Australia, along with everywhere else, has said goodbye to an excellent, booming economy and with it the scarcity of skilled workers. Just a few months ago the competition was intense to land the best possible candidate for any given position. Jobseekers held all of the power, making it difficult for businesses to lure candidates away from their current jobs but then came Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Data now indicates that as many as 100,000 small businesses in the US alone have closed for good due to the pandemic and the outlook globally for SMEs is pessimistic at best.
Shrinking economies and harsh trading conditions, has companies scaling back their workforce. Unemployment levels are rising rapidly, with levels expected to reach more than ten per cent in some countries. The flip side is, it’s now easier to find staff and any company in the market for new hires have their pick of workers.
In fact, companies hiring staff will need to hone their recruitment process to prevent their inboxes from being inundated with hundreds of jobseeker applications. In this article, we offer four ways you can hone your hiring practices to save time and money on the recruitment process.
Increase Job Posting Specificity
Due to the dearth of candidates that was the norm just a few months ago, businesses had adopted the practice of relaxing the criteria spelt out in their job postings.
The idea was to lower the bar just enough to encourage a steady flow of applicants, without wasting time on obviously unqualified respondents. Now, that tendency must be reversed to stem the tide of resumes, and to do that, businesses can conduct a review of all of their current job listings to make them as specific as possible.
While in a recession, some applicants will send their resume even when they know they’re not a close fit however with more focus on the detail of the role as well as the experience and credentials required, some job seekers will be deterred from applying.
Invest in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Although common in the corporate world, small to midsize businesses have historically avoided investing in recruitment technology. Now, with so many more potential applicants about to come knocking on the door, they should start to rethink that.
The best first step to take is to invest in an applicant tracking system (ATS). They provide a unified system for hiring managers to maintain control over every phase of the hiring process.
Depending on the system chosen, they may also be capable of varying levels of automation too, which can lower the burden about to be placed on the human resources staff of small firms. Options include automatic interview scheduling and applicant notifications, criteria-based resume and cover letter screening, and hands-off candidate suitability scoring.
Start Asking Knockout Questions Early
In the past, one might expect that the pool of candidates that made it through the initial hurdles of the hiring process would be small enough to proceed straight to the in-person interview phase. Now, with a flood of initial applicants, that may no longer be the case. That means that some additional winnowing of the field must be added to the process as a middle-step before the interview process can begin.
The fastest and most efficient way to do this is to work with internal stakeholders (managers, team leaders, etc.) to create a list of knockout questions to pose to each candidate. Knockout questions can cover everything from salary requirements to personality questions.
The idea is to eliminate candidates whose responses represent deal-breakers for the people they’ll have to work for and with should they get hired. Not only will doing this narrow the field, but it will also help make sure the eventual new hire will be a good fit for the organization they’re hoping to join.
Move From Interviews To Job Auditions
One of the unique challenges that tend to crop up when businesses have too many applicants for a position is that the handful of applicants at the top become almost indistinguishable from one another. Often, this leaves decisionmakers trying to choose between candidates with nearly identical credentials and work histories. The result (more often than not) is that the choice comes down to which candidate is the better interviewer.
In the end, though, an interview is nothing like the job the candidate will have to do once hired. To avoid making hiring decisions on personality alone, it’s a good idea to shorten the formal interview process and introduce job auditions in their place. Such real-world job simulations provide much better insight into how a candidate might perform in the role they’ve applied for, and make it possible for employers to select successful candidates based on ability, not charm.
A Reinvented Hiring Process
Coronavirus has switched the global economy for a bull to a bear market, and now we’re in a recession. Employees no longer have job security due to most companies scaling back their expenses and staffing overheads.
However, the recession presents recruitment opportunities. There are more job seekers in the market, and this is good news for startups and cashed-up small businesses. Recruitment processes just need to follow best practices, so they’re efficient both in time and money.