Chances are that over the past year, your organization has found itself adapting at every turn to ensure survival despite the crippling pandemic sweeping the globe. Some of these changes may have been long overdue and worth consideration to remain in place long after the words “quarantine” and “social distancing” have left our daily vocabulary. Others may not have been so successful and were only implemented as a way to get by, at least until life looked a little more normal.
As we emerge from our Covid-19 haze, we are left with the reality that the current hiring climate is challenging to say the least. How you respond and further adapt may ultimately determine the future direction of your company. Business operations as we knew them pre-2020 are fundamentally different and this is your chance to evolve proactively or risk getting left behind. And in this case, getting left behind might mean losing out on quality talent that could have driven your business forward.
To help you not only keep up with your competitors, but lead the pack when it comes to successful hiring in 2021's reshaped world of work, you need to put an emphasis on these five areas:
1. Measure the right stuff
Articulating your talent needs in a clear, scientific, and future-oriented way helps you to effectively drive individual, team, and organizational success. When was the last time you reviewed your hiring criteria? There is a possibility that the requirements may look a bit different than 18 months ago, so be sure that your job descriptions and role profiles reflect that change.
You need to define what success looks like both for the role and the company as a whole and leverage that to develop out your selection process. Get specific and take a deep dive into the role, the responsibilities, and even the region where it is based. Keep long-term goals like succession planning in mind as that entry-level hire may just be one of your future directors or VPs. Defining these paths help candidates know what a tenured career with your organization could look like.
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2. Prioritize diversity & inclusion
Recent worldwide events have shined a deserved light on diversity and inclusion efforts companies are making, or in some cases, need to be making. While chances are that you’ve heard D&I discussed at a much greater frequency, what are you truly doing to prove that your organization is committed to fairness and equal opportunities for all?
A D&I agenda is so much more than reviewing language and imagery in your recruitment advertisements and career site. Embedding inclusion throughout your end-to-end recruitment process will lead to a more positive impact, but where do you start? And how do you ensure that any changes that you make do not negatively impact your predictions? Some practical ideas could be to implement a diversity audit or an adverse impact analysis. Findings from these could be the foundation from which you build your D&I strategy upon with tangible goals. And don’t overlook something as simple as reviewing your company website and ensuring that it accurately represents who you are as a company in content, photos, graphics, and branding.
3. Use scientifically credible measurement
When you implement the best tools in your hiring process, you enhance the success of prediction amongst your candidates. What tools do you currently employ and how can you be sure they are focused on your business needs? Also, what does your data tell you following a proper analysis?
At the root of all assessment usage should be proper science. You need to balance credible measurement with face and content validity. And while technology like Artificial Intelligence may seem like a new and trendy element that you would like to consider, be sure to perform your due diligence and ensure that it makes sense for your specific needs. It’s important to consider all angles and the potential side effects well in advance of implementation.
4. Utilize great tech
While we clearly relied on it before, technology is the main driving factor that kept both our work and personal lives afloat for more than a year. The benefits of using technology are perhaps obvious – it facilitates greater efficiencies, enabling faster and cheaper hiring processes. But what more could you be doing to embrace technology and how can you be sure you are attracting and selecting the best talent? And how useful is your current technology set-up?
Would your organization benefit from having a fully automated hiring process? Or would it hinder your ability to draw in your target candidates who don’t have consistent access to technology? The state of the labor market and your organization’s industry will likely guide the exact role technology plays in your hiring process. It’s worth noting that it needs to be constantly analyzed and reviewed. You can’t just set up an automated process and assume you’re good to go for the next five years. It needs frequent evaluation and – if necessary – changes to ensure that you’re capitalizing on its functionality to get the most bang for your buck.
5. Optimize candidate experience
More than offering a “fun” assessment experience, how do you use your recruitment experience to differentiate against your competitors? How do you engage individuals, giving them a realistic preview of the role while ensuring a robust and predictive assessment process? Even if you “hand the keys” to the candidate and enable them to complete the application at their pace and convenience, are you properly communicating with them throughout that process? If not, you as the potential employer will be left with a great deal of data (which is great), but your candidate may have already soured on the opportunity to work with you if left in the dark for too long. We’ve all heard the saying that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. How you design your application process and communicate with your candidate pool is critical to ensure they walk away with a positive experience regardless of hiring status.
These five keys to successful hiring in 2021's reshaped world of work are not mutually exclusive, and therefore, considering them in the context of each other will lead to greater success. While these changes won’t materialize overnight, with a solid commitment on the part of your organization, you are on your way to not only attracting but retaining top talent.