Ok, so you are getting 25,000 new applicants each month and your jobs are still open. Well that must suck. You would think gobs of applicants means you are doing great at Talent Acquisition, right? The reality is that most Recruitment departments detrimentally rely on Applicant Tracking Systems and multi-post job board tools, thinking they have the problem solved, but if everyone does the same thing, then you don’t stand out in the crowd to potential candidates. Many companies are going through this same issue today. Lots of Bad Ideas & Stuck in a Rut:
Post to even more job boards: You assume candidates are just not hearing your message so you decide to post out to even more job boards. Find another cool job board or two (feels like innovation), and spend on some posts (feels comfortable, you can’t go wrong, you’ve done this before). Start a Twitter account (or use a service) that just lists your jobs or SPAM your own Facebook fan page with your jobs. Can you imagine if you went shopping at the mall and everywhere you turn (the walls, floors, elevator, escalator, every store, bathroom stalls, toilet paper) there is another ad for the same thing, would that get you excited to buy? Well, it does not work for job seekers either, it’s just not interesting. Wouldn’t it make more sense to optimize your job posts (SEO) so they magnetically attract relevant candidates?
Force Candidates to Answer Longer Questionnaires: This way you can quickly filter through tons of applicants to find the diamond in the rough. Seriously, do you really think top candidates are going to answer a gazillion questions (recently I went through 1 questionnaire that was over 30 web pages and 100 required fields) to work at your company? Ok, maybe if you are a super cool company like Google, Zappos, Pixar, or Netflix (nah, I don’t think so). Make your application process simple, smart successful people have limited time (remember they are busy and have jobs) and this is exactly why you want them to work at your company.
Do nothing: I have spoken to many good people in Recruiting at various trade shows. Many echo industry leading thought such as: employee referrals are so important, job boards produce volume but not quality, build and interact with your Talent Community to nurture future hires. However, few really are able to execute and walk the talk. A brilliant HR leader in the Oil & Gas sector told me “the reality in HR is that we are not decision makers.” Dr. John Sullivan said it best, “Many corporate practitioners and HR consultants talk about being more strategic, but then turn around and focus on incremental improvements to strategies, models and practices decades old” (click the source link for the entire article). Don’t do more of the same, do something disruptively and positively impactful.
If you have tons of applicants each month and still have many job openings you are probably doing something wrong. I was once told by a successful ex-boss that when you have a problem, instead of blaming others, look within. Don’t say the candidates don’t exist, don’t say you are too busy, don’t say “I can’t,” don’t continue to make excuses, don’t live in denial. Doing more of the same and expecting different results is insanity. Instead, look within, take a deep dive and analyze what you are doing. Do take risks to improve your Recruitment Marketing efforts. Do something great, do it now, be the hero; if you don’t your successor surely will.
How have you changed the apathy and status-quo within your corporate recruitment culture? What’s worked for you? What are your thoughts on how to improve?
P.S. Installing another ATS with “web access” or that supports another language isn’t going to solve your problem, again it’s just more of the same.