Mar 22, 2022

Are you feeding dry biscuits when your pooch wants steak?

We all know that dogs love fresh meat. Whether it’s a bone to chew on or a juicy steak to scoff down, it doesn't take much to entice a pooch to visit the butcher’s shop door!

Imagine trying to lead your dog to a dry biscuit store. You probably wouldn't get the same tail wags and excited smiles.

The same applies to your application process when recruiting! If your application process is the 'dry biscuits' of dog food, it isn't going to cut it in today's market.

Right now, employers in all sectors are desperate for staff and candidate numbers are at all-time lows. Low unemployment rates, coupled with reduced immigration and changes in employee attitudes have created chaos in the labour market. If you are an employer with a vacancy, it’s a battle to attract good talent - one you won’t win with an outdated application process and ‘old’ thinking (dry biscuits). Here’s what you need to know in 2022

Job Seekers are spoilt for choice and have limited patience.

Because job seekers have literally hundreds of job vacancy options to pick and choose from, chances are, your job is one of dozens that turns up on their search query or is presented on their social media feeds.  If your recruitment process is too hard, too impersonal, or too demanding, candidates will simply scroll away and move on. 

The current market is about 2 parties meeting in the middle - not the old way of posting an advert and letting candidates come to you.

Our key advice to employers right now is to remove all barriers to application. Make it easy for candidates who are time poor or not yet fully engaged as active job seekers, to start a conversation with you.

1. Offer a phone number for a confidential discussion

Someone may be interested in your advert but not ready to apply. A key question is salary range: today’s candidates do not want to waste their time applying for roles where the salary is not a match. Other common queries include whether you are open to a work-from-home/4-day week option and general flexibility beyond what you have stated as your ideal. They also often have questions about the role requirements and want to gauge your interest in what they can offer before they submit a resume.   

2. Engage in a conversation early

Rather than waiting until a campaign has closed and then booking interviews, we recommend quick pre-screening chats fairly shortly after you have received applications of interest. Being quick to respond and find out more about your candidate can help keep them engaged and builds rapport.  “In a market where the average job-seeker is on the market for less than 4 weeks, (some less than 7 days), waiting until the end of a campaign is often too late anyway,” says Shortlisters Consultant Joanna Baker. “We often get calls, back from candidates we’ve had an initial chat with, to advise us they’ve received another offer but are keen to wait and see if their application with us will proceed”.

3. Proactively reaching out to potential candidates (headhunting) rather than waiting for them to come to you

If you know someone you think will be ideal, there is no reason not to approach them. A gentle way to do this directly via LinkedIn, where they have the option to respond to you. If they are not in your network, you will need to engage a recruiter or invest in a LinkedIn recruiter license to be able to contact them.  A more direct alternative is a phone call.

4, Don’t let your application form scare away good candidates!

We know that the more questions there are on an application form (hyperlink), the more candidates will drop off before hitting the SUBMIT button.  It’s ok to have a few screening questions but make them as simple and as directly related to the role as possible. Don’t ask them to rehash their resume or write long answers to questions best asked in an interview. Here are a few examples:

  • Do you have a current, clean driver's license and your own car?  YES!
  • Please details your relevant qualifications and experience that you think make you a good choice for this role. NO!

5. Each click loses 50% of candidates

Don't force candidates to register on a job board, then create another account on your own platform.  You want the link from your advert to go as directly as possible to a spot for uploading their CV (or using their LinkedIn profile) to apply. The more time it takes to apply, the fewer people will bother.  When dealing with passive candidates, this is critical.

Now is the time to really think about the journey you are expecting candidates to go on. If you’d like some inspiration and advice, feel free to contact us here at Talent Propeller. We speak with hundreds of candidates every month and know what they want. 

Good luck!