Severe staffing shortages make entire business models unsustainable these days. For every job candidate, multiple open positions await. Today’s recruiters have not faced such a dire challenge in their lifetimes. Many companies can’t be profitable, let alone grow, without filling empty seats. If that’s the case for your business, then you know it’s crucial to get an influx of workers – and fast!
In recruiting, there is no precedent for month after month of this labor supply-and-demand imbalance. The last two years have taught us that business as usual is a thing of the past. This year presents unique challenges that will require innovative hiring solutions.
Worst hiring year
So, what does the 2022 hiring landscape look like? First off, digitization has affected which roles are in demand. Maybe this year you are hiring telephone sales and customer service instead of hiring retail salespeople. And, on top of this, the seemingly endless waves of COVID-19 caused many workers to move or be reluctant to take on customer-facing roles. Millions retired early. The usual pool of job-seeking workers may not be available to you.
The ever-present elephant in the room is the Great Resignation. Four and a half million Americans quit their jobs in November, leaving a record 10.8 million jobs open as 2021 came to an end. That’s not even the whole story. Each month millions of employees also left involuntarily, in some cases when a business closes due to lack of workers. Those positions also languish empty.
Since mid-2021, companies have struggled to fill essential roles, especially those most needed during the holidays like cashiers and hospitality workers. E-commerce and package delivery volumes are coming down sharply from December peaks, so some seasonal pressure is off, but the people deficit is difficult in industries from healthcare to hospitality, tech to construction, and transportation to customer service.
With all these forces at play, it’s important to be strategic about your 2022 hiring. What may surprise you is that you can do a lot with what you already have.
Here are five hiring tips to help this year:
1. Let data lead the way
Build your recruiting plan based on the available data. You can start by determining your current resources – including team capacity, budget, sales targets – and compare them to previous years to determine your hiring needs. These hard facts will help you evangelize to your company leadership and determine your priorities.
2. Win with communication
Did you know 63% of candidates find employer communication inadequate during the recruiting process? Don’t let this number discourage you; take it as an opportunity to set your hiring process apart from the competition. Quick wins like installing a chatbot to answer candidate questions or implementing SMS communication can decrease your time to hire while boosting the candidate experience. Tip: test your chatbot. If it answers real-life questions with useless dead ends, improve it or drop it. You don’t want to alienate the job candidates.
3. Leverage AI to increase efficiency
Recruiter productivity comes to the forefront during any global, business-crushing crisis that stems from a shortage of people. We expect that 2022 will see even large companies rise and fall based on hiring success. Every moment counts. That’s why it’s important to consider where AI technologies can automate administrative time drains like interview scheduling, resume sorting, and even job advertising. It may seem like just a couple of minutes here and there, but it adds up. We found that with legacy technology, recruiters can spend up to 40% of their time sorting resumes.
4. Look internally
Only about two in five companies promote jobs internally. If this is true for you, then your business may be missing out on some of the best talent. Internal mobility can entail redeployment to fill urgent local demands, or promoting from within. This can save your company time and money while boosting retention in the long run. Those who are promoted are much less likely to head for the exit.
5. Make applications accessible
When was the last time you took a critical look at the application your candidates see? Is it easy to fill out? Is it mobile-friendly? Don’t create barriers with clunky forms; keep it easy and accessible. Remember some candidates may be mobile and have no access to a laptop or WiFi. So make sure your application works for smartphones and consider implementing one-click applications to tighten your net and let fewer slip away.
Look deeper into candidates’ needs
In recruiting, it’s always important to know what motivates your candidates and deliver on that. Often, applicants from competitors are looking for location flexibility, scheduling flexibility, better culture or compensation they could not get at their current employer. Finding out what they seek, and delivering programs that fulfill their goals can set your company apart.
2022 will either be your year of smarter hiring, or considerably less hiring. This highlights the power that data and analytics have in strategic hiring. If you are looking for hiring magic for your team look at the numbers first, and make sure your budget matches up with your recruiting targets, given the people scarcity. Leverage AI where it makes sense, promote job openings internally, be sure your apps that candidates use are easily accessible to them, and tune up your communication workflows. All that will position you well to make the most of the current challenging market this year.