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Hiring Success in the New Normal

The good news is, you are doing it. You are managing unexpected change at an unprecedented speed. You are adapting, you are innovating, and you are using every resource at your disposal. These actions are helping to both sustain, and grow, your business. Now that you have laid the foundation needed to keep your employees safe, you can work on growing your business. Hiring the right people to carry out your work is key to growth. And, hiring success in the new normal is possible.

Manpower has been helping to staff Maine businesses for nearly 60 years, and with that being our sole focus, we are able to leverage our experience & knowledge to help you successfully hire no matter what is happening around you. Read on to learn more.

Infographic for recruiting successStep 1: Identify the Challenges

Before placing an advertisement, you need to first fully identify the challenges you will face when it comes to hiring. To effectively hire you must take an honest assessment of your organization. How competitive are you with compensation packages? It is no secret that the CARES Act has substantially increased unemployment compensation. While we know modifications are forthcoming, no one knows what the changes will be.

It is easy to blame unemployment for all the current hiring woes; the reality is there are many other challenges including market uncertainty, lack of candidates, the general population re-evaluating their priorities, and your overall employment reputation.

It is up to you to find a stop-gap in order to overcome the challenges you face. You will either succumb to the market or you will rise. Adjust your process just like you have with COVID, and dominate the hiring scene.

Step 2: Take a Realistic Look at the Available Workforce

Naturally, every employer looks at staff as an investment and wants the most bang-for-their-buck. Ask yourself the following questions: who is my available workforce? What are the characteristics of my available workforce? Have I clearly defined what skills and experience are a must have, and which are simply value added? Where can I offer flexibility?

Painting yourself and your hiring managers into a corner is not doing you any favors. In all actuality, you could be costing yourself a significant amount of money and business productivity by having unnecessarily strict hiring requirements and an unrealistic view of the available workforce. When you expand your reach to include untapped markets you can take smart, calculated risks and reap huge rewards.

Based on a 2018 report on demographics of employment and unemployment in Maine by the Department of Labor and US Census, 46.2% of the population has a high school diploma or less – yet according to a study by Georgetown University, 60% of job postings require an Associates Degree or higher. Have you looked at your education requirements? Are they realistic of your market? Is the level of degree necessary for performance?

Another untapped group is foreign born & veteran workers, who consist of 11.3% of the population in Maine. The lack of hiring related to this group is indicative of simple communication challenges. This includes: understanding terminology on resumes of veterans, aligning their skills with the private sector, and bridging communication challenges that come with candidates for whom English is a second language. The best employers find ways to overcome simple communication barriers and in return benefit from the strong work ethic, ability to handle stress, and teamwork  that this group of people is well-known for.

People are looking at the role work plays in their lives.

While the general population is re-prioritizing their lives, many find themselves furthering their education, balancing family, or exploring business options, and with that comes a desire to seek out part-time work. Have you considered work-sharing, or part-time status as an option? Might it be beneficial to offer part-time status?

The final untapped group that you may want to consider is the long-term unemployed. Often, those that face barriers to employment have a more complicated history including mental health issues, a checkered work history, or a questionable background. Many employers are moving towards second-chance employment and are experiencing increased productivity, loyalty, and an enhanced employment reputation. The key to tapping into this market is being able to identify those that genuinely have the desire to succeed.

Step 3: Know What Candidates are Looking For

In today’s ‘new normal,’ candidates are approaching the job search with their own expectations. Candidates are demanding transparency, and if you aren’t providing it – someone else is going to provide it for you. Everyone is watching, listening, and judging what employers are doing right now – with so much information out there and knowing what other companies are doing, candidates are making decisions based on that information.

Common trends we are seeing include offering ongoing flexibility with remote work options where possible. We have seen what employees are capable of when we had no choice but to trust their ability to work from home. The option was offered because it was necessary to keep business running – but now, as offices are opening back up, employees – especially the highly-accountable – are wanting that same level of trust and flexibility.

The best employees have no interest in feeling disposable.

Employees have always wanted to know that they are more than just a number to an organization. Now you must be able to demonstrate that you take your employee’s health and safety seriously. When you arrive at your workplace, is it noticeable that you are following CDC-recommended guidelines such as sanitizing stations, physical distancing where possible, use of masks where it isn’t possible, and signage indicating policies? You can say that you follow guidelines, but are they enforced? A candidate will quickly be able to tell when they arrive at your facility, and you very well may be judged for that.

As unemployment benefits became more lucrative than some jobs,  employees started to be vocal about wanting incentive pay (or what others may call hazard pay). The mindset has been that they are deemed essential, and for some people, their wages don’t seem to compensate for the risk they are taking. This all boils down to having confidence in your compensation package. If you have the ability to even temporarily incentivize staff (hiring bonuses, pay rate increases, attendance bonuses) you will have a hiring advantage over many organizations.

Step 4: Develop a Recruitment Marketing Strategy

If you were to advertise your product/service, would you talk all about you, or would you talk about what the end user wants, needs, or longs for? Advertising your job openings should take the same approach.

Recruitment Marketing is an art & science. You need to meet candidates where they are, speak to their needs, create a compelling reason to invest their time into your employment opportunity, and then deliver. If you are simply posting a job description using the same old job board and getting the same old results, you are missing out.

Build a positive candidate experience. Start by ensuring that you are effectively communicating your value proposition in your advertisements. Identify the sizzle in your position (all positions have them) and speak to it – make sure your hiring managers can speak to it. Identify your target audience. How do you reach them? Are they proactively applying, or do you need to reach out to them?

Do your advertising resources deliver hires? Have you measured your recruitment advertising ROI? Chances are likely that your leading source of hires probably isn’t the same as your leading source of applicants. Measure. Analyze. Modify. Repeat.

And finally, is your screening process helping or hindering? The more hoops a candidate has to jump through, and the longer the hiring process takes, the more likely you are to have quality candidates drop off. Which hoops are necessary? Can you use technology to speed up the process? Do you have an overall timeline to hire with built-in checkpoints to ensure you are on track, or is your hiring timeline fluid? A poorly defined timeline can cost you quality hires.

We get it. Hiring is all-consuming and unique to every position in every company. Manpower can help you experience hiring success in the new normal. Learn more by inquiring about our services.

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