Expert Panel: Finding Good Talent In a Competitive Hiring Market

expert panel: hiring

Business owners are well aware of the growing challenges with recruitment and finding good talent to join their teams. Not only are we in the midst of a nationwide labor shortage, but finding people with the right qualifications and skill sets is becoming increasingly difficult. 

We reached out to industry experts and asked for insights on actionable steps they’ve taken to find good talent in a competitive hiring market. Here are their responses:

Refine The Hiring Process With Speed, Transparency, Data and Referrals

This is the million dollar question! In speaking with many of our customers, however, the five suggestions below seem to make the biggest impact:

  1. Refine your hiring process so it’s a good experience for applicants. In a competitive hiring market, even small obstacles to the application process can have a big impact. Review your process to make sure it’s easy to navigate on a smartphone, and make sure applicants aren’t required to submit more info than is necessary to apply.

  2. Move quickly. Workstream data shows that there’s a 25% greater chance of hiring an applicant when a potential employer contacts them within an hour of receiving their application. If that seems challenging, consider using text messaging in your communication efforts. Not only is SMS communication easier, but it’s more likely to be seen by an applicant.
  3. Be transparent about growth opportunities. Despite popular opinion, many hourly workers are looking for a job opportunity that offers them the ability to grow within the role. If you are able to explain, in the job description or an early conversation, tangible opportunities for advancement that exist within your organization, they are much more likely to prioritize that opportunity. And don’t be vague, include specific timelines. For example, “This role often leads to advancing into a supervisory role within 6 months of successful employment.”
  4. Collect and review the data. Automation has brought with it the opportunity to collect data around every stage of the hiring process. It’s important to choose tools and platforms that allow you to review that data, and then focus on the most important hiring metrics. If you see a certain stage of the process that’s taking too long, or where you’re losing a high percentage of applicants, then that could signal an opportunity to refine the process.
  5. Establish an employee referral program. Your greatest source of new employees are your current employees, and making the most of this opportunity requires a strategic, organized employee referral program. What makes a successful employee referral program? Offer appealing incentives, keep it simple, and promote it often.

– Daniel Blaser, Deskless Workforce Evangelist at Workstream

Proactively Search For New Candidates

Finding quality candidates is a huge challenge right now. These past 6-8 months have been the most challenging I have seen. We have seen more no shows than ever before on all levels of positions. Here are the keys we have found to help overcome hiring challenges:

  • Be proactive
  • Respond quickly to applicants who show interest
  • Move candidates through your hiring process quickly, and efficiently
  • Always be recruiting even if you don’t have an open position. You never know what tomorrow will bring.
  • Don’t hang on to those candidates that are difficult to communicate with before you have even hired them.

 – Kristy Sifford, President of Wylander

Focus On Selling Long-term Value 

“The biggest challenge is competing with Chick-Fil-A and Costco for entry level positions. We show candidates how to develop and grow long-term with a fulfilling career. We are also handing out “pass along cards” with a QR code that links to our website to people we see doing their jobs well in any industry in an effort to get them to apply.

– Kinyon Martin, Owner of Restore Rite

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