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5 creative ways to source and recruit in a tight market

You probably don’t need us to tell you that it’s slim pickings out there, talent-wise. Australia’s unemployment rate is just 3.5%, and LiveHire data shows application rates have dropped significantly this past year alone.

Job Applications by source | LiveHire

Post-pandemic, if you want to win the War for Talent and plug your skills gaps, you’ll need to get a little creative.

First, let’s address the elephant in the room

Or should that be your elephant-sized workload. Recruiters are spread thin at the moment, and you may be thinking: “I can barely get through my daily to-do lists – I don’t have the time or headspace to try anything new!”

Unfortunately, employers who get complacent about their hiring practices are destined to fall behind their more innovative and forward-thinking competitors. After all, a strong team drives business success, while uninspired or urgent recruitment practices spark a vicious cycle of bad hires, negative business outcomes and culture, and more difficulty signing (and retaining) star performers.

The good news is it’s relatively easy to overhaul your recruiting processes. A few simple steps can make a big difference, giving you more time and headspace to branch out and get creative. Here’s 3 key steps to help you free up time for the creative sourcing techniques below.

Here are the 3 key steps to free up time for more creative sourcing techniques:

Step 1: Define your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

Does your company offer a great culture, a top-notch team, killer benefits and career development opportunities? Working out your unique combination of selling points will help you define your EVP.
You’ll have to modify your EVP for each role, as different perks will appeal to different applicants. As you consider your ideal candidate persona for each open position, ask yourself: ‘Why would such a person want to work for my company?’

Once you know what kind of talent you’re fishing for, where to throw your lines out, and what bait to use, you’re halfway to hiring.

Step 2: Review your candidate experience

The next step requires you to face a few truths about your candidate experience: Is your application process everything it could be, or is it confusing and cumbersome?

Stretched as you may be, it’s absolutely vital to provide a positive candidate experience, or you’ll find it difficult to get the best workers through the door.

You’ll also be damaging your employer brand, since according to the Human Capital Institute 72% of applicants have posted about their negative candidate experiences online. Among candidate’s most common problems were a lack of response from recruitment teams or hiring managers, and exasperating, overly complex application processes, which 60% of candidates quit filling out part way through.)

This is where the case for a sophisticated tech solution comes in. Among other things, your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) should provide a great candidate experience. A positive candidate experience means a simple and mobile friendly way to apply for a job, easy two-way communication between the candidate and the recruitment teams, and transparency on where they are in the recruitment process.

A tool like LiveHire prompts recruiters and hiring managers to respond to every single application, with automated SMS and nudge notifications also making it easier to communicate with candidates and keep them in the loop.

By automating and streamlining much of the process, the right ATS facilitates a first-class candidate experience while freeing you up to focus on more of the “human stuff”. That includes everything from strategic relationship-building to finding the best person for each role.

Step 3: Building a talent community

It’s worth staying in touch with candidates that have shown an interest in your company in the past, even if they weren’t the right fit at the time.

These people are already aware of and interested in working for your company, and by making the effort to keep in contact, you’re showing you recognise their talent and potential, which will naturally boost engagement and goodwill.

Your ATS should allow you to reach out to people who have applied for jobs in the past and for them to update their details through a live profile. You could even send out automated notifications to your talent community whenever a suitable role opens up.

Better still, let anyone who’s interested in working for your company sign up to job notifications through your careers site and use your ATS to build and nurture a Talent Community of enthusiastic future applicants.

5 Creative Sourcing and Recruiting Ideas

By following these steps to fill your talent pipeline and improve the quality of your hires – which you can also track through your ATS – you’ll likely find you have more time and headspace for experimentation and innovation.

This is where you can really start to have some fun – and since every industry, company and role requires a unique approach, the possibilities are endless.

Here are a few ideas to inspire your own brainstorming session:

  1. Promote from within. First and foremost, consider elevating the people who are already working for you and hire externally for the more junior positions. Provide internal mobility pipelines through cross-functional secondments and upskilling programs, and make sure that:

    1. Your employees are first to know when a new role becomes available;
    2. They understand the role requirements;
    3. They’re encouraged to apply. Committing to this strategy not only makes you a more appealing employer, it also increases morale and engagement among your existing team by providing the career-development and learning opportunities they crave. In fact, according to the 2022 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, employees believe professional development is the number-one way to improve company culture.
  2. Referral incentives. Offer your employees a referral bonus or incentive for bringing in other great staff, and advertise it internally. It’s worth it – according to LinkedIn, each employee-referred hire saves a company $7500 in productivity and sourcing costs, and 45% of them stay for longer than four years.
  3. Optimise your careers page. This is a must for a couple of reasons. First, candidates are looking for them. Second, it’s an excellent way to promote both your EVP and open roles, while also inviting candidates to learn more about your company. A key part of optimising your careers page is enabling candidates to connect with your company, even if the right role isn’t available. Potential candidates visiting your careers page and dropping off because the right role wasn’t available results in critical talent leakage. Other ways to optimise your page are to be sure to include everything your candidates want to know about you – for example, your company’s core values and internal diversity statistics.
  4. Create social channels specifically for recruiting. Post about everything from company culture and the projects your teams are working on, to recruiting events and, of course, job openings.
  5. Benefit from the competition’s bias. Consider recruiting from different groups that have often been left out of the workforce in the past – for example, mothers returning to the workforce, women over 40, the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities and recent graduates.

Next steps

To nab top talent in a tight market, you’ve got to think outside the box. But you’ve also got to nail your EVP and lay the foundations for a first-class candidate experience. Only then can you nurture a pipeline of potential applicants, recruit proactively and expand your search beyond crowded job boards to give yourself the best chance of sourcing – and signing – star performers.

Looking to learn more? Request a demo with our team to see how LiveHire can help.

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