3 Ways to Update Hiring Strategies for Recruitment Success

3 Ways to Update Hiring Strategies for Recruitment Success

Key Takeaways:

  • In the tight hiring landscape, companies must adopt creative strategies to attract and retain top talent, valuing diversity, and ensuring alignment with strategic goals. 
  • Leveraging employee referral programs is crucial, as high-performing employees are likely to recommend trustworthy candidates, leading to higher-quality hires with shared values and cultural fit.
  • Companies are shifting away from strict bachelor's degree requirements, emphasizing the importance of creating a more flexible approach to candidate evaluation.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. is currently in the midst of an ongoing labor shortage that has persisted since the economic downturn of 2020. There are currently 9.5 million job openings, but only 6.5 million workers to fill them. With these shortages expected to continue into the foreseeable future, competition for top talent has become fiercer than ever.

Yet, despite this competitive talent landscape, time-to-hire has risen consistently and considerably in the last four years, with an average of 44 days between submitting an application and receiving an offer. Many companies have become stagnant in their hiring strategies, unsure of how to streamline their access to top talent who can help their businesses reach the next level.

What companies need now more than ever is to update their hiring strategies. The old tactics of posting vague job descriptions on popular job listing sites and requiring advanced degrees for every position won’t work for the younger millennials and Gen Z job seekers who have the upper hand in the current job market and will soon dominate the workforce.

Discover what changes companies need to make to attract the most desirable employees.


Three Ways Employers Can Update Their Talent Acquisition Practices

Feeling stagnant with hiring strategies but have no idea where to begin when it comes to competing for top talent? Consider these three ideas that can help companies update talent acquisition initiatives and hire the right candidates:

recruiting ideas outside the box


1. Hone the Employee Referral Program

The easiest way to find top talent is to have high-performing employees recommend others like them. Many employees form and join communities and networks with others in their industry to exchange tips for building skills and finding opportunities, often on social media. Fortunately, hiring professionals don’t have to be in these employee networks to leverage them. Instead, think about asking coworkers if they know anyone in their circle who is considering making a move and might be a good fit for the role.

This is an excellent strategy for a few reasons. Employees are not likely to recommend someone they don’t know well or trust deeply because they don’t want to take a chance on souring their reputation. As a result, hiring professionals will have access to higher-quality candidates.

Additionally, employees already understand the nuances of the company culture well beyond the outward image of the employer brand. They also may have friends with similar educational backgrounds and abilities and who share enthusiasm for the brand’s industry. This means that employees are in an ideal position to pitch an organization to their network. If those candidates apply for open positions, hiring professionals can rest assured they are doing so with confidence that their values align and that they share the company’s purpose and goals – which can, in turn, reduce both turnover and time-to-hire.

Tip: Incentivize the employee referral program as an opportunity to celebrate and recognize employees for their contributions. Consider using a tracking system that keeps tabs on hiring status for this purpose. A program like this is yet another way to improve reputation and solidify the employer brand.


2. Diversify the Candidate Pipeline

In a highly competitive job market, posting a job description on a few job boards (where competitors are also likely posting) should not be the extent of a company’s recruiting practices. If hiring professionals intend to find the best candidates, they'll have to figure out how to diversify the candidate pipeline.

Consider diversifying the pipeline by providing internships and apprenticeships. These arrangements benefit both candidates and the company. Candidates gain real-world experience in the field and get to experience company culture firsthand. Hiring professionals get the benefit of seeing the candidate in action and taking time to determine whether they are the right fit.

To create a truly diversified pipeline and avoid stagnation in hiring, hiring professionals should make sure to consider candidates across generations and cultures. Statistically speaking, more diverse companies are typically more innovative and better performers. Diversity also tends to build stronger company cultures and encourage greater levels of creativity.

Remember that a diversified pipeline starts with the job descriptions. For those who want a varied pool of applicants, take the time to ensure all language and requirements are unbiased. Consider working with a recruitment marketing team to create descriptions that attract the right candidate and make them feel like the opportunity is right for them.

recruitment marketing strategies


3. Focus on Skills

In 2023, 55% of companies eliminated bachelor’s degree requirements. Forty-five percent of companies that still have them indicate that they plan to get rid of them for at least some positions by the end of 2024. Although a college education does offer candidates the opportunity to gain a great deal of knowledge and soft skills, it isn’t always a reliable indicator that someone will do well with a particular employer.

In this day and age, hiring managers need to know that candidates have something more valuable than just knowledge; they need the skills to get the job done. However, focusing on skills means that hiring professionals will have to figure out how to be more flexible in their approach to candidate evaluation.

One approach is to consider that going to college to get a degree is not the only way to acquire skills in today’s world. Hiring professionals can scan resumes and LinkedIn profiles for digital badges and proficiency certificates to find candidates who have completed relevant training courses in a particular area.  
Earning a certificate or badge usually signals that they’ve earned the right to be called an expert, which can be very helpful for verifying claims made on a resume or in an interview. Hiring professionals can also offer the existing workforce the opportunity to earn badges and certificates as a way to provide professional development and help them work toward promotions.

Also, consider past roles and whether they have likely helped a candidate gain the skills they need for the position they’re applying for. If need be, hiring managers can ask them to talk in-depth about or even demonstrate those skills during the hiring process to ensure the candidate does indeed possess them.

Tip: Perform skill audits and assessments to understand where employees currently are, understand the organization’s gaps in knowledge, and learn the best ways to future-proof the company. By constantly upskilling the workforce, employees will become more dedicated and less likely to look for other opportunities.


Internal Mobility and Career Pathing

Additionally, hiring professionals should focus on improving internal sourcing and mobility. Just like internal recruitment is key when diversifying the pipeline, hiring professionals also need to use it to ensure existing employees are prepared to take on increasingly senior roles within the company.

Companies should also consider ways to implement career pathing. This practice takes stock of the company’s strategic goals and the skills needed to help the business reach them. Hiring professionals can then create organizational talent priorities based on those needs. Finally, companies provide employees with career growth opportunities that align with those priorities.

Using artificial intelligence throughout this process can help employers more readily find skill gaps and identify which learning and development opportunities would best help fill them. This technology can also help figure out whether a company has internal talent in need of development or if it should turn to external recruitment – utilizing employee referrals and a diverse candidate pipeline to fill open roles.

AI talent acquisition


The Hiring Landscape Has Changed — Hiring Practices Must Follow Suit

The hiring landscape is tighter than it has ever been, which means employers are competing for top candidates. Companies that expect to win over great candidates in this market must employ more creative strategies to help them shore up both their internal and external pipelines.

By valuing diversity and focusing on skills, hiring professionals can ensure they are able to widen talent pools and find candidates that will help them reach their strategic goals. A robust employee referral program will help hiring professionals shorten time-to-hire by gaining a greater level of access to highly qualified candidates who are actively looking to make a move.

Above all else, remember that pivoting talent acquisition strategies is about more than just attracting and retaining talent. It’s about ensuring the company has what it needs to keep moving toward its ultimate mission.

In a dynamic work environment characterized by continuous shifts in candidate preferences, staying abreast of trends is imperative. Allow the Recruitics team to guide your brand through this evolving reality, not only ensuring survival but fostering success amidst these ongoing transformations.

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