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How to Attract Applicants in A Competitive Job Market

How to Attract Applicants in A Competitive Job Market

The unemployment rate is currently sitting at a pandemic low of 6% and the U.S. economy added nearly 1 million jobs in March. The result is the candidate-saturated market is quickly transforming into a competitive one. So how can your hiring team attract qualified candidates that fit your company dynamic? Here are a few suggestions to source the best candidates in a competitive job market.

Refresh your employee benefits

One of the best ways to attract applicants in a competitive job market is to refresh your employee benefits. Is your company currently offering a traditional vacation and sick time policy? If so, it’s time to review and revise it to fit our current climate better. If you are still offering sick time and vacation time, you should start thinking about offering a paid time off (PTO) pool. Updating to a PTO policy will give your employees more flexibility and control of the time they earned, and it will let them utilize it as they need.

Flexibility is key

Last year, employers were forced to quickly shift their gears to remain operational. Companies that wouldn’t have even batted an eye at supporting remote work suddenly found themselves knee-deep in Zoom meetings. Thankfully, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. However, if your team wants to attract applicants in this competitive market, you must remain flexible. What if you find the perfect candidate, but they need the flexibility to work from home twice a week because their kids have virtual learning. Are you going to turn away this top-tier candidate because you want them working from the office 9-5 every day? When possible, offer flexibility that the best candidates have grown to love over the last year, and you will instantly see a boost in your applicant pool (and retention rates!).

Offer employee referrals

To encourage your current employees to get involved in the recruitment process, offer a referral program. Whether that’s a cash bonus, gift card, or some company swag, your employers are more likely to submit an employee referral if they have an incentive. Creating an employee referral program is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to receive qualified candidates that will fit your company’s culture. Typically, your employees won’t stick their necks out for just anyone. Plus, you can establish your referral program, so a bonus is only available for a successful hire. You can even place a time restriction on it. For example, employees only get a bonus if the referral is hired and stays on the team for at least 30 days.

If you think that offering a referral reward for an employee recommendation is expensive, keep in mind the average cost of a vacancy. Having a vacancy open for weeks or even months can be much more costly than a $200 Amazon gift card.

Partner with a recruiting firm

If you are serious about attracting applicants in a competitive job market, working with a professional is a wise decision. Recruiters that specialize in your industry are great resources to have on hand. We have pipelines of talented candidates that are ready to make a career transition. If you are ready to tackle this competitive market head-on, reach out to us today. At JSG, we have offices across North America that are ready to source the best candidates on the market.

4 Tips For Successful Recruitment Strategy

4 Tips For Successful Recruitment Strategy

Finding the best candidates to fill your open positions is no easy task. There are a ton of excellent candidates looking for a new opportunity right now, and it can be tough to hire the right one. With remote interviews, social distancing, and other safety protocols, ensuring you hire the best candidate is even trickier. You must improve your hiring activities to ensure your team makes the right hiring decisions. Here are four tips to craft a successful recruitment strategy.

Pair down your applicants

The first step in establishing a successful recruitment strategy is narrowing down your job applicants. We are in a candidate-saturated market, thanks to the coronavirus. As a result, there are a ton of qualified (and not so qualified) candidates on the market. You can pair down your candidate pool in several different phases of the hiring process. Start by crafting a detailed job description to weed out candidates that may not be interested. Then, add application requirements such as a cover letter or samples of work. Asking for resources beyond a resume will instantly trim out some of the fat and make your recruitment practices leaner. Next, you can weed out candidates in the initial interviewing stage by asking behavioral interviewing questions. Asking the right interview questions will help you identify the candidates that are more qualified and a better fit for your team.

Make a decision quickly

When it comes time to make a hiring decision, don’t dilly dally. If you know who you want to add to your team, present them your best offer. Yes, we are in a candidate-heavy market, but that isn’t going to last long as more employers ramp up their hiring efforts this summer. With the unemployment rate currently at a pandemic-low of 6%, more employers are actively hiring. If you don’t want to miss out on your best candidates, make a decision quickly. If they accept your offer, immediately send out the offer letter to get it signed. The sooner the deal is official, the more likely they will not accept another employer’s offer.

Keep your backup candidates until the deal is done

Before you turn away your runner-up candidates, wait for the hire to be official. No, you don’t have to wait until they actually start working, but don’t turn away your backup candidates until your number #1 choice has signed on the dotted line. If you turn your runner-ups away, you run the risk of starting the hiring process over again if your top candidate backs out. Wait until the background check comes through and the offer letter is signed to turn away any secondary candidates. Holding on to your secondary candidates is an essential part of building a  successful recruitment strategy.

Enlist the help of a recruiter

One of the simplest ways to implement a successful recruitment strategy is to partner with a recruiter. If you are struggling to fill a couple of your roles or need quality candidates quickly, working with a professional recruiting firm is a smart move. Top-tier recruiting agencies, like Johnson Service Group, thoroughly vet our candidates before we submit them. If you work with us, you will never receive a resume from a candidate we haven’t screened. If you want to take your recruiting strategy to the next level, reach out to us today! We have customized staffing solutions to meet your team’s individual hiring needs.

How to Vet Candidates in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

How to Vet Candidates in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

The unemployment rate has slowly been ticking downward as employers continue to rebound from the pandemic. Some industries are thriving, while others are preparing to ramp up their hiring efforts for the spring. But with a job market flooded with job seekers and workers looking to enter into pandemic-proof career paths, hiring managers have a ton of resumes to sift through. Ideally, these new additions to your team will stick around for the long haul and make a significant impact on your team. Thus, assessing a candidate’s fit is essential. If you are struggling to pin down the best talent this year, here is how to vet candidates in the post-pandemic job market.

Use a skills test

With an influx of job applications, utilizing skill assessments will help you identify candidates that will excel in the position. Although hard skills aren’t everything, your hiring team needs to know if a candidate can perform the basic functions of the job. These tests are not new, but they are an excellent method of highlighting each of your open positions’ best applicants. Skill assessments will help you weed out the least suitable candidates and streamline your hiring process. These tests are also helpful at discouraging the applicants that are spamming their resume in the post-pandemic job market.

Culture compatibility is crucial

Identifying candidates with the right skill sets is imperative, but culture compatibility is crucial for long-term success. You can teach almost any employee hard skills, new processes, and other details important for a particular role. However, you cannot train a new employee to fit your team dynamic. Behavioral interview questions can help your hiring team identify the candidates with the energy, passion, and work ethic that will make them successful. These questions will penetrate the surface-level assumptions you can make when initially interviewing candidates; they will also help you look beyond a candidate’s skills. These exercises are even more critical if you have a hybrid workforce with employees working both on-site and remotely.

Partner with a recruiting firm

Hiring suitable candidates for your team is no simple feat, and vetting candidates in the post-pandemic job market is even more challenging. Analyzing a candidate’s hard skills and culture compatibility will be essential moving forward. Although, performing these exercises can be time-consuming and difficult. If you need these job openings filled immediately, consider partnering with an external recruiting firm. The best recruiters will thoroughly vet candidates for their aptitude and fit before their resume even reaches your desk. At JSG, we meticulously vet each of our candidates to ensure they will mesh well with your team and make an immediate impact on your organization. Reach out to us today, and let’s work together to navigate the post-pandemic job market.

How To Assess An Employer During A Remote Hiring Process

How To Assess An Employer During A Remote Hiring Process

During a traditional hiring process, one where you interview with a prospective employer in person, it is pretty easy to get a feel for the company. You get to see how co-workers interact with each other, what the office environment is like, and get a general feeling for the company. However, with most interviewing processes becoming remote, it can be challenging to understand these things and evaluate if this company is a good fit. If you are trying to determine if a company you are interviewing with is a good match, here is how to assess an employer during a remote hiring process.

Do your due diligence

Before you even apply for a job, take some time to do your due diligence for the company. Check out their website and read their mission, vision, and any information you can find about their culture. You can typically find this information on “about us” or “career” pages. See if they have a blog or social media to find some behind-the-scenes posts about their team. You may even get some great examples of how their team interacts or bonds with one another while working remotely. 

If you want some examples of the company’s culture from the horse’s mouth, take a look at company reviews. You can find reviews from current and past employees on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Google. Take a few minutes to read some reviews and see what employees are commenting about their culture.

Ask specific questions during your interview

One of the best ways to get a feel for a company during a remote hiring process is to ask specific questions. You will likely have some questions you want to ask the hiring manager or recruiter after doing your research. Write these down and prepare yourself to ask them during your interview (if they don’t already come up naturally). These questions must be specific to be effective. If you ask cookie-cutter questions like “what is your company culture like?”, you will get generic answers. Ask questions about the things that matter to you – the aspects of an employer that will impact your decision to work there or not.

Here are a few good example questions you can ask:

  • What was the most significant obstacle your company had to overcome after the pandemic hit?
  • How does your team remain close, even when working remotely?
  • How has your company culture changed with parts of the team working remotely?
  • What does the team do for fun with the lack of in-person activities?

Pay attention to what you can

With a remote hiring process, it is more challenging to pick up on red flags or cues. However, as you navigate through the process, you have to pay close attention to what you can. Observe body language during virtual interviews to gauge the excitement of the team and hiring manager. Are they excited to meet with you and have positive energy? Or does everyone seem disengaged and act as they’d rather be anywhere else? Interviews are serious interactions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t determine if the team gets along well with each other and has fun.

Looking for more job search tips?

These are three ways you can assess an employer during a remote hiring process. If you are looking for more job-search advice, take a moment to review our candidate resources! We have hundreds of useful tips to help you excel through your job search. Or, if you are ready to find a new opportunity that’s right for you, take a look at our job board.

3 Things Recruiters Will Look for in 2021

3 Things Recruiters Will Look for in 2021

Most companies don’t completely shift their hiring strategies or processes throughout the year. However, the pandemic has forced many employers to rethink how they hire talent. As we (hopefully) near an end to this misery, some of these changes will permanently affect how employers hire. Here are three things recruiters will look for in 2021.

Your COVID-19 story

The virus impacted everyone differently. Some people were fortunate enough to shift to remote working while others sadly were furloughed or laid off. Regardless of your circumstances, recruiters will be looking for how you used this time. So, if you were out of work, how did you use your “free” time? Did you take some online courses or earn a new certification to improve your professional development? Did you spend some much-needed time with your family and reflect on your career goals? Or have you been working from home since last March? Regardless of your situation, recruiters will want to hear how you used this time.

You can share this in a cover letter, a resume summary, or even have it prepared during an interview question. Either way, be prepared to answer this question in 2021.

Time management proficiency

Solid time management is always something recruiters want to see in a prospective candidate. But with the possibility of working remotely, demonstrating that you can manage your time will be crucial. There will likely be questions in your interviews that relate to your time management skills. If you are working in the office or on-site, it’s easy for your manager to check-in to ensure you’re on track. However, when you are remote, you will have a lot more leeway on how you manage your time, and recruiters want to know that you are capable of finishing your daily tasks and projects promptly.

Even if you are physically working at your employer’s location, you might be working with a remote teammate in another time zone. Being capable of working with others across different time zones is something recruiters will be looking for closely.

Transferrable skills

Finally, recruiters will be looking for transferrable skills. Before the pandemic hit, recruiters were looking for candidates with the right skill sets and core competencies. Fast forward to today, and there are millions of Americans out of work. As a result, people are in the process of a career transformation and may not have all of the job-specific skills that a recruiter would typically require. But do you have similar skill sets that can transfer to this new position? That’s what recruiters are looking for right now. You can teach a good candidate any job-specific skills if they have the right background and comparable skills. Transferrable skills are the way of the future for hiring the best talent on the market.

Ready to make your career move?

So, these are just three of the skills recruiters will look for in 2021. If you are ready to transition into a new position, now is the perfect time to partner with a recruiter. We have hundreds of job opportunities across North America with fantastic clients looking to hire immediately. If you are ready to soar to new career heights, visit our job board!

How To Handle Being Ghosted During Your Job Search

How To Handle Being Ghosted During Your Job Search

Almost every single professional has dealt with being ghosted during a job search. It is absolutely agonizing waiting to hear back about a job in which you have invested both time and emotions. Even worse is the pit in your stomach when you realize you will never hear back. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to understand why it happens and what you can do about it.

Understand Why It Happens

While we wish no one ever had to deal with being ghosted by a prospective employer, it is unavoidable. Especially in today’s market, hiring managers are receiving thousands of applications for a single position. Unfortunately, it means they aren’t able to follow up with each and every applicant.  

If you’re being ghosted farther along in the hiring process, that certainly leaves a stronger impression. However, you have to understand that a company’s only objective is to fill their open position, so that is where they are focusing all of their energy. On the plus side, it does mean you have a bit more leverage.

What You Can Do About It

Once you’ve been in contact with a company during a hiring process (meaning you’ve had an interview or two), there are a few things you can do after being ghosted. Career Strategist Bob McIntosh recently recommended following up with your primary contact up to three times. Keep your follow-ups short, professional, and positive. If you haven’t heard back after the third attempt, it’s time to move on.

Further ghost-proof your job search by keeping an open mind. Don’t limit yourself to the one position you’re interviewing for. Continue applying for jobs and accepting interviews as they come your way. Most importantly, don’t take ghosting personally. Being ghosted during your job search is lamentably an inevitable part of the modern hiring process. Finally, when you eventually climb the corporate ladder, you’ll have the opportunity to break the cycle

Your Diversity & Inclusion Hiring Playbook

Your Diversity & Inclusion Hiring Playbook

Diversity is a hot topic in the world today, and many companies are scrambling to recognize deep-rooted unconscious biases and improve how they hire and manage their teams. While the first step of identifying and admitting bias can be the most challenging, it is also the most important for implementing actionable change. However, once you’re ready to tackle injustice and be a part of the change, where do you start? We’ve gathered just a few resources for diversity hiring that will get you started. 

→ You will probably need to overhaul your hiring process. Here’s a great breakdown of how to begin:

Recruiting For Diversity

→ For more on how browsing candidate’s social media profiles could be leading to bias hiring decisions:

Should Employers Screen Candidate’s Social Media

→ Learn about false-positive and false-negative hiring decisions and how you can avoid them, thus building a diverse and qualified team:

How To Avoid False-Negative Hiring Decisions

→ Creating a diverse team doesn’t start with hiring. Learn more about action steps you can take starting today:

Diversity in Hiring Doesn’t Start With Hiring

→ For more insight into the modern gender hiring landscape:

Modern Women Make Strides In The Workforce

Did you know that “hiring for culture fit?” actually leads many teams to lack diversity? Learn more here:

Don’t Hire For Culture Fit, Do This Instead

→ Take a few (free!) courses on LinkedIn Learning that cover everything from bias in all of its forms, cultural competence, communication, allyship, and accountability.

Diversity, Inclusion, And Belonging For All

This is just the beginning.

Learn more about how partnering with a recruiting firm can help you achieve your diversity hiring initiatives. Johnson Service Group has been assisting companies to implement diverse recruiting programs for over 35 years. Start the conversation today to improve the world tomorrow.

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

You Need To Interview Differently, Starting Today

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has changed the hiring landscape. The effects of this pandemic will be felt throughout organizations for years to come, and it will permanently change how we do business. One thing you can start changing now is how you interview. By making a few adjustments, you’ll be able to continue hiring talented candidates during uncertain times. Try incorporating these three things into your interview process while hiring for your next role to get ahead of your competition!

Be Open To Long-Distance Hiring

Gone are the days of flying candidates across the country to interview for a position. We do not know how long the effects of the Coronavirus will last. Even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed, it will be good practice to limit exposure as much as possible. In order to hire top talent before your competition, we are coaching our clients on how to hire virtually. Over the phone or via a video conference, you can still get a thorough understanding of whether someone will be a good fit for the position or not. It all comes down to asking the right questions.

Stop Grilling Candidates About Employment Gaps

With unemployment claims now reaching over 33 million, there will be just as many gaps on resumes. It’s time we stop judging candidates on resume gaps or presumed “job hopping.” Instead, focus on the value they can add to your team. To ensure that they are in it for the long haul, be sure to ask questions about why they want this position, and where they see themselves in the future. (It’s okay to press for more in-depth, realistic answers to these questions to make an accurate assessment!)

Be Upfront About PTO & Benefits

In the past, it was considered in poor taste for candidates to ask about PTO and benefits during an interview. However, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, these policies have become more than just “work perks.” Moving forward, candidates will want to ensure that they can take adequate time to heal and recover or care for family members. They will also be comparing company benefits such as healthcare, 401k matching, and wellness initiatives. It will work to your advantage to explain your benefits package during the interview. As a result, candidates can make an informed decision about the next step in their career.

For more articles on the Coronavirus and how it is affecting the job market, head here.

The Future of the Job Interview

The Future of the Job Interview

Job interviews have certainly changed over the years. New technologies and better methods of transportation have made interviewing an essential part of the hiring process. However, the future of the job interview is changing faster than any of us expected due to COVID-19. Here are three ways job interviews will look different in the years down the road.

No more handshakes

For centuries, the handshake has been a symbol of peaceful intentions, good faith, and respect. However, some historians believe the handshake was popularized by the 17th century Quakers, who viewed a simple handshake as an “egalitarian alternative” to bowing or tipping a hat. And through the years, the handshake became a staple gesture when greeting or introducing oneself. But with more people mindful of their personal space because of the coronavirus, this go-to gesture may be dead in the water.

There are plenty of different ways to greet someone or introduce yourself without shaking hands. It may feel weird as we are all programmed to extend our right hand out as a gesture of respect, but the new norm may become introducing ourselves without making contact. There are plenty of other non-verbal ways to communicate. Making strong eye contact, nodding, and smiling are all respectful ways to communicate with one another without physically engaging.

More video interviews

Another new norm may be forgoing in-person interviews for a video interview format. Now that many of us are working remotely, employers are investing in technologies to improve out of office communication. Technologies like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made this transition a breeze. Now, it’s never been easier to host a video interview with a candidate. You can even have multiple interviewers on the same video call while all being in different locations. This will ultimately make it easier for both employers and job seekers to arrange interviews around busy schedules.

PS: if you’re looking for some excellent video interview advice, check out this recent blog from JSG!

Quick interview-to-offer timetable

As a result of a more flexible job interview, the hiring process will tremendously improve for employers. It can be challenging to make a final hiring decision when you have to schedule in-person interviews with each candidate. But if hiring managers and HR can conduct virtual interviews, decisions can be made much quicker. Therefore, hiring decisions will rapidly decrease in time. In other words, the days of waiting weeks or even months to hear back from an interview may be over. If companies can make faster hiring decisions, you, as a candidate, will no longer be anxiously waiting for a callback. And the quicker employers can make a hiring decision and onboard a new employee; the less money is wasted due to the cost of a vacancy. It’s a win-win for companies and job seekers!

The future of the job interview is changing right in front of our eyes. to stay up to date, subscribe to our JSG Job Search Tips & Tricks newsletter to get interview advice delivered straight into your inbox!

How To Avoid False-Negative Hiring Decisions

How To Avoid False-Negative Hiring Decisions

Hiring is a tough game in today’s market. There are all sorts of obstacles that could prevent you from hiring your next great employee. False-negative hiring is one of those hurdles that can cause you to miss out on incredible talent. When a candidate who would have been a great employee underperforms in an interview, leading you to decline their application, that is false-negative hiring. And because you don’t exactly know what you’re missing out on, it can be challenging to avoid! You can, however, try these 3 tactics to avoid a false negative hiring situation and land your next successful team member.

Help your candidates prepare for the interview

One of the main things you can do to level out the hiring field is to prep your candidates for their interviews. Those who are less polished at interviewing or who get nervous when put on the spot will appreciate having information ahead of time. Have your HR team send an email to candidates with all of the interview details; who they’ll be meeting with, parking details, relevant websites and social media, and even interview questions they can expect.

Don’t throw in oddball questions

While it may be trendy to ask questions like “how many rubber duckies fit in an airplane?” it’s not helping you hire lasting team members. Keep your interview questions straightforward. Every question should have a purpose behind it and add value to both the interviewer and the interviewee.

Be transparent about the hiring process

When your candidates understand the steps and timeline of a hiring process, they can be better prepared. Transparency will also establish loyalty to your company and excitement about the position. When candidates are left in the dark, wondering about the next steps or if they’re still in the running, they may pursue other options or simply feel distanced from the opportunity.

Looking for more tips on how to improve your hiring process? Connect with one of our team members and get the conversation started!