#1 HR Challenge: Improve Recruiting Methods

SwipeClock improve recruiting and hiring
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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Solve Your Hiring Problems

Employers and Human Resources professionals understand why everyone is trying to improve recruiting. The inability to find top talent is affecting most industries.

In our Swipeclock small business survey, respondents cited hiring quality talent as one of their top concerns for this year.

It’s not only low unemployment that is driving this crisis. The workforce doesn’t have skills employers need. That means that even if unemployment increases, employers will still have difficulty hiring.

The Skills Gap + Full Employment = Hiring Challenges

Some states legislatures are allocating education funding based on labor market needs. But it will take years for the U.S. educational system to produce enough graduates for the jobs of the future.

And the U.S. is not alone. All developed countries except India will continue to have a critical skills gap. With the lightning pace of tech innovation, the educational system will always be playing catch up.

Buckle up. We are in for at least a decade of widespread skilled labor shortages.

Industries Most Affected by the Skills Gap

These industries will have the most difficulty in the next ten years:

  1. Financial Services
  2. Engineering
  3. Information Technology
  4. Telecommunications
  5. Healthcare
  6. Media
  7. Manufacturing
  8. Industrial

That includes almost everyone, doesn’t it?

Optimize or Sink

Where does that leave an SMB struggling to find skilled candidates? You can only control some of the variables at play. And one of these is your recruiting methods. You need to optimize the processes you use to attract and hire qualified employees. Otherwise, competitors who have made talent sourcing a priority will have the advantage.

The Swipeclock Guide to Improve Recruiting

Improving your recruiting practices is not rocket science. (Even if you are recruiting rocket scientists.) The workforce management experts at Swipeclock can help you optimize your talent sourcing. Let’s look at best practices any business can adopt.

Use The Best Recruiting Software Tech

This is priority one. If your business is doing talent sourcing manually, you are at a clear disadvantage. Recruiting software is getting better, less expensive, and more intuitive. Even the smallest business can find a system that doesn’t break their budget.

Let’s look at the automation tools that make applicant tracking systems a must-have.

Basic Features of Recruiting Systems

  • Online applications
  • Questionnaires
  • Centralized paperless document management
  • Auto-posting to multiple job boards
  • Tracks thousands of applications
  • Interview scheduling
  • Resume parsing
  • Multi-channel customer support
  • EEO/OFCCP compliance reporting
  • Candidate scoring
  • Email tracking

Additional Tools to Consider

Recruiting software is incorporating technology pioneered in many other industries. Here are some nice-to-haves to evaluate.

  • Video interviews
  • Mobile app
  • Text messaging
  • Automated phone screening
  • Multiple hiring pipelines
  • Customize processes without writing code
  • Machine learning
  • E-signature
  • Predictive analytics
  • Integration with HR platforms
  • Spreadsheet imports
  • Background checks
  • Aptitude and personality tests

Attention Hesitant First-Time Purchasers

Business owners familiar with legacy systems may not realize how cloud computing eliminates previous deal-breakers.

  1. No IT infrastructure needed
  2. No large upfront cost
  3. Subscription-based
  4. Priced per employee: scales up or down
  5. No contract required

Develop and Document Your Recruiting System

Start-ups and rapidly-growing SMBs often fail to systemize their hiring practices. Usually, it’s because they don’t have a dedicated hiring manager or recruitment team. Or payroll consumes their HR team.

You can’t just “get by” when it comes to this key business function. Process is supreme if you want to improve recruiting methods.

At many small businesses, only one person knows the hiring process. If this is the case for you, make sure they document it. If they end up quitting, you will lose that valuable tribal knowledge. Their successor will have to start from scratch. They won’t know the tricks and pitfalls unique to your business and labor market.

Even if your system only consists of three or four steps, document it and follow it. You can modify and expand as needed. This is the first step to optimization. Following a routine improves efficiency even if nothing else changes.

Revisit Job Descriptions

This is your chance to make a good first impression on a candidate. Spend time on creating precise, engaging job descriptions. Collaborate with everyone connected to the job role—from managers to team members. You will gain insights into soft qualities that aren’t readily apparent.

A compelling job description gives you a head start on the filtering process. Unqualified candidates are less likely to apply if they have a clear understanding of the requirements.

Improve Interviews

You probably know that open-ended questions are better than those that have a one-word answer. When crafting interview questions, write each question with a goal in mind. For example; “Learn how the applicant approaches problem-solving.” Or “Find out how the candidate interacts with co-workers and clients.”

Here are questions large employers use:

  1. Describe the work achievement that you are most proud of.
  2. If hired, what are the first things you would do in your new role?
  3. Describe a time you solved a difficult problem at work.
  4. What degree of oversight do you prefer?

Note that some questions violate equal-opportunity laws. Illegal question topics and specific examples are listed on the U.S. Department of Labor Business Center website.

Constant Communication With Applicants

Make sure candidates understand the hiring process. You don’t want to lose promising applicants because they don’t understand the timeline and next steps. Recruitment software automates this process. Take the time to personalize your email templates and auto-texts.

Seek People Not Currently Job Hunting

Many who aren’t actively job hunting would consider a better situation if available. This doesn’t necessarily mean a higher salary. They may be looking for an emerging industry, more flexibility, better benefits, or a different corporate culture. This is an area where nimble small businesses can often outshine larger ones.

Social media is your vehicle for this technique. You can do highly specific searches on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit. (This is how subversive operators distribute propaganda with surgical precision.)

This will help you to find a pool of candidates with a narrowly-defined set of characteristics. On Twitter, search by hashtag. On Facebook, you can create a job page, ad, or simply do descriptive keyword searches. On all platforms, especially Reddit, search for topic threads with knowledgeable comments about the job role you are trying to fill.

Don’t discount Facebook just because LinkedIn is the “professional” platform. Facebook’s reach is so massive compared to the others, no recruiter should ignore it. In 2018, Facebook had 2.27 billion users. In contrast, LinkedIn has around 500 million.

Clearly, this technique is not for entry-level openings. But if you haven’t been able to fill a specialized position, it may be worth your time. Learn the latest search techniques for the top social media sites. Your social media manager can collaborate with your recruiting team in this effort.

Let Swipeclock Help

Swipeclock has a suite of affordable tools that help SMBs overcome obstacles to growth. To schedule a demo, visit Swipeclock WorkforceHub.


Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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