The US is currently facing the lowest unemployment rate in decades, at 3.8% in March 2019 as per the National Conference of State Legislatures. This is great news for our nation's economy. However, this success has made everyday work harder for one specific group of professionals: recruiters. With fewer Americans actively seeking roles in recent years, recruitment teams have needed to work proactively rather than reactively.
The constantly evolving job market requires human resource managers and recruiters to stay on top of trends and relevant strategies. Today it's a candidate's market rather than an employer's market, which presents new challenges for HR teams to overcome to stay ahead of the curve.
Changes in the recruitment landscape
Before diving into some best practices, it's important to understand exactly where the recruiting market lies presently. According to a recent report from the Human Capital Institute in partnership with Kronos, the trends around recruitment of salaried employees have drastically shifted over the past two years:
• The number of open positions has increased by 53%
• The number of days in the recruitment process has increased 38%, from job posting to accepted offer
• Starting salaries have increased 73%
• Cost per hire metrics have increased 47%
• Turnaround rates of one year have increased by 32%
These problems make up only a small chunk of the issues facing today's talent acquisition teams. According to HCI, the major concerns from recruiters in 2019 include:
• Difficulty finding candidates with the skill sets required for job openings
• Challenges in providing candidates with compensation that meets their needs
• Inability to get first choice candidates to accept positions
• Delays and holdups in communication with hiring managers
• Insufficient training and development opportunities for new hires
But, thankfully, it isn't all doom and gloom. The right human capital management software can solve a majority of these problems. From streamlining communication between candidates to providing hiring and reporting capabilities for managers to saving time and resources during the recruitment process, HCM software could become one of the best investments your company ever makes. HCM tools can even decrease the cost per hire, providing HR professionals with a substantial return on investment - and, consequentially, an effective way to make their higher-ups happy.
Best practices for industry top performers
A company’s size, type, and overall goals will typically dictate its recruiting strategies. High level organizations with consistently steady profits generally set recruiting standards that all employers should aspire to for maximum efficiency and results. Here are some ways high-performing organizations (HPOs), as HCI calls them, conduct recruiting and how other companies tend to fall short:
Recruit like an HPO
HPOs have invested time and resources to grow established, strong workforces through best practices in recruiting, according to HCI's Nine to Thrive HR podcast. HR professionals working for HPOs stand out among other companies in their industry by leveraging the skills of and developing current employees through talent management. HPOs strive to retain their employees so they can grow within the organization, using lessons they’ve gained from their multiple years in the business to further increase the company’s bottom line. In order to improve employee retention rates, HR professionals in HPOs utilize HCM technology to manage their current talent. When they decide to bring in external talent, recruiters for HPOs are looking for more from new hires than skills alone. They want to bring on passionate employees who will remain dedicated to the business for years to come, creating a pipeline of talent.
Other businesses’ scarcity mindset
Unlike HPOs, which have plenty of talented professionals in their workforces, other organizations often feel compelled to recruit with a scarcity mindset. Instead of hiring for development potential, companies with scarcity issues will seek out candidates with skills that are currently missing from their workforces and focus more on recruiter requirements than the talent itself. This deficit-based approach to talent acquisition works well enough in the short term, but proves to lack strategy and be ineffective in the long term, ultimately harming productivity levels.
In order to operate more like an HPO, businesses should strategically utilize data to find and retain the best candidates. An HCM platform is instrumental in informing talent acquisition initiatives in this way because it allows organizations to analyze which hired employees have gone on to be most successful and try to find new candidates with similar characteristics.
The right HR technologies
HCM platforms can improve recruitment success in businesses that are currently operating with a scarcity mindset and help them follow the strategic example of HPOs. HCI compiled information from both HPOs and other organizations regarding the types of technologies they're using in recruitment practices:
• Background checking tools
o HPOs: 71%
o Other organizations: 62%
• Applicant tracking systems
o HPOs: 60%
o Other organizations: 51%
• Human Resources Information Systems
o HPOs: 53%
o Other organizations: 46%
• Interview management tools
o HPOs: 43%
o Other organizations: 31%
• New hire onboarding platforms
o HPOs: 44%
o Other organizations: 29%
• Human Resource Management suites
o HPOs: 34%
o Other organizations: 18%
It is evident that the prevalence of technology in HPOs contributes substantially to their recruitment successes and high retention rates. To perform more competitively in their landscape, other businesses should implement HCM software to tackle recruitment issues facing the current market and to target employee engagement. This strategic approach can in turn lead to lower turnover rates and increased productivity among the existing workforce. If you’d like to dig deeper into how to recruit like an HPO, check out the full HCI report and get all the insights.