While it’s easy to admit that things that worked ten years ago might not work today, it’s not quite so simple to act on that admission. Thankfully, we’ve compiled ten tips for getting your hiring process up to date.
Take a digital approach
This is a bonus tip. We didn’t count this as one of the ten tips because eight of the following tips simply expound upon this one. If you take away just one piece of advice from this entire article, it’s that you need to take a digital approach to hiring.
Over the past several years, technology has radically shaped the society in which we live, and that’s had an impact on everything from our personal lives to our careers. We can bemoan the fact that technology has created new problems for us, but it’s far more productive to focus on how technology has solved so many of yesterday’s problems.
Put another way, there are digital solutions for your analog problems. Use technology to your advantage.
Expedite the process
Let’s face it: people have higher expectations for expediency than they did in the 20th Century. That’s not just true of consumers; this applies to talent as well. By sticking with a slow hiring process, you’re potentially turning away some of your best applicants before they even come in for an interview. Don’t miss out on top talent because you’re operating too slowly.
Thankfully, there’s really no reason to be stuck in the time restrictions of the previous century.
For example, no longer are applicants required to go out to buy resume paper, then submit a paper copy to their potential employer. Now resumes can be submitted via email. There’s also no reason to use “snail mail” when there are faster ways to communicate. Online databases make it easier and quicker to screen an applicant, and social media makes it easier to get a peek into the personality of the people you interview. (Did you know that 70% of employers are looking at the social media profiles of potential candidates? Now you do!)
By using the tools provided by the modern age, you’ll speed up your hiring process by an enormous margin.
Communicate with candidates via text message
As a follow-up to the previous tip, you should consider text messages as a valid form of communication between yourself and a potential employee. Playing phone tag can waste enormous amounts of your candidate’s time, as well as your own. If you call a candidate and then leave a message, only to have the candidate call back when you’re away from your desk, you’re delaying communication and potentially causing frustration for the candidate. With text messaging, communication can be quick and to the point. That does create its own problems (such as how abbreviated messages can be misinterpreted), but if you’re careful about how your word your texts, they can save you enormous amounts of time.
Allow job applications via mobile devices
According to data compiled by Quora Creative, “80% of users used a mobile device to search the internet in 2019.” Yes, 80%. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have rendered laptops redundant when it comes to basic web browsing, which means a good candidate might only ever use a smartphone to access the internet.
If you haven’t allowed applicants to apply using a mobile device, you’re missing out on perhaps the largest segment of the internet-using population. Offer online applications for open positions, and make sure those applications can be submitted from a mobile device.
Make sure your website is sleek and modern
These days, just having a website isn’t good enough. In fact, that’s the lowest common denominator at this point.
Your website should have a fresh look. You should be using clean, modern design elements. Your layout should be easy to navigate. Your CTAs should be clearly labeled. Your content should be organized in such a way that it’s a cinch to find any particular thing a user would be looking for. You should take SEO (search engine optimization) into consideration to make sure your website is ranking highly in search engines like Google and Bing. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – there are far too many factors that go into good web design to list all of them here.
This might sound like a tall order – and let’s be honest here; it is – but a modern website is a crucial part of your branding efforts. Without it, not only are you turning away potential clients, but potential applicants as well.
Allow candidates to do video interviews
No longer do candidates need to come into your office to do a job interview. There are several video conferencing apps, such as Skype, Zoom, and WebEx (to name just a few), and many of them are freely available. Not only does teleconferencing make scheduling more convenient, but it broadens your talent pool outside your city – and even outside your state. If you’re serious about finding the best possible candidate, why wouldn’t you want to expand your reach across the entire nation?
Maintain a strong social media presence
Your potential clients are on social media, so you should be active there already. But if that’s not enough motivation, keep in mind that your applicants are there as well. If you have a strong brand with a strong social media presence, candidates will naturally come to you. When applicants are actively seeking you out, you’ll reduce the amount of time you spend looking for potential hires.
Of course, social media is a full-time job, and the person in charge of it should be web-savvy and stay up-to-date on internet trends that are changing weekly. There’s a lot that goes into a good social media presence, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid having one. Social media is simply too important to ignore.
Advertise job listings on social media
A component of your social media presence (which we mentioned in the previous tip) is that you should be alerting followers to job openings as they emerge. Not only does this allow you to hear from potential hires within minutes of a job being posted, but it increases engagement as well. And since social media algorithms are designed to reward engagement, this is a double-win for you: you can speed up your hiring process and build engagement at the same time.
Use analytics to gauge success (and to reduce failure)
One huge benefit of a web-based strategy is that it will give you access to incredibly detailed data about how people are interacting with your content. If you have a website (and we’ve already established that you should), you can collect by-the-second data from Google Analytics that will tell you how many visitors you receive and how those visitors move around your site. If you’re on social media, the platform should be delivering detailed reports about user engagement.
This can create an overwhelming deluge of data that you might be tempted to ignore. However, if you can learn to read this data, you’re prepared to respond to potential problems as they’re occurring rather than several weeks down the road.
For example, if you see that 50% of the people who start filling out an online application fail to complete it, you can look deeper to find out exactly where people are dropping off. If there’s one section in particular that’s driving users away, you know exactly which section needs to be updated. Without that data, you could only make guesses as to why fewer people are submitting applications than expected. The process of discovering the root of such a problem can be lengthy and expensive. Empowered with that data, however, you can fix the application quickly, and with razor-sharp precision.
Update your interview questions
After eight (or nine, depending on how you’re counting) tips on taking a web-savvy approach to hiring, we’re finally going to offer a couple pieces of advice that aren’t technology-related at all.
Now let’s talk about the questions you’re asking in interviews. It’s possible that you have a series of interview questions that’s been tested over the years and seems to be working. That’s great! However, it’s also quite possible that your interview questions need updating.
This doesn’t necessarily have to do with questions that feel antiquated (though such questions should definitely be revised or removed from your repertoire). In many cases, smart interviewees have already prepared for your best questions because those have been the best questions for a very long time. Those questions aren’t necessarily bad; they’re simply expected. By asking them, you’re likely to only get a canned response. If you really want to get an accurate read on your candidate, you should mix up your interview questions as often as possible and come up with new ones frequently. Always be malleable so you can get the most productive and honest responses from interviewees.
We’ve already created an entire article about the benefits of outsourcing HR, so we won’t belabor the point. We’ll condense all of that down to a single concept: A company that does HR exclusively is better equipped at handling HR-related tasks than a company that does other things. It’s as simple as that. If someone else can do HR better than you, you should let them handle it so you can focus on the things you do best.