It’s Time for a Recruiting Makeover – Your recruiting process might be as bad as your 80s hairstyle

Time for a recruiting makeover!

The most important thing I’ve learned in my career as a human resources expert and recruiting strategist (both in corporate America and as a small business owner), is when I don’t like the results I’m getting, I almost always should have changed what I was doing much faster than I actually did — like my 80s hairstyle. I thought my hair was great and I held on to my big, beautiful hair far too long. It looked great in the 80s, why change it? It was easier for me to hang on even though I could see that hairstyles were changing.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.

 Average or subpar results

+ The same process

The same average or subpar results.

You’re not insane, so why do you keep doing the same things even though you don’t get the results you need?

  • Because it’s easier to do the same thing.
  • Because the way you did things in the past was successful.
  • Because you don’t have time to keep up with everything going on around you.
  • Because change is hard.

You used to get great results with your recruiting process. You believe you’ve hit a streak of bad luck and that eventually things will go back to “normal.” Except they probably won’t.

Be honest, is your recruiting process really getting you the results you need? If it’s not, it’s easy to blame a lack of skilled workers, fierce competition from larger companies who can pay bigger salaries and offer better benefits, or some other excuse. Some of those things may be out of your control, but you do have the ability to interrupt the pattern when your process stops working.

Or, you can keep recruiting the way you’ve always done it. Keep a tight hold on your recruiting strategy — it worked before, it can work again. Except it won’t.

Rebecca Barnes-Hogg rockin’ her 80s hairBut if you’re like me and analyze what happened to find out where things went wrong, you’ll kick yourself for not reacting to those changes faster. You should have seen that decline in results and started tweaking your recruiting process a long time ago. I saw the change in hair styles and yet I held on to the belief that my hair looked great.

Why did your recruiting process stop working? The answer is right in front of you. It’s crazy out there! You’ve got an environment that changes rapidly, whether it’s education, technology, the economy, or your competition, and it’s almost impossible to stay on top of everything.

I get it. It’s hard to find qualified candidates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced March 2016 unemployment rates pretty much holding at 5%. The best candidates have a buyers’ market. This means you are under pressure to find candidates, but you already knew that.

Analyst Josh Bersin nailed it in his 2014 human resources predictions report: “The war for talent is over. The talent won.”

Our traditional recruiting processes mainly focused on screening out unqualified candidates. You created laundry lists of skills and screened resumes against them. The results were predictable — you missed out on qualified people who could add value, instead hiring people who have the right keyword match but who may be completely incapable of successfully doing the job. The screening process is time-consuming and mind-numbing. Who has time today to read all those resumes?

It’s time to stop relying on outdated recruiting strategies such as posting a long and boring job description on job boards. The “post and hope” strategy doesn’t work. In modern recruiting, it’s about reaching your candidates where they are, not where it’s most convenient for you.

The way people are finding and applying for jobs has changed. Job seekers are increasingly basing their decisions about where they work on online research and interactions. Many candidates won’t even apply to a job with a boring ad. Time is at a premium for everyone. This means you have about five to seven seconds to grab someone’s attention.

To catch the attention of great candidates, the first two lines of your ad are critical. Don’t waste them on boring stuff about your company. Make those two sentences speak to great candidates and draw them in to read more instead of moving on to the next ad.

Attracting great candidates takes less time than screening out unqualified candidates, and you get better results. If you do some research, you’ll find that great candidates are looking for information on company culture, whether your company has the values they like, innovative work practices, and diversity.

Put on your marketing hat and figure out what about your company and your jobs will be attractive to the best candidates. What makes your company a great place to work? You don’t have to win an award to be a great workplace. When I asked an employee of one of my clients to tell me the coolest thing about working there, it wasn’t the old school things like salary, benefits, or remote work options. Her answer was taking her mother on vacation and seeing her company products used in hotels all over the world. That simple statement is recruiting gold! All of us have this gold — we just need to access it.

It’s all about relationships in modern recruiting. You need to make people feel good about your business. That means remembering that you are dealing with humans who want interaction, not automated responses.

Some of the biggest complaints I hear from candidates are that recruiters don’t return phone calls or respond to email. A candidate I recently worked with thanked me for keeping her informed of the status of her application. She stated that it “…speaks a lot to you and your commitment, and I really appreciate it.” If you want relationships based on honesty and professionalism in your employees, then you must create that relationship in your recruiting process.

While a personal response to every phone call or email from everyone who sends you a resume isn’t always possible, you should communicate with the candidates you have contacted or interviewed. If you don’t believe me, check out these hashtags and learn what candidates hate about how companies recruit: #ihaterecruiters, #recruiterspam, #candidateexperience. Use that information to avoid costly mistakes and stand out from your competition by building relationships with your candidates.

If you’re still relying on outdated recruiting methods, do yourself a favor and get a recruiting makeover. You’re probably thinking these new recruiting ways won’t work for you. That’s exactly what I thought about those new hair styles — I just couldn’t see how they would look on me. So I held on to my belief that someday my 80s hair would be back in style.

Don’t you want better results from your recruiting efforts? Of course you do! Don’t make the same mistake I did. Stop trying to muddle through bad results using the same old recruiting methods. Change it up and see what happens. You might be as happy with your recruiting results as I was with my new hair.

If you need some insights to get your makeover started, help is just a phone call away. Schedule your insight session today.

And make sure to let me know in the comments: what steps will you take today to change your recruiting process.

BONUS: If you share your bad 80s hair pictures, I have a special gift for you.

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