In-house HR and recruiting departments have the most important role in an organization. They provide qualified professionals that will influence, add value, and determine the future of the company.
Knowing that people are the most valuable resource to businesses, we don’t take that lightly. But as culture, demand/supply, and other factors change, so do the way we should recruit.
Today, many of us are recruiting very dangerously.
As the founder of Execruit, I network with qualified candidates and executives every day. I hear their personal experiences, their passions, and their perspectives. One consistent form of feedback I hear about the workforce and recruitment is the way these people are treated.
Many candidates have a hard time getting in touch with HR employees about their application. Sometimes, they receive a cold electronic rejection. In a world where talent is so hard to find, is this the approach we want to take for a sustainable workforce? This makes finding the right talent at the right time very difficult.
There’s a better way to treat our candidates, equip them, and create a powerful pipeline of talent even amidst this talent shortage.
Talent Supply Is Short, and Demand Is High
It’s no secret. In 2030, we are expected to have an 85 million employee talent shortage, with predicted losses of trillions worldwide. Talent demand is clearly much higher than its supply. The world population is growing, but marketable skills in much-needed sectors are not.
Even in the shortage, we are still using old HR practices when recruiting. If someone doesn’t make the shortlist but is still close-to-qualified, they get an automatic rejection. These are connections we could lose forever. Not only that, but hiring practices form a reputation for companies. When talent is so scarce, why are we losing our chance for a future pipeline?
HR has hiring targets, but how are they suppose to meet that goal when they run out of talent? When we realize the state of our economic situation, we begin to appreciate candidates differently.
The biggest difference in how we should treat recruiting from before to now is focusing on our relationships. Everyone who applies to our companies should be treated well and personally. We should also communicate to candidates that show potential on what they can do to get qualified, creating a future pipeline.
I remember speaking to a good friend of mine who was actively seeking candidates for an internship program. This wasn’t just any internship. This was one where each intern was expected to travel overseas and lead volunteer professionals from every walk of life (usually twice their age)—from doctors, lawyers, to contractors. The interns were expected to communicate effectively; public speaking, lead orientations, communicate with locals in foreign countries, logistics, and more. This was an internship where qualifications mattered.
She spoke to me about how hard it was in the past to sift through applications and find the right fit. Until she told me, she discovered the best investment she ever made.
She began keeping in touch with applicants who were rejected. She provided a list of things they needed to work on. She even met with each one for coffee months after rejection. By the next year, about 80% of her qualified interns came from last year’s applicants who were not qualified before. They had grown and gained the skills required. “Was it more work to do it this way?” she said, “Not at all. In fact, it made recruiting so much easier. I had a pipeline already set up, so by the time I needed those roles filled—it was done.”
What We Can Do Today
When we become relationship-focused, our HR strategy becomes sustainable for this new decade.
- Make recruiting as personal as possible. See every candidate as future qualified talent.
- Create a “rejection shortlist” of people who could be qualified but lack a skill or two to be accepted. Tell them why, and keep in touch by checking in on them. This could be a future pipeline that will save you time and costs.
- Invest in physical recruiting events and strategies where you can meet candidates face-to-face before they apply.
- Create a company culture that people want more of. When your employees are happy, outside talent will be attracted to working with you.
What are the ways you can create a sustainable recruiting strategy? In a world of social media and other mediums that distance ourselves from human connections, finding ways to attract talent through authenticity and respect can go a long way.
What a Healthy Recruiting Strategy Looks Like
Imagine having talent waiting for you. They want to work for you. They’re qualified. You just have to say the word—there’s an opening. This can happen. When we create an environment that’s attractive and healthy, the right talent will be quick to join you.
Find ways to make your application process and recruiting practices stand out. Future talent will notice you. And you’ll have a strong, productive team.