12 Recruiting Strategies for Success in 2018 As we near the end of 2017, it’s time to start talking about how you can improve your organization in 2018. Your human resources strategy should focus on keeping your current employees engaged, while also effectively recruiting new talent. To set your organization up for recruiting success, take a look at these 12 tips for attracting top talent in a tight labor market. 1. Throw out Your Online Application No one wants to spend two hours filling out an application that you don’t respond to. Automated responses don’t count, since they aren’t helpful and just get the applicants’ hopes up. Applicants are wise to your game. You might have to have an online application for EEOC purposes, but you aren’t fooling anyone. 2. Optimize for Mobile and Social Media Applicants should be able to see available jobs online and apply instantly. Ask for their name, phone, permission to text them, three reasons why you should hire them, and that’s it. In a world where candidates are searching for jobs on their smartphones, your application process needs to be quick, easy, and able to work smoothly on a phone or tablet. And don’t forget about social media. In an Aberdeen Group survey of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34, 73 percent said they landed their last job through a social media platform. To reach this segment of social media job seekers, you need to be actively recruiting on social media by filling your pages with ads, videos, and more. In addition to recruiting ads, you also should be using social media to promote your workplace culture. All of this together leads to an effective recruitment strategy that reaches the modern workforce. 3. Forget About Resumes Instead, have candidates fill out an application when they come in. Most people alter the truth on their resumes, anyway, and a one page application keeps it honest and simple. In addition to an in-person application, make sure you conduct a comprehensive interview. This starts by establishing a consistent set of questions to ask each candidate. If you don’t ask all candidates the same questions, you face the classic apples and oranges problem. You won’t be able to compare their answers and how they respond to the same question or situation. Instead, you should have one list of questions that you ask each candidate. It may seem tedious during the interview process, but it will pay off when it comes time to evaluate your top candidates. 4. Attract Applicants With Videos Video recruiting is effective, and has more engagement than any other form of content on social media. A study by Ongig shows that job seekers spend more than triple the time watching video job ads (three minutes) than they do reading text job ads (55 seconds). More research reveals that video job ads attract 40 percent more interest. Longer exposure to your message means candidates get a deeper understanding of your organization. Think about it this way: as you’re scrolling through Facebook or LinkedIn, would you be more likely to stop and watch a video about a job opening from a recruiter or a text job post with a standard image? I would stop for the video every time. 5. Your Website Should Attract Applicants, not Just Customers Think about how your website is laid out. Is it applicant-friendly? If someone was to go to your website and apply for a job, how easy would it be for them to find where to apply? A lot of websites solely focus on attracting customers, but it should also be focused on applicants and their user experience to find job openings. This means making the “Careers” page easy to find and using it to show off your company culture. 6. Millennials go Online for Everything, so Your Employment Reviews Should be Stellar When you’re trying to decide on a restaurant, what movie to go to, or where to live, reviews are extremely helpful to the decision-making process. The same is true when you’re choosing where to work. Make sure your organization’s reviews on Facebook and Glassdoor are great. If they’re not, ask some of your employees to write an honest review. 7. Utilize Live Chat on Your Website so Applicants can Chat With Real Employees About Working at Your Company Live chat has many benefits for organizations (like increased customer service and revenue) but it also benefits applicants. By live chatting with one of your current employees, they can ask any initial questions they may have, or hear what it’s like to work at your organization. 8. Candidates are Interviewing you, not Vice Versa In this tight labor market, the power is with the candidates, because they are the ones in high demand. They have options. They can say “no” to your job offer, because they have other organizations that want them, too. That means candidates are interviewing you, instead of the other way around. They want to make sure that you would be a good fit, and that you’ll treat and pay them well. 9. Find out What’s Unique About Your Company and Prove it What makes your organization unique? What makes you different from your competition? What’s your purpose or mission? Find what sets you apart from everyone else, prove it, and communicate it. Why? Because it’s what candidates want to see from you. Research studies show that millennials, Gen Z, and baby boomers all want their jobs to have meaning and be able to make an impact. To leverage this triple generational value, make sure your organization has a clear vision to impact clients and stakeholders, and make it clear how employees can contribute to the overall goal. 10. Hire for Personality and Behavior, Train for Skills Too often, organizations unknowingly hire someone based off their skills on their resume, instead of their character and personality. Skills are important, but they can be learned along the way. It’s harder to learn the right attitude. Conduct behavioral interviews to determine how a candidate would react to certain situations. This gives you a better measure of how the candidate would fit in your organization. 11. You Define Your Employer Brand. If you Don’t, it Will be Defined for you! Before a candidate comes in for an interview, or most likely before they even apply for a position, chances are they will have looked up your organization on Google, your website, and any social media channels you have (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). Candidates are curious. They want to know what you do, what you’re all about, and how you promote yourself. What they see is incredibly important, because it shapes their perception of your organization. This is your employer brand—your reputation as an employer—and it’s also how you articulate and describe what it’s like to work at your organization. In other words, it’s how you show your workplace culture online. Take Apple for example. Everyone knows what they do, what they stand for, and the kind of employees they want. Why? Because they do a great job promoting their culture and what they’re all about. If your employer brand is strong and attractive like Apple’s, then recruiting top talent is easier than ever. According to a leading applicant tracking system provider, 94 percent of job seekers said they would be more likely to apply for a job if the organization is on top of their brand online. A good reputation and online presence can help you stand out from your competition. [Related – 10 Tips for Building a Strong Employer Brand] 12. Have Open Interviews Once a Month Your human resources employees may complain about working after hours or on the weekend, but hosting open interviews is a great way to fill your open positions. You’ll be surprised at the number of people who will show up, and many of them are qualified for the positions. Finding qualified candidates is difficult, but by utilizing these tips, you can prepare your organization for a great 2018. Stay ahead of your competition and ensure your organization is strategizing effectively. Do you need help recruiting top talent? Katie Roth Katie Roth has been in a leadership role in the employment industry for the majority of her career. Currently, she is the President of Aureon Staffing, a full-service employment placement agency located in West Des Moines, Iowa. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is certified by both the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, and the National Association of Personnel Services, as a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC).