Talent Pros Reveal Top Tactics to Fill Roles Today

What is one way you are successfully filling positions in today’s unpredictable labor market?

This question was posed to talent professionals for their insights. From TK to TO, here’s what they had to say: 

Hire Recruiters Who Know Marketing

We have been very successful because we changed the profile of our recruiters. In the past, recruiters were good at selling jobs to candidates via phone or video. Since there is so much competition, you now need recruiters who are good at writing job descriptions (candidates prefer human-speak vs. corporate) and making them stand out, as well as marketing those jobs to external candidates. Outbound marketing is a big part of the job now, so it requires different skills — organization, project management, and the ability to influence are more important in today’s economy. — Chris Brady, director of talent acquisition for North America, Sage

Reevaluate Hiring Managers

To successfully fill roles in today’s dynamic labor market, companies will need to evaluate their hiring leaders. In previous periods, these leaders did not need to focus on developing talent. In fact, they could achieve their goals without doing so. Managers of the future will need not only to perform but they will also need to possess the ability to teach and coach new talent in the organization. In doing so, these companies will open the aperture to the kinds of candidates they can interview. Instead of candidates having to know 100% of the job responsibilities on Day 1, they will be hired on their ability to learn and on their ultimate potential, thus widening and diversifying the talent pool. — Andrew Lee, associate director of talent management, Collins Aerospace

Build a Pipeline Through Warm Calls

We’ve seen good success turning reference calls into recruiting calls. When a strong candidate enters the offer phase with our company, we’ve asked to speak with managers or leaders they respect and have worked with in the past. These calls have been instrumental not only as a way for the manager to understand how the incoming employee will excel or need to be supported, but also to fill our pipeline for leadership in our fast-growing sales organization. These calls are much warmer than a cold outreach, but also have the ability to turn seamlessly into a sales call for your company culture, which can be a really effective hook. — Andrea Ommen, recruiting lead, Amperity

Leverage Referrals 

In today’s tight labor market, the most effective way to land quality and long-lasting talent is through employee referrals. Great employees want to work with other great employees, and they are a great source for referring other great talents. A strong employee referral program goes a long way to ensuring that your needs are filled and that they will stay filled for a long period of time. Pay a fair referral bonus now, and save a great deal of money down the road. — Ronald Kubitz, director of recruiting and human resources, Forms+Surfaces

Involve the Candidate With The Company Before They Start

Recruiting teams should only take their victory lap once the candidate joins their company, not when the candidate signs. This means evolving your candidate experience from one that traditionally focused on just getting a candidate to sign to one that focuses on the entire lifecycle. We’ve found that if you maintain constant communication and offer candidates the opportunity to get involved with the company even before they start, they feel a stronger sense of community before Day One. — Jeremy Lyons, manager of recruiting operations, Wish

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Clearly Define the Role

Too often roles are not defined appropriately and there is vagueness in the details of the role, and many times there are unrealistic expectations of what skill sets we expect someone to have, as well. Being able to clearly define the role, and aligning expectations with market landscape, will allow employers to conduct interviews in an efficient manner and be able to make a decision on a candidate quickly to complete the process. — Harry Chen, director of staffing solutions, Arraya

Focus on Consistent Outreach

In today’s candidate market, we’ve found that posting a job is not a strategy. In fact, for our clients, if we posted the job it would simply be duplicating the work their HR team has already done. Our success comes from a volume of consistent outreach from our sourcing team. Good recruiting is truly marketing — how many times can you expose ideal candidates to your company’s name and the opportunities you have? Our top KPIs measured each week are quantity and quality of proactive outreach. Quantity isn’t enough; the quality has to be there as well to build relationships and trust. — Jenn Hahn, founder and recruiting leader, J Recruiting Services

Prioritize Tailored Brand Experiences

It is critical, especially in today’s talent market, that we are proactively engaging talent with customized outreach. Candidates have grown to expect tailored brand experiences in this hyper-connected marketplace. Communication underpins all touchpoints across the candidate journey and by deploying the right strategy anchored by technology, we can personalize candidate communications at scale. I leverage talent insights at the start of every attraction engagement — this allows me the opportunity to influence the talent communication strategy by arming the hiring and recruiting teams with data-driven recommendations that help them augment their top-of-funnel activities. — Celinda Farias Appleby, director of global talent attraction, Visa

Build an Authentic and Welcoming Employer Brand

In today’s hiring market, it’s incredibly important to create a compelling and transparent narrative about what it means to work at your company. More than ever, candidates want the opportunity to experience your company (culture, rituals, work styles, inclusion) before they have a conversation, join a Zoom, or step foot in the building. The more real the experience, the more welcomed candidates feel, the greater the odds a conversation will occur. Ensuring the brand is an accurate representation of your people and culture will ensure you are quickly building trust with your candidates. Talking with your current employees about why they joined’ and why they stay is a great starting point to flushing out a brand that truly resonates. — Michael Brown, head of people, Meter

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Terkel, a knowledge platform that converts expert insights into blogs for brands. He's the author of the book Pursue The Passion and has spoken at various HR conferences over the years about employee-engagement topics. 

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