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How to Improve Your Hiring Process and Win the War for Talent

Heather Mueller
March 11, 2020
Min Read

As a new decade dawns, competition for top talent remains fierce—and human resources departments are looking for every advantage they can get.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to be smooth sailing ahead for the teams that handle recruitment and retention. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment to grow by 8.4 million jobs by 2028, with an especially high number of roles to fill in healthcare, marketing, and software development.

To get a leg up on your competition, you’re going to need some exceptional strategies for attracting qualified candidates.

Here are two frequently overlooked ways to do just that.

1. Create a culture people love.

Have you ever stopped to consider how your hiring process is affecting your brand?

According to Talent Board’s latest candidate experience report, applicants aren’t the only people impacted by interviews and interactions. Job candidates are also potential customers— and if their experiences with recruitment are negative, those impressions will carry over to family and friends. The result can be a huge hit to your bottom line.

On the other hand, 62% of candidates are extremely likely to refer others to a company when the hiring process is positive.

Referrals are far from the only reason to look inward, of course. More than 77% of workers say they’d consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. More than half claim culture is even more important than salary.

Yes, you read that right: Culture matters more than compensation when you’re recruiting.

To make your workplace more appealing to top talent, take a look at what matters most to your ideal candidates. Then see how your culture aligns and make adjustments as needed.

For example: 63% of job candidates would be willing to take pay cuts in exchange for the flexibility to work from home. If remote work is an option at your tech company, highlight it. If it’s not, consider moving toward more flexible workspaces.

2. Hold on to high performers.

Throughout the hiring process, it can be easy to overlook current employees. This is an unfortunate oversight, since long-standing team members are often your most valuable asset. Failing to factor in these candidates can put your company at a major disadvantage.

The reason? With unemployment at record lows, workers have been quitting jobs at the fastest rate on record. Most are at least open to new career opportunities, and many are actively looking.

But the reason for switching jobs isn’t always about pay and promotions. Often, employees leave because they feel their contributions and skills are underappreciated and underdeveloped.

Recent studies show that 44% of surveyed employees believe they are “always or often” overlooked by their employers, while 64% say supervisors don’t give them enough support.

The good news? Most companies can make significant improvements to talent acquisition and retention simply by giving existing employees more recognition. An astounding 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in professional development.

Before you devote an inordinate amount of time to finding and qualifying outside prospects, look for ways to provide training and development opportunities that lead to more skills, greater engagement, and—ultimately—a highly productive and profitable workforce.

These two strategies aren’t the only ways to win the war for talent, of course. But they can definitely give your human resources department an advantage. In today’s competitive talent market, the candidate experience is crucial. At a time when many companies are struggling to improve the way they source and attract talent, your hiring process can be the one that stands out.

Looking for more ways to improve your hiring process? Watch this webinar! Recruitment experts from Formstack and Kand.io will walk you through the five pillars of an exceptional hiring process—and get you ready for success in the decade ahead.


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Heather Mueller
Heather is a website copywriter and digital content strategist who loves helping brands generate leads through the power of the written word—especially when using Formstack. Connect with Heather on Twitter @heathermueller.
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