Too Tight a Job Market? 4 Tips on How to Hire the Best Candidate in the First Place.



Too Tight a Job Market? 4 Tips on How to Hire the Best Candidate in the First Place.

Thomas Smale, Entrepreneur Contributor; Founder of FE International

 In a recent survey, 21 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their ‘single most important business problem.’


One of the most crucial and challenging tasks facing entrepreneurs as their companies grow is hiring and retaining talented team members.


With the United States now nearing full employment, according to a recent CNBC report, competition for capable candidates has seldom been higher. According to a 2018 study by the National Federation of Independent Business, 87 percent of employers who said they were hiring reported “few or no qualified applicants” for the positions they were trying to fill.


Additionally, according to the study, “21 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem.”


Rushing to fill positions, however, can lead to costly mistakes. The Harvard Business Review estimated, for instance, that up to 80 percent of employee turnover results from poor hiring decisions. What’s more, employee turnover comes with an exceedingly high price tag: The Work Institute’s 2018 Retention Report estimated that businesses spend, on average, 33 percent of a worker’s base salary in replacement costs.


And that’s an expensive trend, considering that the Institute predicted that 28.6 percent of workers would leave their jobs this year.


Then there’s the matter of retention. Yet, once a business hires an employee, potent strategies are available to help that business retain this new hire. These include focusing on successful onboarding and making sure employees feel appreciated. Below are four tips for taking your best first step when hiring: bringing in the right candidate in the first place.


Optimize your career website.

Most growing businesses have a simple “We’re Hiring” or careers page on their website, but many fail to take maximum advantage of this invaluable conduit for potential talent.

Jobvite is end-to-end recruiting software that streamlines and enhances the recruiting process by leading potential candidates through the hiring funnel: from initial contact through a custom career website built in Jobvite, all the way through to employee onboarding.


The Jobvite-powered careers page can be integrated with an existing website and offers access to a vast array of recruiting tools and analytics. It’s also optimized for mobile, so your candidates can begin the application process from anywhere. When you have a new position you’re looking to fill, Jobvite submits your listing to over 15,000 outlets with one click.


Then, once you’ve filtered your applicants and are ready to move to the next phase in the hiring process, Jobvite has a built-in video-interviewing platform which allows you to record interview questions — and your applicants to submit answers — at a convenient time and place.


This can cut down on the time and expense required to interview remote applicants, by allowing many qualified candidates to respond to the same prerecorded questions. While there’s no substitute for an eventual face-to-face interview with desirable candidates, Jobvite’s features can significantly streamline the hiring process.


Make your employees your best recruiters.

When it comes to finding your next great hire, the best place to start looking is closer to home than you think. As Laszlo Bock, SVP 0f People Operations at Google and author of Work Rules, explained, “The first step to building a recruiting machine is to turn every employee into a recruiter by soliciting referrals.” According to a 2017 study by LinkedIn, 48 percent of managers surveyed said employee referrals were their top channel for quality hires.


In that context, the website Employee Referrals offers a dedicated software platform for automating the employee-referral process. If you’re looking to focus on this aspect of recruiting, and don’t need all the additional functionality of Jobvite (which also offers employee-referral capabilities) or similar platforms, Employee Referrals provides you the tools to streamline the referral process.


Incentivizing your existing team members to reach out to their personal networks is a crucial part of the process, and one of the areas on which Employee Referrals focuses. Employee Referrals claims that users have seen a 10x increase in referrals, had a 61 percent faster hiring time and lowered hiring costs by 27 percent.


Use the “internship gateway.”

Utilizing internship programs to recruit future employees is a popular and productive practice for many companies. A 2018 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that 59 percent of interns surveyed had been offered positions at the companies where they’d interned, and 45.6 percent went on to become employees.

In order for an internship program to be successful, however, it must deliver value for both the intern and the employer.


Empowering interns to do work that is meaningful for the organization and intern alike –meaning more than menial tasks, like making the coffee and filing — can go a long way toward building goodwill. Just like finding new employees, finding interns who are a good fit for your business’s mission and culture is essential.


WayUp, an online job marketplace for college students, recent graduates and early-career professionals –numbering over 4 million, according to the company website — is a good place to start.


The platform can be viewed as a Linkedin of sorts for people whose careers are just beginning. It’s more or less a given, for instance that the resumés of college-age candidates will be more about potential than previous experience.


To help present that experience, WayUp has standardized the resumé creation process (something most employers will very likely love) by allowing users to create a profile, similar to a social media profile, with an emphasis on both education and the aspects of their personality that would make them a valuable intern or entry-level employee.

Hundreds of thousands of companies, including Facebook, Disney, and Adobe, use WayUp for recruiting, and it appears to work well for parties on either side of the interview table: One in every three people that uses WayUp to apply gets hired, the site claims.


Optimize your job listings.

With more platforms and lower barriers to entry for advertising employment opportunities than ever before, it is essential that your job listings stand out. It’s also crucial that your listings provide as accurate and appealing a job description as possible. This will help entice qualified applicants, so making your requirements explicit helps ensure that you’re not left with the unenviable task of culling a handful of appealing candidates from the inevitable many who aren’t a good fit.


Textio utilizes AI to analyze over 300 million job posts to power a technology it calls “augmented writing.” The service helps you craft listings shown to increase the number of qualified applicants by up to 25 percent, according to company claims. Based on several user-defined variables, such as location and industry, Textio evaluates your job listing and advises improvements in tone — and even alternatives to phrases which data has shown have an adverse effect on candidates.


Final thoughts

Every growing business needs to attract talented team members to reach its full potential. Optimizing your careers site, incentivizing employee referrals, initiating an internship program and sharpening your job listings are four ways to ensure you hire the best candidates to help your business scale for the future — and that you get those hires right the first time ’round.


Article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.

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