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Why You Need To Drop These Outdated Recruiting Practices

Why You Need To Drop These Outdated Recruiting Practices

The U.S. job market has drastically changed in the last decade. We’ve gone from a 10% unemployment rate in October of 2009 to a 3.6% unemployment rate in April of 2019. With more jobs than people to fill them, businesses are struggling to hire. In fact, 36% of small businesses couldn’t fill their open positions as of June of 2018.

Now that it’s a candidate’s job market, it’s time for recruiters and HR departments to change the way they approach hiring. If your business isn’t creating a positive, streamlined, and modern experience for candidates, you will miss out on quality hires.

In order to attract the best candidates, you need to reinvent your hiring strategy and ditch outdated recruiting practices. That’s why we created a list of the top 5 recruiting strategies that need to go—and what you should replace them with.

1.Cold Emailing
Cold emailing is one of the most outdated recruiting practices you can use. Emails have a low average open rate of 20% and a response rate of a mere 6%. In today’s job market, when professionals regularly receive unsolicited communications, they are even less likely to open your emails.

Instead of sending cold emails, ask your business’s employees to refer and connect you with prospective candidates. Candidates are more likely to respond after a personal introduction.

2. Focusing On GPA
When businesses evaluate younger members of the workforce, they often look at their GPAs. In 2013, 67% of companies reported that they screen candidates this way. However, GPAs don’t measure professional experience and aren’t accurate indicators of professional success.

Instead of focusing on candidate GPAs, review critical candidate skills, such as written, oral, organizational, and any other role-specific skills your open job calls for.

3. Geographically Restricted Candidate Searches
In today’s cosmopolitan business environment, geographically restricted searches are one of the most egregious outdated recruiting practices. A majority of recruiters (67%) say their biggest challenge is a lack of skilled, high-quality candidates. Searching for candidates only located within your geographic area drastically limits your search—especially if you’re looking for higher-level employees.

Unless your business is on a tight budget, you should be searching for candidates across the country. Video calls and Skype have made it easier to reach these long-distance candidates.

4. One-Way Conversations
Eighty-three percent of professionals say a negative interview experience can change their minds about a role or company they once liked. Interviews can feel like trials to employees—so be sure to avoid suffocating atmospheres, rude or pertinent questions, or intimidating two-on-one setups.

Instead of providing an unnerving experience, give your interviewees a chance to respond, engage in conversation, and ask questions. Smiles don’t hurt, either.

5. Scripted Conversations
The majority (90%) of millennials, who are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, say brand authenticity is important. They feel the same about the companies they work for, too. Scripts can make an interviewer seem inauthentic and a company seem robotic—the opposite of what millennials want to experience at work.

Instead of using a script, try to make candidate conversations as real as possible. Go off script, be yourself, and have fun getting to know another professional.

Many outdated recruiting practices are designated as such because of today’s new workplace standards of authenticity and positivity. In general, your business should be systematically humanizing the recruiting process to catch up with modern candidate wants and needs.

Ditching outdated recruiting practices, from cold emailing to scripts, will improve your candidate experience, widen your candidate pool, and help you fill your empty roles with high-quality talent.

If you’re looking for more advice on effective recruiting practices and strategies, don’t miss this upcoming webinar – How to Win the War For Talent: Actionable Strategies to Attract and Retain Top Talent at Your Business.

About the Author
Tim Schumm is the founder/CEO of Lucas James Talent Partners. Lucas James Talent Partners provides small and medium-sized businesses with a high-quality, cost-effective, and flexible talent acquisition solution through RPO (recruitment process outsourcing). Please visit https://lucasjamestalent.com/ to learn more.

Why Employee Retention Is Your Best Weapon in the War for Talent

Why Employee Retention Is Your Best Weapon in the War for Talent

There are many reasons why employee retention is one of the most important considerations for your organization. Among these reasons, which include employee satisfaction and team morale, the biggest reason—or at least the easiest to measure—is cost.

And these costs also include the knowledge and experience that an employee gained while at the company; a loss that will turn into a several month-long learning curve for whoever replaces them.

Other reasons that employee retention should be carefully considered are that the organization’s performance and reputation could suffer with a lot of turnover, and that competition to hang on to top talent is heating up in a country with the lowest unemployment rate in decades.

So how many people are actually leaving their jobs, and why? What are the turnover costs for companies? And what can you do to revamp your retention efforts?

Here’s what you need to know about why employee retention is your best weapon in the war for talent.

Employee retention stats

A BambooHR onboarding survey, which surveyed over 1,000 U.S. employees, showed that 31% of workers have left a job within the first six months, and 68% of those workers have left within three. And data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that since January 2019, every month around 3.5 million employees have left their jobs voluntary. BLS data from 2018 showed workers had been with their current employer for an average of 4.2 years.

The BLS also reported that workers in the baby boom generation were found to hold an average of just under 12 jobs throughout his or her lifetime, between ages 18 and 50. However, nearly half of the 12 jobs were held between ages 18 and 24. This means that younger workers are more likely to shift more often, and so retention strategies should put emphasis on what would appeal to this younger population.

Why do employees leave?

It’s no surprise, really, that modern workers are hard to retain. It’s easier now than it’s ever been to research a new company or refresh a job board each and every day. With the endless resource that is the Internet, workers are learning more about what’s fair and what isn’t, what they could be getting paid versus what they are making.

But, the reason for the two-weeks’ notice has to stem from something specific and not so broad as “I wanted something better.” So what drives employees to leave?

The BambooHR survey mentioned above also reported the top three reasons that surveyed employees left their positions within the first six months:

  1. They were no longer interested in the work (28%)
  2. Their jobs were not what they had expected in the interview (26%)
  3. They didn’t like their boss (23%)

This feedback shows that an important part of a new job is transparency: if the work was nothing like what was described, employees aren’t going to feel great about that. If they deal with a rude manager, that’s another red flag. And when it’s only been a few months, they may feel less inclined to stick it out—they are less attached or invested in the company at this point than they would be years in.

As SHRM points out, other reasons that employees leave are because they found a better, more competitive alternative (perhaps a company that provides more benefits or higher salaries); they had a “predetermined plan” to quit because of life circumstances, such as going to get a degree or having a family; or they had a frustrating experience that led them to act on impulse. An example of the latter could be that they didn’t receive a promotion or raise when they thought they deserved it.

In addition, a survey from America’s Health Insurance Plan (AHIP) showed that 56% of respondents said health coverage was a key factor in whether or not they stayed at their current job. According to a SHRM survey, 92% of employees said that benefits remain important to their job satisfaction, and that 29% of employees cited their benefits package as one of the top reasons to look for another position within the next year.

The cost of turnover

The average cost per hire is over $4,000, according to a study from the SHRM, and it takes 42 days on average to fill a given position. Whether or not that number would be much higher or lower for your company, there’s no arguing that costs are substantial. In addition to these financial setbacks, there’s no one in the role doing the work, putting strain on your other employees.

Also keep in mind that those covering the work while a position is being filled may expect to be compensated for the extra work, adding to the costs even more. So needless to say, turnover is not only frustrating, reputation-hurting, and time-consuming, it’s also expensive.

How to revamp your employee retention strategy

To win the war for talent that’s currently going on in the U.S., it’s time to revamp your retention strategy. Based on the common reasons people leave their jobs above, consider these methods:

1. Clearly communicate job duties and expectations

As already mentioned, it can be upsetting or surprising to a new hire if the duties discussed in the interview were not accurate to the job they suddenly find themselves in. This is why it’s not always enough for an HR rep to do the interview and why a manager or colleague who will have similar duties should be engaged in the candidate-seeking process.

2. Update your benefits package

Because workers hold health and other benefits as a top priority in their decision to stay at their jobs, 85% of HR professionals say that they use benefits as a strategic tool to positively impact recruitment and retention, according to an SHRM benefits survey. For example, new trends include updates to parental benefits, such as maternity and paternity leave and adoption leave.

But another part of updating your employee benefits is about work-life balance. Modern employees look for jobs with flexibility offerings, such as working from home or different working hours. These considerations are especially important when catering to the younger generations, who value workplace culture and flexibility.

According to the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, half of millennials surveyed said that they would consider working in the gig economy. This lifestyle appealed to them because of the chance to earn more money (58%), to work their own hours (41%) or to achieve better work/life balance (37%).

3. Encourage position transfers within the company

Another smart move to better retain and satisfy employees is to discuss their end goals and their satisfaction in their current roles, and encourage them to look into other departments if they’re not happy. Some companies are implementing this idea into their policies and procedures, so employees can easily look at their handbook and find out if this is an option.

4. Talk about pay equality and diversity

Pay equality and diversity are two hot topics in today’s workplace culture. Young employees want to know that they’re being compensated for their hard work and dedication, and it will be easy for them to tell if decisions like wage range is based on discriminatory factors.

If this hasn’t been a focus yet for your company, start by offering trainings or seminars where employees can learn or share. Express your commitment to these issues so that employees know you’re thinking about it.

5. Ask for feedback

Another tried-and-true way to get inside the heads of your employees is to simply ask them. Don’t try to guess how happy they are or how satisfied they are with their work or department. Implement employee surveys that are anonymous so they feel comfortable sharing. Hold discussions where employees can provide their opinions, thoughts, and feelings about the company and what could be improved.

It also can’t hurt to introduce new perks in the office, like a Friday lunchtime game or regular outings after work. These opportunities for interaction can help leaders become aware of issues or successes.

Key takeaways

Retention is key with the current dips in the unemployment rate, which are only getting lower. You need to create a retention plan that addresses real concerns that your employees are having.

Remember to:

  • Clearly communicate expectations during interviews and throughout the candidate-seeking process.
  • Update your benefits package (including work-life balance and flexibility benefits) regularly, based on what your workforce cares about.
  • Encourage position transfers within the company.
  • Discuss and address pay equality and diversity concerns that arise all the time in modern workplaces.
  • Involve employees in decision-making so that you can take their feedback into account.

These strategies will help you to stand out from competitors and retain quality talent. Make sure you give these considerations due care, and your overall workplace environment will improve (not to mention you’ll save on the high costs of filling positions that experience turnover regularly).

Don’t miss our upcoming webinar “How to Win the War For Talent“.

How to Build a High-Impact Benefits Package that Will Help Your Business Win the War for Top Talent

The unemployment rate has now fallen to 3.6%, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While American workers welcome the news, it can be a challenge in this climate for hiring managers to stand out and continue attracting the best talent out there.

If your business is struggling to fill open positions, and you’re not receiving the quality applicants that you’d hoped for, take a look at your benefits package. When was the last time you updated it?

The 2018 Employee Benefits Survey from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) showed that 34% of organizations beefed up their benefits packages within the last year, and 72% said that retention was a reason they did so. Over half cited attracting top talent as a main part of their reasoning.

In our current “war for talent” climate, creating a benefits package that can sell itself to candidates will ensure you’re attracting that top talent. In fact, your benefits package could be the differentiator that will give you the timely competitive advantage you need. A CareerBuilder survey revealed that 32% of workers will be looking for a new job in 2019, 15% of whom cited lack of benefits or low compensation as the reason.

Here’s how to create a high-impact benefits package that will help your business both attract and retain top talent.

Understanding What’s Hot

Of course, what’s most important to the top talent you’re looking for will depend on your industry. For instance, not every job can offer remote work benefits—some require a worker’s presence in the office.

However, there are general trends as far as benefits go. The same SHRM survey mentioned earlier also showed that benefits for parents have been increased in the last few years, including paid maternity and paternity leave and adoption, foster child, and surrogacy benefits.

According to Jobvite’s 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey, recruiters say that the most effective benefits to attracting top talent are medical and dental benefits (67%), followed by 401(k) benefits (55%).

Medical and dental benefits may seem like a given, but making these benefits competitive in themselves can upgrade your overall package. This is why it’s important to shop around for the best price on packages that offer the comprehensive care that your employees need. For retirement, many workplaces offer a company-matching benefit that top talent will look for when considering job offers.

The next most important benefit offering discussed in the Jobvite survey was work-from-home benefits. As mentioned above, this benefit may or may not be possible for your given industry. However, with our current everything-digital work culture, it’s worth considering making it happen, as 43% of recruiters said this was the most effective benefit offering to attract and retain talent.

Offering a flexible work arrangement or flexible schedule shows employees that their work-life balance matters, and that the company wants to support them in managing family obligations and other priorities outside of work.

The last three benefits listed as top attractions in the Jobvite survey were casual dress (36%), continuing education reimbursement (31%), and a signing bonus (28%). Paid vacation is still considered a top benefit, and many top candidates will negotiate the amount of days off they receive with the rest of their offer.

Another hot topic in the benefits world is student loan help. According to data from the Harvard Business Review, 48% of job seekers said that student loan assistance would be taken into account when considering a job offer.

Americans now owe around $1.57 trillion in college debt, as USA Today reported, yet only one in 10 companies surveyed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute offer student loan repayment subsidies or consolidation or refinancing services for employees. This means that employers willing to make this a priority will be ahead of their competitors when attracting top talent.

These examples show how any organization can construct a benefits package that checks off the list of what the modern candidate is looking for.

Building a Comprehensive Package

Once you’re aware of what candidates want, how do you begin the reconstruction process?

1. Research the competition

First, assess the trends within your industry. Start by researching the job ads that competitors are posting, or use a tool like Glassdoor to view salary trends for a given job title or company. Understanding what your competitors are offering is crucial to creating a competitive advantage.

You may also learn about other company’s benefits through interviews with top-level candidates. They may ask for a certain amount of vacation days, a salary level, or 401(k) contribution because they’re receiving it in their current position.

But as ApplicantPro points out, your top recruiting competition may not be the same as your business competition. Companies hiring individuals with the same qualifications, and not necessarily a company offering the same services as yours, may be more of your hiring rival.

2. Use data in strategic planning to increase ROI

Keep up on the latest research about what employees want, in addition to what competitors are providing. Each year, human resources organizations release surveys that reflect the latest trends, such as the surveys mentioned in this article from the SHRM and the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

According to the SHRM, planning benefits strategically based on specific data can help your company receive the greatest return on investment. This is important, because benefits aren’t cheap—they make up about a third of compensation costs (32%). When companies strategically plan benefits for recruitment and retention, the overall performance of the company is above average at 58%, versus 34% from organizations that don’t plan strategically.

3. Understand what drives motivation

Employees are more likely to feel motivated and satisfied by their work if they’re fully supported with adequate pay and benefits. This means making enough money, but it also means being able to receive high-quality healthcare services and to take time away from work to relieve stress and enjoy their personal lives.

This is why it’s also smart to offer a comprehensive wellness program that offers discounted gym memberships, for example, or mental health services, along with a good healthcare package. Over half of employees surveyed by the SHRM said that healthcare, paid leave, and flexible benefits were very important to job satisfaction.

Remember to approach the construction of your benefits package with people in mind, not just the bottom line.

4. Ask your employees for feedback

To better understand what would entice employees to stay at your company, why not ask them?

Implementing some kind of survey system can be instrumental in building a benefits plan that meets the expectations of employees. Just the gesture alone can show workers that you are considering their needs and desires, which can lead to greater feelings of satisfaction and recognition.

Consider holding discussions about benefits where employees can make comments and ask questions, and invite them to offer their opinions about their current package.

5. Continue adapting

During interviews with top candidates, one strategy that could help you succeed is being open to what they’re looking for, and asking them what their expectations are. This can not only open your eyes to what top talent is looking for, but it can also help you revamp your benefits offerings for your current employees. 

Updating your benefits package is not likely to be something you can do once and be done with. Preferences change year over year in the realm of recruitment, as new technologies are introduced or new working trends pick up, so remember that your benefits plan needs to be revisited and adapted regularly. For example, the gig economy and the surge of freelancing has made flexibility and remote work more popular and desirable for employees across industries.

6. Embrace new technologies

Finally, recruiters and hiring managers should embrace new technologies that can help them create a strategic benefits plan for recruitment and retention.

According to the Jobvite survey mentioned above, almost half of recruiters say that artificial intelligence (AI) and automaton will improve their jobs and will allow them to focus more on strategy. Streamlining tasks can open up a lot of time that can be used on research and data analyzation that will lead to better benefits planning that’s focused around attracting talent.

Using an online benefits portal is another way to increase employee satisfaction and streamline the benefits process. According to the SHRM, 32% of HR professionals say that an online portal is very effective as a communication method with employees. A portal can help the HR team deliver messages while emphasizing the value of benefits to employees.

Key Takeaways

Winning the war for top talent takes research, planning, and strategizing, and may not happen overnight. But it’s more important than ever to focus on benefits offerings as the unemployment rate continues to drop and the recruitment competition heats up. Remember to:

  • Stay abreast on what’s hot in the world of HR and recruiting
  • Research your competition
  • Base benefits planning decisions on specific data to ensure Return on Investment
  • Think about what drives employee motivation and satisfaction
  • Survey employees and candidates to find out what would excite them beyond a high base salary
  • Continue to adapt your plan
  • Integrate new tools and platforms that will streamline processes for both you and employees

If you show both top candidates and current employees that benefits are important to the organization and do the research to offer what they really want, you’ll be well on your way to creating a high-impact benefits package that will set you apart from competitors.