Mar 23, 2017 3:32:40 PM / by Melanie Cain & Cassandra Czech

Do your jobs sit open for months with no interest? When you do receive applications, do you find that the candidates are not good matches for the role? You may have heard about the “War for Talent” and think there is nothing you can do to attract the employees you need. Think again—while it may be a job seeker’s market right now, there are things that your company can do to help create candidate interest in your jobs. Wondering how to compete with larger firms in your area with more spending power? There are five main ways that you can improve your hiring process, without breaking your budget.

  1. Know Your Company Brand

If you were to have a stranger summarize your company based off information available on your website, social media, and everywhere else online, what would they say? What would they consider your brand to be? This is extremely important to consider because what you proclaim your brand to be on your website and what others say about you are two different things. Do a little digging and see if what others are saying actually matches your mission statement. If you say that you pride yourself on creating an open, inviting culture in the workplace but reviews are overwhelmingly negative and citing hostility in the work environment, pay attention. While a quick fix may not always be readily available, addressing the problem is a step in the right direction. Two of the best places to look at when it comes to creating a healthy company brand include:

  • Improve company culture: With the average full-time American working 47 hours per week, the office really is your employee’s “home away from home,” so they should be able to feel comfortable at work and have a sense of belonging. The best companies develop their own unique culture in which employees have pride in what they do, trust their employer, and enjoy the people they work with. Of course, every job has a certain amount of stress but the environment you create should be rewarding, making your employees feel proud to come to work to represent your company and the brand you display.
  • Encourage committed leadership: As with all organizational cultures, creating and fostering success involves the support of senior leadership. The leadership team should be visibly committed to the employees. They should promote essential organizational core values such as honesty, integrity, respect, collaboration, and trust—all while providing ongoing, two-way communication to all employees. It’s also important that their overall strategic plan incorporates all or most of the organization’s human resources practices and procedures.
  1. Evaluate Your Application Process

Today, computers can essentially tell you who the perfect candidate is for your job. While this is convenient and efficient, too often resumes seem to end up in nowhere land, making candidates wonder if their applications were even submittedWhile having technology weed out unqualified candidates is a great timesaver for your company, make sure this is not being done at the expense of an appropriate rejection process.

If you have an online application process, make sure to still keep the applicant in the loop, even if you receive hundreds of applications. Something as simples as setting up a standardized email to let the candidates know they aren’t moving forward in the process can make a huge difference on how they feel about their experience. Save your company from a potentially negative reputation by avoiding disgruntled applicants.

  1. Make Your Interview Process Engaging

Once candidates pass the initial qualification screen and enter the interview process, they become officially invested in your company. They can see themselves working for you and becoming part of your team, making this stage in the process a big deal. According to Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist at, companies need an average of 23 days to screen and hire new employees, up from 13 days in 2010. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind during the interview process:

  • Remain time sensitive: The hiring process is like dating—the recruiter is trying to see if you would be a good fit and the candidate is doing the same. It takes time and a great amount of evaluation on both sides. However, being in the interview process for too long may lose the candidate’s interest. Just because you’re working with an already-employed candidate doesn’t mean he isn’t potentially pursuing other offers. It’s very common for a passive candidate to seek out additional opportunities once he becomes active in your application process. Usually, the first employer to give him a good offer will win.
  • Respect the candidate: Most candidates will back out if they are not feeling respected during this stage, which is another reason you must keep candidates involved in the interview process. This can be as simple as sending an email each week letting them know where you are in the hiring process, or giving them a quick phone call to assure them you are still interested in them as a candidate. Nigel Taylor, VP of Sales for Technology Business Research, rejected a job offer after the employer “went dark on me for four weeks,” failing to call at all or answer emails promptly. Unfortunately, this is an all too common mistake that many companies make when hiring, costing them premium candidates.
  1. Don’t Reuse Old Job Descriptions

Just like you expect unambiguous resumes, candidates want the same from job descriptions. After all, good candidates spend a great deal of time and effort to make sure their resume reflects the needs stated in the job description, which is why you need to make sure what you are posting accurately reflects the role you are trying to fill. To create interest from the right applicants, make sure you have the following:

  • An up-to-date job description: Avoid reusing old job descriptions to fill a position that you have hired in the past. Chances are what you’re currently looking for does not match those qualifications and skills. You may even have that open position because the last person who fit that description was not a good fit. Do you really want to repeat hiring someone who does not meet your needs? For many hiring managers, writing a job description can be something they dread, which is why it can be tempting to reuse a job description. However, that 3 + year-old description doesn’t reflect changes in the business or the role. In this scenario, you’ll end up attracting the wrong candidates.
  • A clear job description: It’s vital that hiring managers understand what the outcomes of the job they are hiring for are and focus on the key skills candidates must demonstrate. Need to revamp an old job description? Consider the McQuaig System’s Job Analysis, which is a simple and inexpensive. This survey crystalizes what you need and even prepares the interview questions for you. Or if you are working with a recruiter, have that recruiter interview the existing team and go over the original job description. A good recruiter will welcome the chance to help you do this. By doing so, you’ll be able to recruit the candidates that will be able to successfully achieve the desired outcomes.
  1. Make Sure Compensation Matches the Job Expectations

Finally, you must be aware of how competitive the compensation you are offering and whether it matches the work expectations of the role. This is especially important so you don’t find yourself requiring candidates out of your offered salary range—also known as having champagne taste on a beer budget. Although compensation requirements often come from other areas of your company and may not be decided by you, that doesn’t mean you should settle for less than stellar candidates just because the price is right. Instead consider offering some of these options to attract top talent, even with a less competitive salary:

  • The possibility for flexibility and remote work: Allowing your employees and potential candidates the option to work from home or flexible working hours, will help you attract a wider number of good candidates—and it also shows that you trust them as employees. Studies find that offering flexibility and remote work pays off for employers too by saving the company money and improving productivity.
  • A beneficial break spaceConsider offering employees an attractive place to stretch their legs with coffee, windows, and maybe even some Ping-Pong, where they can escape the office for a little bit and have some fun with their co-workers. Studies show that it can be detrimental to your employees’ health to sit in a cubicle all day, with doctors referring to sitting as “the new smoking”. Instead offer employees a place to recharge and socialize comfortably, making the office feel less like a stifling box and more like a second home.

Implementing new processes can be a challenge. For some firms, time is at a premium and if you’re short staffed already how do you make the time to do more? Working with a full-service recruiting firm can save you money and time.  An agency can assist you in conducting a job analysis survey, writing job descriptions and preparing the best questions to ask candidates. The steps outlined above will help increase an agency’s efficiency in delivering you ideal candidates for your role.

Insight Talent Solutions has consultants who are Certified McQuaig System Evaluators. If you are challenged with filling jobs and not seeing the right candidates, call for a free consultation at (262) 782-7255.

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