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8 Ways to Hire Smarter (Better, Faster, Stronger)

In our recent whitepaper with analyst Frost & Sullivan, we discussed the need to make sure that employers’ hiring policies are fit for the future.

In a marketplace where candidates have never had so much power and choice, Marcy Sumner, Head of Recruitment for Concentrix Americas, follows up by considering how smart employers can make sure they don’t miss out on the right people.

Has there ever been a better time to be a candidate than right now? The market here in the US has been in a whirlwind since the pandemic, with so many employees either leaving the job market completely, or deciding to pursue what was formerly their side hustle, but is now their dedicated 9-to-5. 

This contraction in available talent means that the US labor market is very candidate-centric at the moment, with multiple employers chasing the right people. As a result, those candidates have plenty of options, so it’s essential that you make sure your company stands out, because candidates might have heard from a handful of other companies, possibly even in exactly the same sector. 

At Concentrix, we pride ourselves on the quality of the people we hire and the clients we all work for. Here are some of the learnings we’ve taken away from the turbulent last few years.

A strong EVP is the foundation for everything

In a candidate-driven market, the importance of your employer brand has never been greater. A strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is your best way to attract and retain talent and it’s worth considering the role your DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) practices play in helping potential employees form a picture of the company too.

Research shows that 39% of candidates turn down jobs due to a perceived lack of inclusiveness. While that number obviously fluctuates depending on role and generational demographic, employees who might be fielding several job offers will be looking for employer brands with strong stories that resonate.

A successful employee referral program will also help your recruiters to tap into passive, highly qualified candidates. Employee referral hires tend to stay longer and be stronger performers and can help attract talent aligned to your EVP.

Make sure your outreach is right for your audience

One of the most transformative things that a business can do is make sure that their candidate outreach is fit for purpose. Are you getting your message to the right people in the right place at the right time?

Here’s an example. A few years ago email and phone calls used to be the go-to way of getting hold of potential candidates for a role. These days, the most effective approach seems to be text, before then following up with a call or email. By using text as our initial channel, and combining it with a targeted response, we’re found that our response rates are a ratio of 10-1 higher.

Obviously, this will depend on who you’re trying to reach, and it could be that generational differences come into play here, with younger versus older candidates having different preferences. Text is also often the preferred way to reach ‘passive’ candidates who may be in a role in another company and don’t want to be seen to be called whilst at work. Text is subtler and more invitational for potential candidates.

Don’t forget to follow it up, should a candidate show interest, with your ‘sales pitch, which is personalized outreach that puts the right kind of warm, human face on your brand and absolutely differentiates you from automated messages from a chatbot, for example. This could include all the perks and selling opportunities, career opportunities, our awards, impact sourcing, employee benefits, etc.

Use social media to share the culture

This is where a strong EVP comes into its own (see the first point above). Paid social can be a great way to get the word out about a business and its culture. You can tell a lot about a company from its use of social media: what they choose to say and who its gatekeepers are. Too many companies are simply in ‘transmit’ mode on channels like Instagram, but the best ones use a variety of channels to target, attract and ultimately recruit new talent. So don’t shy away from telling your company’s story – brands need to sell themselves in this market. Show potential candidates who you are and what you value.

Move fast to hire 

Attracting talent is one thing. Securing them? Now that’s a challenge in its own right. Same-day offers are a good way to counter this. Obviously, it’s not right for all roles, but interview-and-offer conversations are not uncommon when you’re hiring for entry-level roles, and you know pretty much immediately that the right person for the job is sitting in front of you, whether in person or on screen.Don’t over-promise

Given the dynamic state of the labor market, you could be forgiven for being tempted into over-promising when you finally get to talk to potential candidates. Don’t. Setting realistic expectations is absolutely key to retaining new employees past the first few weeks and months. That means letting them know exactly what they can expect from training and then day-to-day work (once they’ve settled in). Think of it as an investment in your retention rates, avoiding the attrition that does happen when employers use bait-and-switch methods to turn candidates into employees.

Get to really know the roles you’re hiring for

If you’re hiring for a position, then make sure you know it inside and out, so you can talk about it in detail to candidates. It’s one of the best ways to decrease attrition rates and it gets you closer to your clients, which is always a good thing. For example, when hiring content moderators to work on the account of a leading social media brand, we spent time with our client, watching the same kinds of content that those moderators will be reviewing.

Keep them warm, keep them happy

Such is the candidate market today that not only do businesses need to have a strategy for outreach and recruitment, they need to factor in the period in between offer acceptance and formally starting the role. Think of it as keeping your new starters warm.

For example, at Concentrix, during the couple of weeks from offer acceptance before new employees start (while onboarding documents are being signed and background checks are being run), we make sure to reach out a few times a week, whether that’s text, email or phone.

Build rapport as early as possible

High-touch communication with candidates is good for them, making sure they don’t think you’ve forgotten about them or begin to question whether they’ve really got that new job. It’s also pragmatic, as even though a candidate might have accepted an offer, they are still able to change their mind before they start and take a different job elsewhere. So it’s critical to keep building that rapport with candidates, sharing the company culture, and continuing to build the relationship.

We make sure they’re plugged into your company social media, for example, and send them videos and content that we hope will get them excited about working for us. We might also get a site’s management to reach out too and introduce themselves. It’s all about making sure that new candidates feel the genuinely warm embrace of the company as early as possible.

Hopefully, some of what we’ve learned is useful for your business. If you’re keen to talk about how to get the right talent at the right time, get in touch and let’s talk about how we might work together.

Concentrix

Concentrix + Webhelp is now Concentrix. Bringing together integrated technology and services to power your entire business.