More than half of employers surveyed in a study from CareerBuilder in 2015 acknowledged that finding qualified candidates had become more difficult over the previous five years. The clear takeaway was that the hiring process has become problematic — and that bad hires are expensive: 73 percent of employers surveyed said that making a bad hire was more costly than leaving a position open.
One solution, however, is transparency. Providing transparency during the hiring process can help attract and keep better talent. Here are five ways to ensure that employers and job seekers find the correct fit:
1. Write clearly worded job descriptions.
If job descriptions are clear, talent will come. The best place to start is the job title. It should reflect the nature of the job while being concise. Catchy titles like “sales guru” grab attention, but can be abstract and ineffective in communicating what the job entails.
Instead, use descriptors that are engaging, like “dynamic” and “creative.” Avoid acronyms and abbreviations, and ensure that the niche skills needed are communicated. For example, the title “lawyer” could be far more specific, as in “corporate defense attorney.”
The job description should outline brief, but specific, expectations for each duty listed. Ordering tasks and responsibilities in their order of priority provides a clear understanding of the role and illustrates what the company most values.
2. Make employee testimonials available.
Job seekers expect to find information about potential employers. Therefore, employers that embrace transparency will have a recruiting advantage.
Conducting employee testimonials at a workplace shows that that employer actively seeks out feedback, and displays it for the world to see. The main purpose is not for the employees interviewed to talk about the organization but rather to describe their personal experience there.
These testimonials can be presented through various forms of media: A page on the company website, for instance, can list employees with their pictures and a direct quote. However, video and audio testimonials are even more impactful. They can be interesting and engaging while adding more credibility to the content. Plus, videos can be shared in various social media and online outlets in an appealing way.
3. Show that feedback is respected in the company.
In a national study conducted by the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University in January 2015, 43 percent of employees surveyed reported having considered quitting their jobs within the previous year. Some 22 percent of respondents stated that lacking a voice in decision-making and their feeling that they were “not being heard” were top frustrations at work.
Failing to demonstrate that employees are being heard is a major, and avoidable, factor in workforce discontent. Showing empathy is a powerful display of listening. So, express concern and show that your employees’ workforce frustrations are understood and are justified (if they are). Remember that every person manages stress in a different way.
Also, avoid making judgments when you hear about stressors or employees’ new ideas. It’s good to be clearly constructive with your criticism, but projecting judgments can make things too personal. Finally, allow people to . . . talk. Interrupting is rude and a sign of disrespect.
4. Provide agendas and time lines for the hiring process.
Fifty-eight percent of employers surveyed by CareerBuilder admitted that they hadn’t communicated how long their hiring process would take. That should be rectified: If the process is explained beforehand, job seekers will be more engaged and responsive to it.
HR should look back at previous hires and track the time for each task. How long does it usually take to look through applications, contact those who considered qualified and complete screening actions before an interview?
Once the company has a clear agenda and time line, HR should share that information with applicants. A company that is forthright and proactively lays out when and how applicants will be contacted will gain a favorable reputation.
5. Exchange feedback with talent.
Ninety-four percent of job seekers surveyed in the the LinkedIn 2015 Talent Trends report said that they wanted interview feedback. If such feedback is provided with constructive feedback, applicants are four times more likely to consider the company for future opportunities.
Before providing feedback, the hiring manager should be sure that he or she is prepared to communicate clarity, positivity and honesty. He or she should communicate the facts of the interview and not make personal judgments about the applicant.
Criticism, if offered, should be constructive, offering tips for improvement and should end on a positive note, with a chance for the applicant to share feedback, as well. This is important because it shows the company respects the interviewee as a person, and builds a strong relationship in the event of a future opportunity.
By Andre Lavoie