February 15, 2022,

Show Them Some Love
Recruitment in the Post-Pandemic Economy

By: Mark Kleinschmidt

Hopefully you are enjoying the spirit of Valentine’s Day and you have found your true love. Many employers are still looking, not so much for their true love but for some qualified candidates for job openings.  We have all been reading about how difficult it is for employers to find and retain employees.  We know that concerns over COVID, working from home (WFH) and early retirements have contributed to the increased difficulty in hiring new staff.

Last week, the Chamber hosted a very interesting and interactive webinar about Digital Recruitment.  We worked with our good friends at the Capital Gazette to put this webinar together, if you would like to check it out, click HERE to see the video. We saw some eye-opening statistics from a recent survey; for instance, did you know:

  • 25% of workers have changed industries since the onset of the pandemic.
  • 40% said catching COVID is the biggest stressor leading to seeking a new job.
  • 53% have a second source of income, compared to 36% a year ago.
  • Average time table to fill an open position: 36 to 42 days.
  • 61% of job seekers will check out your web site before applying.

What I liked best about the webinar was the fact that those current trends were discussed and we took a deeper dive into putting together a strategy for your recruitment efforts. The webinar really altered my thinking about how to go about hiring a new employee or staff member.  Here are seven takeaways I had from the presentation:

  1. You need a plan and not just an ad.

The days of putting a job post or want ad in your favorite newspaper or job board are over.  The pandemic has caused a mindset change for almost all employees and they are looking for more than just a job. Employers must have a mindset change too,  they will have to seek out new ways to reach job seekers and re-think the way they describe the job and their company.

  1. Cast a wide net to find new employees.

Job seekers will use, on average, 16 sources to search for jobs.  So you need to be everywhere.  This means doing research and finding out which job boards might be a good fit for you (plan to use several), do not shy away from Facebook and for some positions LinkedIn can be a powerful recruitment tool.

  1. Write a better ad or job post.

Think marketing when writing a job post.  Do not use obscure titles like Senior Shift Supervisor, be descriptive and use engaging language.  Focus on what your company does and not what it needs for this job. Highlight a pay range and say why this is a great place to work.

  1. Skills are more important that job description.

With so many workers looking to change jobs and switch industries, you need to have job posts that appeal to them so make sure to outline the skills you are looking for. This is particularly true about digital skills since it has become a vital part of the workplace and for the WFH crowd, remember remote work is here to stay.

  1. Company culture is very important.

Employees and job seekers have become more interested in the “company culture”. By this I mean, they want to work somewhere that has a welcoming work environment that values the employees and has a common sense of mission.  So make sure you convey this on your website because they are checking you out.

  1. It’s going to cost more.

Be prepared to spend more for your job search using multiple job boards and do not be afraid of the cost per click pricing; in fact, increase your budget. Print ads still work so include them in your outreach.  Also be prepared to pay a little more. The competitive job market is pushing up wages.

  1. Develop a pipeline.

You are not done when you fill your vacant position. With so many workers looking for other opportunities an the 36-to-42-day timetable to fill an opening you better have folks in the pipeline.  This can be done by developing partnership with local schools.  This includes high schools, community colleges and four-year institutions.  If you can internships and job shadowing opportunities are great ways to build your pipeline.

Here is the bottom line: The way we recruit new employees has changed and it will require expanded efforts and new thinking to fill vacant positions.  So, show your future employees so love and make it easier for them to find you and fall in love with you as a new long term employee.