How to Pick Up the Hiring Pace Without Skimping on Candidate Quality

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The year 2020 changed the way we work, live, and run our businesses. For HR professionals in particular, the pandemic sparked a dramatic shift in perspective. Following a period of record-low unemployment, we were suddenly thrust into a brand-new world: Remote work is now the norm, employees face constant burnout, and joblessness is high. The labor market as we knew it is no more.

As vaccine distribution begins and we eye a more hopeful 2021, many companies are once again thinking about growing their teams. The 7,000 small and mid-sized businesses who use our software JazzHR, for example, are creating new jobs and receiving applications at a steadily increasing rate. Following COVID-induced lows, job creation increased by over 150 percent and candidate applications by over 50 percent from April through the end of the year.

What does this mean? While the market as a whole continues to feel the impact of new infections, pockets of the economy are hiring. If your business wants to compete for talent post-pandemic, now is the time to strategize. As the number of applications per job increases, speed will be key. You’ll need to arm yourself with the right tools and processes to quickly attract the right candidates to your open roles.

Sound impossible? Fear not. Here’s how to hire faster without sacrificing quality.

Mix Up the Way You Reach Candidates

Getting a competitive hiring edge over the competition starts with where (and how) you post your jobs. If you always hire through the same job board, challenge yourself to diversify your strategy. The easiest way to reach the right person faster is with the help of recruiting software, like an applicant tracking system or candidate relationship management solution that distributes jobs for you.

You can leverage technology to post your jobs to a variety of channels, including social media, internal referral networks, and job boards. In doing so, you’ll build a broader candidate pool, thereby increasing your chances of finding the best-fit hire faster.

Don’t underestimate the power of past applicants. Someone who applied to a prior role but wasn’t the right fit at the time may be a perfect fit for your current role. Use tools like resume-keyword searches in your candidate database to identify potential fits, and then reach out. If they’re still looking for a job, these candidates can move through your process more quickly because they’re already in your pipeline, allowing you to fill your roles faster than your competitors can fill theirs.

Approach Your Employer Brand Like a Marketer

How you present your organization to job seekers directly impacts their willingness to apply and engage. In other words, if a candidate wants to work for you, you’ll be able to hire them faster. So how do you boost your company’s reputation?

Start by deciding what your ideal candidate looks like. Work with your team to map out a defined set of skills and characteristics for your ideal candidate. Just as a marketer defines their target audience, doing this will allow you to create more precise messaging for each role and your organization as a whole. Incorporate this consistent language at various touchpoints within your process, including:

• Job descriptions
• Career pages
• Candidate communications

Investing time in your employer brand now will let you reap the rewards down the road. By creating a cohesive employer brand, you’ll attract a more targeted group of candidates, allowing you to decrease your time to hire as you scale.

Check out the latest issue of Magazine for more career advice and recruiting trends:

Embrace Automation and Data-Driven Insights

“Data-driven hiring” is more than just hype. According to LinkedIn, two-thirds of recruiting teams don’t have the tools they need to understand the talent pools and markets from which they’re hiring. Stand out from the competition by leveraging recruiting tech to track your hiring activities and analyze trends.

Pay close attention to key performance indicators like time to hire, pipeline speed, and quality of hire to measure how well your process is working. Identify bottlenecks to increase your speed while keeping a close eye on the quality of applicants.

Analyzing these trends and strategizing on how to improve is a high-value recruiting practice. To free up time for this, consider automating lower-value tasks like interview scheduling, responses to frequently asked questions, and the sending of digital paperwork. In automating these high-volume tasks, you’ll create a better candidate experience and be able to spend more time on strategic decisions.

Corey Berkey, SHRM-SCP, is the owner of all things people at JazzHR.

By Corey Berkey