The economy seems strong while heading into this election cycle. November 2015 unemployment figures hit 5% for the first time since April 2008. Job creation also continues to grow steadily, with an additional 271,000 non-farm jobs created in October 2015. Many industries are seeing growth, and unemployment is down. Consequently, competition for the best talent will be stiff going into the new year. If your company, like many, is moving into a hiring phase after the start of the year, here are six steps to make sure you are ready to stay ahead of the competition.
Check your bait
Ensure that all of your talent-building strategies, from landing pages to job postings, are up-to-date and accurate. If new campaigns will be launched in these platforms, get as many eyes on them as possible prior to the official release. Incorporate feedback to make your bait as attractive as possible. It’s also helpful to assess the competition to know what your candidates are seeing when they shop around.
Define your targets
While it may be impossible to know precisely what positions and how many new employees your company may be adding during a time of growth, the more precisely this is defined upfront, the better. Make sure everyone in the recruitment and hiring process is on the same page with regards to the numbers and types of people you are looking to hire. You never want to find out there’s a must-hire in a key position when resources have already been allotted elsewhere.
Fill your pipeline
Recruiters should let their talent pool know as soon as possible when hiring will start. By giving your key recruits the heads up, you increase the likelihood they will apply if they are in the market. Even those who are not actively seeking new roles may be enticed to apply if given enough time to decide.
Give your system a shakedown
Testing and retesting every part of your recruiting, application, interview, and hiring process is the best way to ensure you provide candidates with a positive, streamlined process. Fixing problems now can save you from having to announce that you have to put hiring on hold while the boss makes decisions.
Implement skills testing for candidates
Setting up a skills-testing program prior to or as part of your interview process is a great way to make sure the candidates that look good on paper will be the best fit for your company. Incorporating objective testing data into your hiring protocol can ensure that decisions are being made on preset criteria as well as on subjective impressions.
Get in the game early
If at all possible, be the first to announce hiring in your market. Being the first to attract candidates can add up to big dollars in lower salaries, as these are prone to rise as hiring becomes more competitive. Additionally, a great first offer will often carry the greatest positive weight in a candidate’s mind.