Many business owners know that it takes more than just one day to fill a position. And a lot of businesses know it takes longer than just one week to fill a position. But how about when it takes weeks or months to fill an open position ? 

Finding the right talent is the first step – and that is hard enough these days. The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on previous ways to find top talent, so many businesses have to get creative in how and where they find top talent. This can lead to finding great candidates but it can also lead business owners to think that they have a hard-to-fill job. 

But is the job hard to fill, or does your hiring process need to be reviewed and updated? 

Businesses and candidates have had to change the way they interact due to COVID-19. If you are a business that has to work in new and different ways to find candidates, you aren’t alone. 

The first step of finding talent is a labor intensive process – and many businesses can falter when it comes to this. Some organizations spend too much time on the wrong platforms, some businesses spend too little time sourcing assuming that top talent will find them (and that just isn’t how hiring happens anymore – and often top candidates have multiple job offers, which is another entire blog post) and some businesses just don’t have the bandwidth to really devote the necessary time to finding top talent. 

How can you determine if your job is hard to fill or if you need to review all the components of your hiring process?

How long has it been since you’ve looked at your hiring process? If the answer is one or more years ago, it’s time to take that time to review who, what, when, and how you hire. 

What is your recent success rate for hiring candidates? Have you either been unable to hire because you can’t find talent at all? Have you found a candidate only to then have them not show up or to come onboard and then quit? Answering these questions can help you decide what you need to work on. 

Oftentimes, being unable to find talent means a few things. 

It could be something like not having the right information in your job posting. It could also mean that you aren’t looking for talent in the right places. It could even mean that you are relying too much on experience and not so much on soft and hard skills, or so much more. There are so many different moving pieces of recruiting and hiring that need to happen in order for you to find and hire the right talent, so there are just as many ways for the sourcing and hiring process to get messed up and fail.

Finding a candidate but having them not show or quit early on can mean a few things. It could be a phone screening process that isn’t working or looking in the wrong places for candidates. Another area that can fail is not asking the right questions in the first interviews. Or it could even be that you are relying too heavily on their experience but not on their skills. To make a long story short, there are so many areas that can fail when it comes to recruiting and hiring – so it may be a bottleneck and not that your job is too hard to fill.

Is your job posting clear and comprehensive? If you feel that your job isn’t attracting talent or isn’t attracting the right talent, it could also be because your job posting isn’t clear to the person looking at it. Missing pieces, lack of clarity, or a confusing job posting can mean the difference between attracting that top talent and not.

So now you are likely asking yourself – what do I do now?

What can you do to find and hire that top talent in your organization?

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Have a plan.

Sourcing, interviewing, and hiring aren’t things that can just happen without a solid and smart process. If you have found that there are bottlenecks to your process, it’s time to re-evaluate and even update the process. If it’s been over a year since you’ve evaluated your process, it’s time to look at your hiring process. If you seem to find candidates but you can’t keep them employed long enough, it’s time to look at your hiring process. If you seem to stub your toe on connecting with top talent that is qualified for your job postings, it’s time to look at your hiring process. 

Your hiring plan needs to be clear, concise, and repeatable. A recruiting and hiring plan that is comprehensive, cohesive and complete means smart hiring from the start. 

While hiring is dynamic, a process that is repeatable and scalable means being able to do it quickly and efficiently. The more time you spend essentially reinventing the wheel each time is less time you have to spend sourcing, interviewing, and onboarding your talent.

Ensure you clearly communicate the role and your organization in the job posting. 

If you get applications but you can’t seem to attract that top talent that is qualified for your positions, it may be a confusion around your job posting. If people are finding it to apply but aren’t coming with the experience you really need it’s a smart move to really take a look at your job postings to make sure they are clear, comprehensive, and complete for your job roles. 

A clear company biography (ideally linked to a website!), clearly outlining required skills and experience, spelling out benefits that you offer, and telling candidates about the hiring and interview process up front can help potential employees understand the business, the process, and what to expect and opens up the communication channels very early. Clear communication is key, even before someone begins working with you. 

Further, having clear and consistent job postings can keep those who aren’t skilled or a good fit for your business away from applying. Not having to sift through people who aren’t a good fit saves even more time and energy from those tasked with hiring.

Work to find candidates in new places.

This is extremely important, especially after 2020 and COVID-19. Venues and organizations are not hosting in-person events and hiring fairs – so making sure you are able to find talent in new and innovative ways is a smart move. 

You can also consider ways to make it easy for someone to express interest in joining your organization. Make contact forms easy on your site, link to contact forms in your social, and make applying for your jobs as easy as possible. No one wants to be bogged down with hard to navigate application processes and, since it’s still an employee-led hiring field, you could steer people away from applying if your process is too cumbersome. 

Determine if your job offer stacks up to the competition. 

Good business can really lose out on quality candidates if the offer they present isn’t competitive enough and doesn’t align with the market. The hiring environment still favors those looking for jobs so if your job doesn’t stack up you will lose out. In order to effectively hire in this kind of market you need to make sure you have all possible “at bats” with your prospective hire – and a good job offer is part of that. 

Spruce up and align your job offers with what is happening in your market, do your research on other businesses in your industry and what they are offering, and completing an audit of your past job openings and if you have higher than normal employee turnover all gives you better and deeper insight into if your job offer is attracting top talent to your organization. 

Make sure that you are balancing a candidate’s skills and experience (since one isn’t always better than the other!)

Focusing too heavily on either skills or experience can become a bottleneck in recruiting and hiring as well. In the most perfect world you’d find someone with the exact skills you need and the experience you desire, but it’s just not the case. A shortage of talent in hiring makes it even harder to find that top talent and ensure they will come work for your organization! 

Experience is important but some jobs can also substitute in skills or different yet related experience in the place of direct experience. This can help open you up to candidates that are a good fit and ready to learn the new skills they need to excel in the position. 

Experience cannot be taught but certain skills can show you a candidate is ready to take on challenges. Asking interview questions that help you discover soft skills like problem solving, teamwork, professionalism, team leading, or an ability to learn technology quickly means your candidate pool can open up significantly.

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Get extra support.

GTR can help. We’ve been able to help place candidates in open positions for over 18 years. If you need extra help or just want to add more muscle to your hiring, GTR is ready and willing to help you maximize your efforts. Contact us today to see how we can help you reduce the time, energy, and stress it takes to fill your open positions.