The new year brings new plans, new goals, and new habits for many of us, on both a personal and professional level. Talent acquisition leaders in the new year have a unique opportunity to learn from the past, and make conscious changes to improve recruiting strategies and outcomes.
We took a deep dive into the findings of Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiter Nation Study, which collected insights from 850 hiring professionals, and pulled out some of the most interesting revelations. This is a look at where recruiting has been over the past year, and where talent acquisition leaders need to focus in order to move forward.
The competition is heating up
Today’s labor market is a challenging one, without a doubt. In 2018, there were more open positions than available candidates. According to BLS, there were 6.3 million unemployed persons versus 6.9 million open jobs in July 2018. This new reality also means recruiters will face stiff competition for top talent. Jobvite’s survey revealed that 74 percent of recruiters predicted recruiting will be more competitive in next 12 months.
In a candidate-driven market like this, recruiters need a more strategic approach than ever. The increased competition for qualified candidates may prompt some recruiters to be less picky about candidates in order to fill their openings, but lowering screening standards won’t lead to better hires. AI-powered tools like a recruiting chatbot can help employers attract more qualified candidates.
Time to invest in employer brand
If your organization wants to compete for top talent, building and maintaining a strong employer brand should be top of mind. After all, a majority (75 percent) of job seekers consider a company’s reputation before they even apply. When the openings outnumber the candidates, it’s particularly important to have your employer brand working for you to attract the candidates you want to talk to.
Recruiters who responded to Jobvite’s survey listed three top ways to grow an employer brand, including investments in social media (47 percent), company career website (21 percent), and marketing and advertising (12 percent). Another way to strengthen an employer brand is by using a recruiting chatbot to create a better candidate experience and set your company apart from the competition.
Soft skills are nearly as important as job experience, sort of
On one hand, recruiters are now ranking communication skills nearly as important as experience in initial in-person interviews (49 percent and 55 percent, respectively). But that emphasis doesn’t seem to hold. Compared to 2017, recruiters report that the need for strong conversational skills and enthusiasm has decreased by more than 20 percent across the board. And perhaps this is why business leaders say that communication skills are the top skills gap in America.
Evaluating a candidate’s soft skills and overall fit for a position is one of the best ways to improve the quality of hires and predict future employee performance. Fortunately, conversational recruiting affords recruiters an effective method for assessing candidates. Using these techniques can help recruiters determine a candidate’s communication skills, problem-solving ability, and emotional intelligence level.
Recruiters of different genders have different biases
Jobvite found that a majority (60 percent) of recruiters believe implicit bias is a real problem in the workforce, and some of those biases were revealed in correlation to the gender of the recruiter. The findings suggest that male and female recruiters have different priorities and deal breakers, which could lead to different determinations on the same candidate pool. Female recruiters are more likely to be impressed by past experience (60 percent) than male recruiters (45 percent), and culture fit (41 percent vs 20 percent). Male recruiters were also more likely to give candidates a pass for being under the influence or hungover, reporting that they would disqualify those candidates around 20 percent less often as female recruiters.
Employers must take an active role in combating implicit bias, and it starts on the frontlines of your recruiting team. Following a standardized process and using structured interviews can help ferret out bias that is interfering with your recruiting goals.
Diversity recruiting still a missed opportunity
Despite all the high-profile conversations on a national scale about the importance of diversity in the workplace, Jobvite found that only 30 percent of recruiters have a recruiting strategy to improve racial diversity. And the proportion is the same for gender diversity. Without intentional goals—and the strategies to achieve those goals—employers will never conquer the challenges of diversity hiring.
Using unique sourcing techniques can help recruiters target hard-to-find candidates, and there are plenty of other ways to actively improve diversity in your hiring practices, and across your organization as well, and many of them are remarkably simple.
Looking forward to the future of recruiting
As you digest the figures from 2018 and think about how 2019 will be different, keep in mind that even small changes in your recruiting strategies can have a big impact. Talk with your team about how to address the practices that are standing between you and your ideal hires, and consider investing in tools to help you carry out your vision.
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