Considerations for creating an effective hiring strategy during times of uncertainty

As restrictions around the country ease, companies that may have been forced to implement hiring freezes or redundancy programs could be ready to kick-start the hiring process once again. But an effective hiring strategy presently will likely look quite different from one that was implemented before the virus reached our shores.

Recent ABS figures show the unemployment rate in Australia has climbed to 7.1 percent, resulting in a potentially candidate-saturated market. But while the temptation to fill these roles immediately might be greater than ever, it is imperative to first identify the key skills needed to support new business goals. Ignore this step and there could be the risk of an increase in employee turnover and missing out on an opportunity to secure key talent.

Use this time to reassess your organisation’s recruitment goals and make necessary adjustments based on recent changes in the market. Keep in mind what has worked in the past won’t necessarily work in the future. Shifts in the labour market, updates to regulations and the tight race for talent should all inform your strategy.

Thinking outside the box, and being clear and diligent in your processes will assist hiring managers in quickly and effectively identifying ideal candidates. Remember, this is an uncertain time for everyone, so drawing out the hiring process for longer than is necessary and leaving candidates in the dark should be avoided.

So, what are some of the major considerations employers and hiring managers should take into account when wanting to establish an effective hiring strategy during this time of uncertainty?

Be clear on what you are looking for

Knowing exactly what skill set and prior experience you are looking for in a candidate from the outset will help you more quickly identify the right choice for your organisation. Make sure you fully understand the role, the responsibilities involved and skills needed to complete the job. Fail to comprehend the scope of the position and what’s involved and you run the risk of hiring the wrong person for the job.

Remember, you may experience a higher than usual volume of applicants, so being clear on what it is you are looking for will help to quickly narrow down your short-list of candidates so that your interview process doesn’t drag on for longer than necessary.

Make sure your advertising reflects the experience and diversity you’re looking for

Much like the above point, once you know what you are looking for, make sure this is reiterated on your job ad. If you are hiring for a graduate role, make this clear to applicants. If you’re looking for someone who needs to have a specific set of technical skills in order to be a successful candidate, state this in the ad.

Being clear on what it is you’re searching for will not only save you time from sifting through more resumes than is necessary, but it is also courteous to candidates as it will save them time in applying for jobs they are unlikely to receive a call-back for.

When doing this, it is important to consider the diversity of candidates you might like to attract. Oftentimes, being too specific can lead to homogenous hiring, which can harm the growth and innovation of an organisation. While it is important to state the skills you’re looking for, an open mind will also help you identify great talent that you may not have considered before.

Consider alternative channels of advertising

Depending on what job you are hiring for, it may be difficult to find talent on one of the many large job sites. If your role requires a very specific set of skills, for example experience using a certain type of software or piece of equipment, try looking into an alternative platform on which to display your ads. This could include a targeted social media campaign, a virtual job fair or industry-specific job board. This will help you speak directly to a community of job seekers you are hoping to attract, and  therefore receive a greater number of applicants that have the specific skills required for the role.

Be diligent in your processes

As previously mentioned, it is a saturated candidate market. And while this can be beneficial, it also means hiring managers need to be more diligent and process driven when it comes to hiring.

Be clear from the outset how long you intend to advertise for and where, as well as who will be responsible for responding to applicants. Though you may receive a high volume of applications, make sure you respond to each of them. This is a challenging time for many, and maintaining clear communication will alleviate stress for job seekers and help preserve organisational reputation.

Now is also the time to ensure that your application process can handle volume and is also as smooth as possible for applicants. There’s no point directing people to a broken link or providing confusing instructions on how to apply. Make sure you test all your systems and click-throughs to ensure a seamless experience for candidates. Fail to do this and you could potentially be letting key talent slip through your fingers.

Streamline and automate

A hard truth uncovered by the pandemic is that many organisations hiring systems were ill-equipped for the technological demands of the future of work. Businesses that embrace this technology such as remote interviewing, screening, candidate video applications and onboarding now will be well-placed to find the best talent when they’re ready to scale up hiring again.

Alternatively, a third-party recruitment company can assist in your hiring, whether it be for one role or several. An experienced recruitment company, such as Bayside Group can help with everything from posting job ads, to screening applicants and conducting interviews. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find the right talent for your organisation in these times, contact us today.