Losing The Race for Job Candidates? Change Your Approach
Updated: Jun 5
The worker shortage is reshaping the workforce. Traditional 9 to 5 schedules are being replaced with flexible work-from-anywhere policies that appeal to post-pandemic workers and prospective job candidates. But it isn't just employers who are affected by the collision of COVID and the economy. Some qualified and capable job seekers complain their resumes go unnoticed by employers.
With both employers and job seekers frustrated, what is the middle ground?
Employers and job seekers want the same thing – a mutually beneficial hiring experience. That starts with a candidate's journey. According to TalentLyft, there are six stages of the candidate journey: awareness, consideration, interest, application, selection, and hiring. Similar to the buyers’ journey, which maps the path to purchase, the candidate journey plots the course to employment. Understanding the needs at each stage of the journey, setting expectations, and delivering the appropriate content simplifies the candidate selection process and reduces friction.
Job Descriptions and Candidate Profiles
The foundation of the candidate journey is the job description. This familiar tool outlines the position’s roles and responsibilities. Hiring managers can use job descriptions to create a candidate profile detailing the “must haves” and “nice to haves” to succeed in the role.
The candidate profile is the basis for mapping the candidate journey. Your thoughtfulness in customizing the content at each stage demonstrates your understanding of the candidates’ needs, which improves the talent pool and strengthens your employer brand.
Defining the candidate profile, mapping their journey, and having an established internal interviewing and selection process helps employers move through the application process more quickly, advancing the strongest candidates while releasing others to explore other opportunities.
Another factor essential to the candidate selection process is interviewing. Regardless of the size of your firm, it’s never easy. From the emerging business hiring their first employee to a seasoned one with over 100 employees, interviewing is challenging, especially in this current environment of short attention spans and Zoom calls. Having a clearly defined, documented process pays off here, especially when attempting to manage the influx of resumes caused by a tight labor market.
Employers who’ve done the foundational work – creating the job description, candidate profile, and journey map – have a higher probability of selecting candidates for interviews who are potentially a good fit for the role. It’s important to plan the interview logistics, like the questions to ask and who from your team will ask them, to ensure you get the insights needed to make an informed decision.
It’s not uncustomary for candidates to be pre-interviewed, which is especially helpful when numerous candidates are vying for a role. Hiring managers have to ask themselves, however, “what is the best use of my time.” Vetting scores of resumes probably isn’t it. Working with a talent acquisition specialist to help pre-qualify candidates ensures that only the best job candidates land on the hiring manager's desk.
Interview questions should include a combination of behavioral, general, and situational questions to help you better understand the candidate's skill set, level of experience, work ethic, and career ambitions. Keep the team members the candidate will be working with in mind, and consider allowing the team to have a say in the interview process. A bad hire can spoil the team dynamic, negatively impacting the team’s performance.
Competing for Job Candidates
All employers are competing for talent, and they are raising salaries, perks, and benefits to get it. While salary is a key consideration for job candidates, it may not have the same pull as before the pandemic. Candidates are also looking for jobs that offer growth opportunities and meaningful work experiences.
Progressive employers fulfilling these needs and streamlining the candidate selection process – developing accurate job descriptions, defining the candidate profile, and mapping the journey – are poised to win the race for good hires.