What is your biggest hiring challenge? Are you experiencing additional hiring challenges right now? The hiring process is one of the critical steps to finding the best members for your team. But the hiring process can feel left up to chance. There can also be time pressure to fill a necessary role. How do you hire well? It helps to have a performance-based job description, know where to find your target candidate, and use pre-hire assessments to confirm that you are making the right choice.
First, let’s acknowledge that we are in an unusual hiring environment right now. According to a recent survey from The Harris Poll, forty-eight percent of U.S. hiring managers say they cannot find qualified candidates for their current open positions
The infographic below lays out the most common issues facing hiring managers right now.
Many current applicants lack the necessary “hard” skills and requirements for essential jobs, including bookkeeping software proficiency or a commercial driver’s license for delivery work. Necessary “soft skills,” including communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution are also missing.
Adding to the squeeze is the reduced quality of applications during the pandemic. Since layoffs are regularly occurring, many job seekers are applying for positions they don’t qualify for. HR teams then must spend time sorting through even more applications to find a match. And finally, child or elder care issues caused by the pandemic mean that many current job applicants cannot work the hours needed. Let’s look at some possible solutions to these hiring issues.
First Step – Identify the Goals for the Job
If you are actively searching to fill a key position in your company and not getting the results you want, a helpful approach is to take a step back and see what business problem you are trying to solve. Maybe you do not need just a receptionist to answer the phones. A better description would be someone who can figure out if a customer needs immediate attention, referral to a salesperson, or something more. In which case, a performance-based job description would read “Capable of directly seeing to customer’s needs or promptly referring them to the right person on staff.” By taking the time to write job descriptions that rely less on skills and more on identified goals – whether those are sales goals, on-time project completion, or customer feedback- you will find a better match with your job candidates.
Next Step – Finding the Right Candidates
Now that you have identified the business challenge you are trying to solve and have developed performance objectives for your new employee – how do you find them? If you use a massive online job board, you run the risk we talked about above – getting many unqualified candidates.
Solutions include looking at public profiles on LinkedIn, checking through past applicants, or identifying a current employee who could benefit from an internal move. Consider using a staffing agency at this point – Proper Solutions Staffing maintains an applicant tracking system with pre-qualified candidates to help with specific searches. Hard to reach candidates can be identified from many sources, including niche industry and trade association job boards. Local colleges are also good sources for qualified candidates.
Final Step – Combining an Interview with Pre-Hire Assessments
Pre-hire assessments are becoming more common as companies look to be more accurate in predicting success with their hiring processes. For some roles, a software skills assessment is the only test needed. For others, you may want to include a general communication, EQ, or leadership test. This article from the Society for Human Resources offers an excellent overview of available assessments.
The bottom line is you want to hire well – selecting the best possible candidate, not the best available candidate. Following the steps above and having a hiring strategy can help. If you want some additional tips, this New York Times article is a good read. And please feel free to call us with questions – we can help write a goal-based job description, source your candidate, or find the assessments that might work for you.