The changing labor market is affecting the way that many companies approach sourcing strategies, recruitment, and selection. 60% of U.S. employers have job openings that stay vacant for 12 weeks or longer, based on a survey in 2017 by CareerBuilder. In the survey, HR managers say that the average cost from having extended job vacancies is $800,000 or more annually. So, it’s clearly important to stay in front of these changes with a unique approach to sourcing and hiring. Here are some creative strategies you can add to your recruitment process to help fill positions with the right candidates.
1. Create and tap your alumni network
Set up a Facebook community or work with a vendor who specializes in alumni recruitment. Sometimes great former employees want to come back, and they often know others who would be a good fit for the organization. This Forbes article has great suggestions for building and benefiting from an alumni network.
2. Use reference checking activities to ask for referrals
Many staffing companies rely on this strategy to build their talent pools. You can ask during a phone call, but this component of electronic reference requests is generally more effective. Vendors in this area, including Checkster, can build referral requests into every reference activity.
3. Create a “Return-To-Work” program to target talent who have been out of the workplace for a while
“Returnships” help employers find experienced candidates who have temporarily left the workforce and give them an opportunity to learn new skills and technologies, and refine old skills. They often include special classes to discover how skills can apply to your environment. This type of program is a great way to attract experienced workers and women to your organization. Returnships also open up a new talent resource where employers can find and groom new talent.
4. Rethink referral rewards
If your current cash award has lost it’s sizzle, consider offering an alternative in the form of a donation to a worthy cause. This can be even more effective when the cause is directly related to issues impacting your business.
5. Get company leaders socially engaged
When executives take time to post on social networks like LinkedIn about what matters to them, they capture the attention of anyone interested in your organization, including passive job seekers. If you use this strategy, be sure to have a plan in place for how to capitalize on those likes and shares. We cover some great strategies in our blog post, 5 Ways to Attract the Right Candidates Using Social Media.
As the low unemployment trend continues, these strategies can be used across industries to find quality candidates. Implementing new sourcing strategies doesn't always need to be labor or cost intensive, and there are things you should not change about your hiring process despite the current labor market, but taking some time to think outside the box can help you optimize your process and help you meet your needs.