The world has gone online, and consequently many organizations have encountered the need to engage technology talent to oversee web, mobile, and other projects as they frantically undergo a digital transformation. Those same organizations, however, are having immense trouble attracting the employees they so desperately need. While there are factors on both sides of the fence prohibiting fresh talent and the existing workforce from finding one another, the largest seems to be within the operations of these organizations themselves.
Skills gap challenges
Today, most companies elect to forgo internal training and promotion paths; as a result, external hires are brought in at mid to upper levels, leaving little to no chance that vacated, entry-level jobs become available.
The unavailability of appropriately skilled technology talent was a top concern for companies long before 2020. In 2017, a CEO survey reported that chief executives viewed the tech talent skills gap as “the biggest threat” to their growing business.The skills desired by employers have also shifted in the past couple of years. 2019 was the first year in which soft skills topped hard skills in LinkedIn’s skills report. 2020’s list of in-demand skills mirrors the aforementioned 2017 survey: employers want emotional intelligence, adaptability, and creativity in their employees, among other soft skills.
Attracting the right talent
Discovering talent that meets your company’s needs isn’t easy; though future employees are indeed out there, they’re hard to find. The digital presence of your organization can assist; the use of social media, blogs, informational websites, and other engaging forms of communication can draw in the talent that you’re looking for.
It’s never a bad idea to be active, either. Do the research to find out where the talent you’re searching for is, and find yourself there too. Online meetup groups, industry specific social networks, targeted ads and content, and online recruitment campaigns can be extremely effective without being costly.
Posting job openings online and hoping the right person will apply isn’t a strategy, and experts agree that resumes alone shouldn’t be used in screening candidates. In fact, nearly three out of four employers who use these techniques feel that they’ve hired the wrong person for a job at a cost of $15,000 per bad hire. What are a few ways to ensure this doesn’t happen to you? The digital transformations of the COVID-19 era should extend to the recruitment process as well:
- Hiring managers can make videos to post job descriptions, fully explaining the role.
- Candidates can take online screening exams which are proctored by artificial intelligence.
- Recruiters can use social media and text-based methods to interact with candidates.
When surveyed, 49% of qualified job seekers who apply for in-demand fields responded that they have turned down an offer due to a bad experience during the hiring process. What do they want? A process that feels structured yet simple. What else do they want? Perks.
Gen Zs, millennials, and even multigenerational job seekers are setting high expectations for employers when it comes to benefits such as flexible work schedules and time off. To recruit the best talent, you’ve got to be the best company you can be, which includes everything from promoting diversity and inclusion to providing clear benchmarks for your employee’s growth trajectory.
How to be the solution, not the problem
In addition to the above methods, additional techniques can aid employers and talent alike in understanding if they’ve found the right fit.
Auditions—What is the number one obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job? Not knowing what it’s like to work at that organization. This can be overcome with a job audition, which enables the candidate to fully understand the job while also letting the hiring manager observe the candidate’s aptitude for the role.
Allow the candidate to interview existing employees—Studies show that candidates trust a company’s employees up to three times more than hiring personnel to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there. Engage your employees and be mindful of the potential questions asked to see if you can help provide clarity.
Create a true virtual onboarding and remote work strategy—To be productive now, employees must have a company which understands how to manage their business and employees remotely. By creating a remote-friendly work culture, you’ll attract and retain the best talent while ensuring that they remain highly productive.
A vision of success
Someone recently said to me, “Well, normally we would,” to which I said, “You know, nothing is ‘normal’ right now. Everything is up for change.” It’s true, now is the perfect time to update your outdated attraction, recruiting, and onboarding techniques to methods that can thrive in a virtual, remote, and distanced society. These are arguably things you should have been doing already, but it’s never too late to start. If you want to recruit and hire the best young talent, start within.