Changing conditions during the pandemic have forced companies to pivot with new recruiting strategies, particularly for candidates seeking professional jobs. The tactics that used to attract stellar candidates may not be the most appropriate or even effective options right now. For instance, people who have been working from home for the past 18 months may no longer care about your company’s gourmet cafeteria or in-office gym space. Candidates have different expectations for the workplace than they had in 2019.
Top candidates are currently searching for the words “remote” and “work from home” during their job search. That means remote or hybrid work has to be an option if a company wants to attract all available talent. But that’s not the only change that has occurred in the past couple of years!
Companies may need to not only adjust their workplace and scheduling options but also their benefits and incentives packages. Good health insurance is more important than ever. What’s more, the ability to work from home has shown people just how much they crave work-life balance.
How Professional Recruiting Has Changed
Job seekers have many additional boxes to check off now. The new world of remote work that many candidates have been exposed to allows them to have many different demands and expectations. The current market situation has put the candidate in charge, largely due to the shift in supply and demand. In some industries, there are way more jobs available than people who can or want to fill them.
There are many factors that are contributing to the job market shift. For one, many people are scared of contracting Covid-19, so they do not want to work in person around other people. There are other people struggling with childcare issues due to closed daycares and schools. Not having readily available and steady childcare is a huge issue for working families.
While there’s only so much you can do about these issues, there are still some things you can do to attract more job candidates in today’s world:
1. Offer flexible working arrangements
Employees want the ability to have a completely remote schedule or at least a hybrid schedule. In a hybrid schedule, employees come in on a set day or days each week and remain remote the rest of the time. Hybrid schedules help keep employees safe from contact with others because not all employees are in the office at the same time.
Most companies had to adapt and find ways to make working from home possible when the pandemic first hit, so employees now know that a lot of jobs can be done remotely. It’s hard to make a case for forcing employees to come to the office when they can do the job from home.
2. Provide excellent health and wellness benefits
Health and wellness benefits have always been important, but now with the increased focus on mental health and wellness, employers have to show potential employees they care.
Some of the benefits many top performers have come to expect now are gym memberships and even reimbursements for Peloton bikes. Employee assistance programs (EAP) have also become an expected benefit. As a bare minimum, your company should offer excellent health, vision, and dental insurance if at all possible.
3. Discuss potential career advancement options
Dead-end jobs are a thing of the past. Employees want to know that there are advancement options available before they even sign the dotted line. What is the career trajectory for the position? How long will it take for them to be eligible for a promotion?
Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z will not stay in a position as long as their predecessors without clear upward mobility.
4. Try recruiting from a wider variety of colleges and training programs
Many careers don’t really require four year degrees, let alone a degree from a name-brand university. There are many community colleges, lesser-known universities, and online colleges that produce highly capable graduates, as well as technical schools and certificate programs that train students to do excellent work in as little as 6 months.
Looking outside the box will open up the candidate pool. By broadening your search, you may find many hard-working job candidates you wouldn’t have otherwise found.
5. Look at experiences outside of work and school, including volunteering
Due to the shortage of candidates right now, following a rigid criteria to find employees will limit the number of candidates who are eligible for positions. A candidate who doesn’t have work experience but has volunteer experience may still have the skills necessary to perform the job (and be ready to learn any skills they are missing). Thinking outside the box will open up a more diverse candidate pool.
6. Consider candidates outside your geographical area
There are no boundaries to finding the perfect candidate during the pandemic era. Nationwide recruiting agencies can remove any geographical boundaries in order to find the talent you need.
There are many different platforms that allow teams to communicate cross country, from video chats to messaging apps. A candidate in Florida can now apply for a job in Utah and be a part of the team just as if they were in the same office.
7. Consider candidates with key skills from outside your industry
There is no one size fits all recipe for successful candidates anymore. Many candidates have skills and experiences that can be carried over from other fields. The ability to pull talent from different industries will give more options to recruiting agencies looking for candidates.
8. Focus on aptitude and motivation, not just experience and pedigree
While interviewing candidates, make sure to ask questions that speak directly to the character of the person. You will want to know how they handle stressful situations and what motivates them, both of which are important qualities to determine what type of employee they will be.
A candidate that has the drive and determination to succeed will be far more successful than a candidate who just happened to go to a prestigious university or come from a Fortune 500 company.
9. Look for passion
Does the candidate have a passion for the work they are seeking? Are they just looking for a job or do they want to have a career in the field that they are applying for? Passion will allow the employee to go above and beyond what is expected and required to get the job done. That quality is often very important, depending on the position.
10. Consider which skills can be learned on the job
A great candidate does not have to be proficient in every single skill that is required for the job on day one. Try to make a list of skills a person has to have versus skills that can be developed via on-the-job training. It’s often better to teach someone how to perform a task specific to the job anyway instead of having them bring methods and procedures from other jobs.
Do not miss out on great people because they lack skills that can be taught!
11. Highlight company actions based on shared values such as social justice, sustainability, diversity, or volunteering in the community
Now more than ever, people want to be a part of organizations that have deep connections with the community and social justice issues. There is a sense of pride that comes from being with an organization that is on the front lines of injustices.
Shared values are important not only for recruitment but for retention as well. Companies that only care about issues when they are trending and popular tend to lose employees who feel that they are not genuine. Similarly, companies without a clear mission are more likely to have unmotivated employees who are unsure why their work matters.
12. Streamline the application experience
Make it simple for applicants to apply for your position. Invest in software that minimizes the effort to put in an application. For many roles, a resume should be enough for an employee to apply for a job.
Once inputted, the software your organization uses should be able to extract all of the data to fill out the application. Save the in-depth questions for the interview.
Headhunting for Professional Jobs is All About the Job Seeker
The top talent in today’s job market is aware of the power they hold. The unusual circumstances provided by the pandemic have caused a shift in power from the recruiter/recruiting agency to the candidate. Gone are the days of relying on salary alone to attract the best employees.
Companies have to think about what they can do for the candidate instead of what the candidate can do for the company. A combination of flexible schedules, welcoming company culture, and opportunities for advancement are all very important for a company to have.
If you need help with headhunting or recruiting, reach out to LG Resources. We are a national staffing agency with local offices throughout Utah, Kansas, Missouri, and Pennsylvania and partners throughout the U.S. We can help you find the perfect candidate to help your organization reach its full potential.