Weekends in April and May are a good time to get serious about spring cleaning. This applies to recruitment strategy as much as it applies to our homes. We may think we’ve got everything under control, but a good spring clean always proves otherwise.
Growing up the daughter of an Army Colonel, ours was a family of routines. Each Sunday, after church and brunch, we washed the sheets and remade our beds with the ones washed the week before. It’s important to keep at least two sets.
Fresh sheets straight from the dryer are heavenly, but we dreaded folding them! My sisters and I would fold the flat sheets together, attempting to turn in tandem, usually forming crisp rectangles.
The fitted sheets were a different story altogether. We watched incredulously as our mother gracefully tamed them into identical twins of their partners – something I have given up the idea of mastering.
Spring cleaning signaled that it was time for the Colonel’s family to deep clean every room. This was serious business, and we stayed busy until Mom rehung the last clean curtain and declared us done.
As I’m deep into spring cleaning this month, I can’t help but think that companies should do the same for their recruiting process. A deep clean blows out the cobwebs and reveals places for improvement.
Nine Ways Companies Can Spring Clean Their Recruitment Strategy
1. Refresh Your Brand
Refreshing your brand is a good place to start. Does the current look and feel of your brand reflect your leadership, your direction, and the services you offer? Does it reflect your mission, vision, and values? Does it articulate your company culture?
Many of our partners are working toward establishing themselves as Great Places to Work to attract and retain top talent. There’s no time like the present to implement steps toward a similar goal that fits your business plan. A positive employer brand can go a long way toward successful recruitment efforts.
2. Update Job Descriptions
Updating your job descriptions is imperative. Meet with hiring managers to determine the must-haves, the nice-to-haves, and the right culture fit – eliminating outdated skills and requirements from your job postings.
Position descriptions should reflect complete, accurate, and current expectations. Job postings must be written clearly so applicants and existing team members will easily understand them. An accurate job description tends to attract the most qualified candidates.
3. Modernize Technology and Sourcing Practices
It’s a good time to modernize your technology and sourcing practices to maximize your reach. To do that well, you need to know where the top talent you seek are looking for jobs.
Are these job seekers using LinkedIn, Indeed, other job board platforms, or social media? Is there a helpful employee referral program to help you identify fresh talent?
Perhaps your preferred candidates aren’t looking at all. That’s why, at Duffy Group, we actively search for passive candidates. We mine for prospects among successfully employed workers, digging into our clients’ competitors and investigating industry groups and associations.
4. Declutter the Application Process
There’s no time like the present to declutter the application process. Is there any red tape you can sweep away? You may be missing out on talent while they wait to be processed. Your spring cleaning checklist may need to include a better applicant tracking system.
In this competitive market, it is helpful to remove obstacles for applicants. Rather than trying to collect as much information as possible, your hiring process could focus on relevant questions to find answers not readily apparent in their resumes.
If you are using an online application, try it out yourself to ensure it is user-friendly. It has even been suggested that you complete the application for the candidate to remove the first hurdle in the process.
5. Wipe the Dust Off Those Company Phones
Do your company phones get a regular workout? Wipe off the dust and make calls! Successful recruiting is all about creating authentic relationships, and we can’t be shy about reaching out.
Perhaps you’ve already done the research, ensuring the candidate meets the minimum requirements; now it’s time to let them know about the great opportunity that awaits.
Be persistent and stay positive throughout the cold-calling process. It only takes a few connections to get the ball rolling. If the person you reach is not the right fit, they can be a great source of market data and referrals.
6. Iron Out the Kinks in the Screening Process
Take some time to iron out the kinks in the screening process. You must start with a slate of great candidates. Just like a set of sheets, it’s essential to have more than one!
Before you start, review your questions to check for any inherent biases. To maintain a level playing field, be sure to ask each job seeker the same questions.
The interview process should align with your requirements and culture, regardless of the importance of the open roles you need to fill. Polish your communication skills and create an environment where candidates can share their strengths and opportunities for growth.
Just like a fitted sheet, the most qualified candidates may not be folded into the neatest package. Asking a few well-devised behavioral questions can ascertain how your candidate might smooth out the wrinkles when faced with adversity.
7. Let the Sunshine In!
Time to pull back that curtain. There has been a strong push for transparency in hiring recently, and employers need to be ready.
A clear set of requirements outlined in the job description is a good start, but hiring managers should be able to verbally outline the challenges a prospective new employee might face in the first year on the job.
Being transparent upfront about compensation and benefits is a best practice in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This kind of transparency signals integrity and helps to establish trust.
Trust, in turn, strengthens employee engagement which leads to retainment. A little Vitamin D is good for everything!
8. Air It All Out
Once your candidate is hired, move efficiently to effective onboarding. Even as initial paperwork is completed and delivered to Human Resources, use this checklist to help a new employee get off to a good start.
- Let them know what to expect on their first day and introduce them to the team they’ll be working and training with.
- Ensure the new hire’s technology is working and available. Make sure their workspace is welcoming.
- Give them a mentor to guide them through the first few months.
- Set expectations for the best modes of communication and ensure they are included in all applicable communication streams.
- Air it all out! When you think the process is complete, ask new hires to air out their thoughts on the onboarding process. By learning what isn’t useful, you can improve your recruitment strategies.
9. Keep it Clean!
Keeping things clean is all about intentional maintenance. It takes a little effort to make sure we keep up our new habits. Effective hiring doesn’t end with candidate placement. For employers and employees, it’s all about creating relationships.
Here are some ways to build that bridge between yourself and the new hire:
- Make sure your candidate shows up by sending them a note before the first day of work.
- If you won’t be present for their first day, take a moment to welcome them by phone.
- Follow up again after 90 days of employment to see how they are settling in.
- Ask questions. Were there any surprises or issues they weren’t prepared for?
- Check in on their first anniversary to congratulate them and offer your assistance if necessary.
Be sure to take notes. How can you make onboarding better for the next new hire?
Although my household is not as regimented as my childhood home, I always feel like I can breathe easier after a good spring cleaning. It is calming to restore order and balance when things get a bit messy.
Doesn’t it feel great to freshen up? You set up an efficient framework to start from and establish a clear path to move forward…at least until next spring.
I hope you can get that spring clean feeling by applying some of these suggestions to your recruitment strategies at work. If you missed the spring deadline, don’t worry. A deep clean is a smart idea any time of year.