3 Keys to Finding (and Hiring) Your Next Great Employee


Talent acquisition has become a more complex process as the hiring market becomes increasingly candidate-driven.A growing economy and increased demand for qualified employees mean that it is now a buyer’s market, and job applicants have more options to choose from. In order to compete, it is essential for hiring professionals to rely on talent acquisition methods that will lead not only to great applicants but also to great hires.

Three of the biggest challenges facing HR today include finding high-quality candidates, filling positions quickly and retaining top talent.

  1. A proactive approach to sourcing. The old approach of advertising an open position and waiting for applicants to come to you is no longer a viable option. Recruiters must be more active in their sourcing approach, which means that they need to go where the candidates are – which is often online.

    Statistics from Kelton Research suggest that a whopping 86 percent of job seekers use their smartphone to begin their job search. Of these online job searchers, 70 percent want to be able to apply directly via their mobile device and 55 percent want to be able to upload a resume using their mobile device.

    Mobile and social sourcing are an increasingly important talent acquisition method. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are three of the most frequently used social networks for finding job candidates, but creating your own careers site is also important for effective recruitment.

    Make it easy for a candidate to find and share your job listings to enable both active and passive job seekers to learn more about your talent brand and open job positions.

  2. Automating aspects of the hiring process. While the demand to fill positions quickly has grown in recent years, statistics suggest that U.S. employers are taking longer than ever before to hire. The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. companies take an average of 25 days to fill vacant positions while that number grows to as long as 60 days among large companies with 5,000 or more employees.

    What explains these slow time-to-hire rates?

    Many suggest that intensified pre-employment assessments, including skill checks, interviews and reference checks, are the key contributors to slow hire rates. In order to address this growing problem, more and more companies are automating some of the more time-consuming aspects of their hiring process. Skills assessments can often be conducted entirely online, allowing employers to determine quickly if job applicants truly have the skills and characteristics they need to succeed at the job.

    Automated reference checking is also growing as companies look to streamline what has traditionally been one of the most laborious parts of the pre-hire evaluation.

    Rather than lose valuable hours cold calling references only to receive very little in the way of useful information, the automated process takes just minutes and allows references to quickly provide in-depth feedback on job candidates. Hiring managers can then use the summary reports they receive to identify the strongest candidates based on this feedback and assessment.

    Even certain aspects of the interview process are now becoming more automated. Some companies choose to video interviewing as part of the assessment process.

    Applicants may be asked to submit video responses to pre-recorded questions, which allows hiring professionals to get a better feel for the applicant's abilities and to determine if they should move on to a more formal interview. Interview debriefs can also be done automatically online, helping to speed up the debrief process and eliminate bias from hiring decisions.

  3. A strong focus on a great candidate experience. Job candidates are not just potential employees -- they can also be an important part of building your talent brand.

    It is important to ensure that all candidates, even those who don’t get the job, have a positive experience during the hiring process. 

    Even before they apply, job seekers should have a solid impression of what your company is about and what you have to offer. Online media such as videos, blogs, white papers and other marketing materials make it possible for current employees to share curated content advertising your talent brand.

    Once candidates have entered your talent network or applicant tracking system, it is also important to keep them updated on where they are in the process. If you find that a candidate is not qualified, let them know but encourage them to keep gaining skills and experience or consider applying for another position. Keep qualified applicants updated, particularly those who have had an interview, and let all applicants know once a hiring decision has been made.

    People who had a good experience during this process, even if it did not lead to a job offer, will be more likely to keep your brand in mind later on as their skills and experience grow.

    The talent acquisition process has grown increasingly complex, yet new tools and technology are making it possible to speed up the process and achieve great hires.

    What talent acquisition methods do you feel lead to the best quality of hire?