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How Creative Recruitment Overcomes the Talent Shortage

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The competition for top talent is high, and HR and recruitment professionals are having to come up with creative ways to find and attract talent. 

We recently spoke with Xref Account Executive Jonathan Mathers about his experience in the HR and recruitment industry and the challenges recruiters and talent acquisition specialists are facing. 

As someone who has spent many years in the HR industry, Jonathan was previously a recruiter and now speaks daily to multiple HR professionals about their experiences and challenges. 

He shared real customer success stories and helpful tips and tricks to strengthen your talent pipeline. Keep reading to find out more. 

The Current Hiring Landscape

HR has had a really seismic two years with the COVID pandemic. The recruiting strategies HR teams are having to implement need to be extremely dynamic, flexible and innovative. The work environment itself has changed significantly as we've moved from the office to a hybrid environment. As such, the traditional interview process has changed.

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Jonathan explains,

“When you look at the new normal, that’s really impacted hiring as we likely recruit people we've not even met previously. So we face a hiring challenge in that the traditional interview process has gone out the window.”

Recruiters and talent acquisition specialists also need to consider how their processes impact candidate experience and how their employer brand stands out from the crowd, especially in a climate where they might be competing for talent on a global scale. 

Turnover is still an issue for many businesses and the lack of skilled migration over the last few years has made filling roles even more challenging. This lack of new talent coming in is a recruitment challenge that is fuelling the overall talent shortage. 

How to get Creative in Hiring

Creative hirers use existing resources in unique ways in order to reduce the impacts of the talent shortage. Here are some examples that creative recruiters have implemented when thinking outside the box and getting ahead. 

Seek out Partnerships

To overcome the talent shortage some creative recruiters are supplementing traditional job board advertisements with new initiatives such as partnering with other internal teams. For example, some companies are choosing to partner with internal marketing teams which also serves the two-fold effect of boosting recruitment marketing efforts and employer brand. 

“A couple of weeks ago, I received a brilliant email from Nandos using their customer mailing list highlighting job opportunities, and we were encouraged to refer friends to it as well, which I thought was really clever and innovative.”

While strategies like this can be useful, it is important to note that maintaining compliant practices is crucial.

Maximise Social Media Usage

Social media is also playing a large role in finding and contacting potential candidates. This recent article by Sprout Social shares some interesting statistics about jobs and social media including;  96% of job seekers use social media when conducting a job search and 78% of recruiters expect social media recruiting activities to increase. 

LinkedIn is an obvious choice for posting a job ad, but what about Instagram or Facebook? In fact, the Sprout Social article found that 81% of job seekers want to see job opportunities posted on Facebook. 

3 pie graphs - 90% of job seekers use social media, 78% of recruiters expect social media recruiting to become popular, 81% o job seekers want to see job opportunities on Facebook

It may be valuable to lean on your employees to share job advertisements via their own social media pages. This can help as they can leverage their own personal connections. It’s not uncommon for HR teams to offer referral bonuses to staff as it is widely believed that if good talent makes a recommendation, then the referred talent will have strong potential. 

Creative Recruitment Utilises an Arsenal of Tech

While social media is valuable in being able to post job ads and find talent, businesses are thinking more about how they can use technology to better connect individuals, teams and employees in remote work settings. Better connection across an organisation helps to increase retention and reduce attrition.

Jonathan believes that some lean organisations who may not have used tech tools in the past are finding “the latest attrition trend has been a surprise and one which they're still playing catch up with.”

Successful organisations use a range of tech solutions to support their hiring. Underpinning creative strategies are tech tools that are helping recruiters and HR professionals get creative to find the right talent and reduce attrition. 

People Management Tools and Applicant Tracking Systems

Companies are at a time when they need to focus on both how to recruit talent and then how to manage and retain that talent thereafter. People management tools can help streamline hiring processes, cultivate a strong workplace culture and address learning gaps.

When speaking with clients, Jonathan is seeing more appetite and budget being allocated towards Applicant Tracking Software (ATS).

“ATS can help nurture talent through the pipeline, which is helpful, especially in the current climate where many recruiters and hiring managers are struggling with the talent shortage”, Jonathan explains. 

Pulse and Exit Surveys

Other organisations however have been proactive in embracing measures such as exit checks and pulse surveys. Some tech solutions such as Xref can help organisations create a Pulse or Exit survey to identify reasons for turnover and get those businesses ahead of that curve. 

Taking action based on the results of an exit or pulse survey ultimately saves an organisation from losing skilled workers and not having to endure lengthy re-hiring processes, competing for talent at inflated wage demands.

Data-Driven Talent Pools

A talent pool is a database or list of people who previously applied for roles who may not have been the right fit or who have indicated an interest in working for your organisation. 

It can be helpful to speak to these people to see if they are still interested in being part of your organisation. These candidates may not have 100% of the skills or core competencies that you are after, but they may have potential, which is valuable during a skills shortage. 

The benefits of building and managing a talent pool include reducing time to hire and having interested candidates at your fingertips (meaning you might not need to pay for that job ad!).

Xref offers ‘People Search’, a cloud-based solution that uses your existing data to identify passive candidates and automatically builds a talent pool. People Search is perfect for recruiters and hiring managers who are looking to recruit senior candidates or seeking specialty roles.  

Graphic with text that says 60% of referees opt in to people search in 12 months

Jonathan reports that he has seen around 60% of our referees opting in over the last year, regardless of industry or type of hire. This tech solution has provided a lot of talent for Xref customers. 

He shares a client success story.

“A client of ours, Besix Watpac, has a 65% opt-in rate to People Search and they told us that within three months of building the talent pool, they had two candidates at second interview for quite senior positions.  The head of recruitment simply searched by job title and then made contact.”

Stories like this show the power of a strong talent pool in reducing the time to hire. The beauty of Xref’s People Search is referees have given full consent to having that conversation. An organisation can call and it's not a surprise that they’ve called. It really is low-hanging fruit for senior positions.

Final Thoughts

With the current global labour market shortages, recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists are looking for any or all methods to secure top talent and reduce attrition. With years of past experience in the recruitment industry, and his close relationships with Xref customers, Jonathan has learned many practical tips and tricks for creative hiring and getting job offers on the table for talented candidates. 

Now is the time for HR professionals and recruiters to push the boundaries of creativity to achieve results. Social media, talent pools and tech solutions are just some of the many ways to use existing resources for success creatively. 

For more ideas on how to build creative recruitment methods including growing your talent pool, watch the whole interview with Jonathan here.

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