruiters should be wary of highlighting these kinds of workspaces as a perk. France’s recently-passed “right to disconnect” legislature shows that ‘sort-of working’ is having a backlash among those that feel that their personal time is being encroached upon.
- Flexible positions. As Laura Handrick writes in FitSmallBusiness, “not offering flexible work is now a competitive disadvantage.” Workers want the freedom to manage their own schedules. Technologies for project-management, video-conferencing, hour-tracking, and remote-desktop control make working remotely a painless endeavor. Since they’re high in-demand, recruiters should emphasize out-of-office positions wherever possible.
- Upskilling. New jobs tend to require a highly flexible skillset and the capacity to pick-up new ways of thinking and tools on short notice. A study by John Seely Brown of the Deloitte’s Center for the Edge and Professor Peter Denning of the Naval Postgraduate School shows that the half-life of a learned technical skill in today’s economy is about five years. Soon, all your employees will be learning on the job, all the time. Employees want to know that their company will help them upskill so that they don’t have to spend time learning necessary skills on their own time.
- Holistic perks. Studies show that workers don’t want team-building exercises and a mini-fridge. They want meaningful, substantive perks. These perks include health care, especially mental-health services. As student debt is an increasingly oppressive financial burden on the millennial generation, companies like Chegg have begun offering loan assistance as part of their employment plan. Smart recruiters will emphasize these substantive perks; highlighting small perks like casual friday actually tends to come off as disingenuous.
- Diversity. Diversity is no longer a peripheral topic; it’s central to how candidates choose their careers. Look to Silicon Valley for what can happen without holistic diversity hiring-practices. Tech companies are routinely castigated for their ethnic and gender homogeneity to the point that Silicon Valley workers are left asking how techies became the new bankers. See our post on diversity in recruitment for more essential tips on this topic.