Here are four suggestions from the Market Research and Consumer Insights Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates for hiring in a slow talent pool market: address interview fatigue in-house, optimize your ads but don’t rely on them solely, leverage your talent networks and use a recruiter – a shameless plug, yes, but in particular instances a niche recruiter is critical for hiring success.
The convenience of conducting a first interview online is contributing to client-side and candidate-side interview fatigue. “While the software has been an essential tool for productivity, learning and social interaction, something about being on video conferences all day seems particularly exhausting, “ says Jeremy Bailenson, Director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Bailenson believes the fatigue boils down to four factors:
- Excessive amounts of intense eye contact that is ordinarily reserved for close relationships.
- Cognitive overload as people need to work harder to send and receive signals
- Increased self-evaluation from staring at video of oneself
- Constraints on physical mobility
In-house recruiters must schedule interviews with some time for re-energizing. The desire to get the job done shouldn’t sacrifice candidate experience and the client’s need to “sell” the company and the position.
Optimize Your Ad BUT Don’t Exclusively Rely On It.
For a job posting to be a catalyst for your hiring process make sure you are marketing your firm, and your culture as well as the role. A study from The Ladders found 250 words to be the ideal amount of content the average job seeker will read as they search for jobs. Avoid using cheesy or overused jargon in your job description. Phrases like “we are a family” send the opposite message to candidates than what you would like send. People are not looking for families on their job hunt, they are looking for exciting and motivating opportunities with likeminded professionals. Highlight special benefits your firm offers and provide an actual salary band – it’s the law in many areas of the country now.
If you rely solely on your job posting for candidates, you are relying on the slowest method to fill your position. It is a great way to advertise your opening, but candidates are constantly applying to positions that they get no response from. They end up pausing their search out of frustration, not necessarily at you but at the general poor response to resumes sent to job advertisements. Respond to every resume promptly, even the ones you don’t want to pursue, and you will see more and better ad response as that sensitive reputation gets known.
Leverage Your Own Talent Networks
Zippia.com reports that roughly 85% of job seekers find a role through their network. There are two vital avenues you can use to utilize your network to find candidates. One is the strong network ties you have that can link you to a mutual connection that might be looking, or you may find the initial connection is the ideal candidate as well. Weak or secondary connections in your network often pay off even better than first connection when hiring in a slow talent pool market. Encourage your hiring managers to target or utilize their professional connections as well. They should be even more on-target for the right expertise.
Use a Niche Recruiter
Hiring in a slow talent pool for a position you don’t often recruit for or is known to be very competitive to find requires the use of a niche recruiter. They do all of the things we’ve already discussed but they do it every day, all day for the particular niche they work in. You just can’t replicate their understanding of the skillset, salary expectations, culture fit or their vast network in the very specific area you are trying to source a candidate in.
Finding top talent is difficult when the talent pool is active and responsive. Those challenges become exponentially more difficult when you are hiring in a slow talent pool or even a passive one. These few suggestions are a worthwhile way to increase your engagement with qualified candidates and shorten the time and money spent on hiring in a slow talent pool.