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Hiring the right people
Do you find it increasingly difficult to recruit the best available talent? Your top tool to attract potential candidates – your job briefing – could be working against you. Adverts should be optimized to suit a world that demands more transparency every day. Candidates should be able to understand their role, know their mission and really get what it is like to work for you.
Job postings are the first line of visibility for a position and the content is key for potential applicants. This is where pre-selection through choices – of wording, skills requirements, company information, and unconscious bias (in terms of experience and skills) – starts.
Although significant efforts have been made in recent years to improve the transparency of job offers, there is still a way to go before the ideal advert is reached. To get there, hiring managers and recruiters need to work in partnership to promote the reality of the role and the company behind it.
For example, taking soft skills into account is not revolutionary, yet it is not as widespread as it could be. A potential candidate’s ability to manage stakeholders is likely more important to their success than the university they attended or the last company they worked for.
But do you highlight enough which soft skills are vital for the open role?
Nicolai Mikkelsen, Executive Director of the PageGroup Switzerland:
“When there is a shortage of technical skills on the market that slows down the recruitment process, companies that are open to hire people eager to learn, will be able to enlarge their talent pool. Leaders today are now more and more transferable from one industry to another as their soft skills are more important than their industry experience or a hard skill from the past.”
Key Insight: Job adverts that reflect the reality of a company prompt potential applicants to discover more about your company, helping to reduce time to hire and improving the ability to attract latent candidates through third parties.
Be contextual in reflecting reality
The job offer must arouse candidates’ interest and, to do this, they need to see differentiation in the offer, environment and team. You need to be transparent, so the potential candidate can project themselves into your company, but more specifically, into the team they will be working.
“Job descriptions are often poorly written. To be appealing to candidates, companies need to speak to their feelings and create an emotional connection. Adding videos or testimonials are game changers to attract candidates as they are considered more authentic and insightful. Last but not least, there is a need to balance the what is in for the hiring company – their requirements, the job to be done etc. - with the what is in for the candidates - future opportunities, purpose, development capabilities etc.”, Nicolai Mikkelsen adds.
The briefing must provide information on the working environment, conditions, collaboration, available technologies, management style and team. Now, more than ever, candidates expect this and have become more pointed in their questions if this meaningful information does not appear. You should work with your external recruitment partner to integrate this to boost engagement.
It could include qualitative information in the form of access to current employee ambassadors or a LinkedIn account where messages can be exchanged. It may have the skills profiles of the team, indicative working documents, and photos or videos of the offices.
Michael Page can help you get to the purpose of working in your company to appeal to your ideal candidates. If recruiters and hiring managers work together, collectively using their knowledge of the market and of the company, locating the best available candidates through more open lists will be facilitated.
Key Insight: The candidate’s need for contextual information to gain a clearer and more realistic view of your proposal overrides almost everything else.
Technology is the supporting act, not the headliner
Future recruitment will see more automation and machine learning in all processes. However, the aim is not to replace the human in the value chain, it is to support and expand their capabilities. Technology will help to augment people’s skills by speeding up selection processes, or by helping to remove bias in the wording of employer branding or job posts and much more.
The key here is that all parties must work together to improve current processes so they reflect the future of hiring that technology can provide. If the human input is not improved, the machine output will not reach our collective goals for it.
For example, in some countries Michael Page and Page Personnel use a system called ‘Job Match’, an algorithmic tool that connects the information in CVs to job postings in our database. For the tool to function correctly, the CV needs the appropriate information, and the job brief needs to contain the specific, in-depth profile the company is looking for.
Nicolai Mikkelsen, ED of the PageGroup Switzerland:
“Videos and other supportive technologies, such as chatbots, will certainly play a big role in the future of hiring, being more engaging and authentic. That being said the human factor will still be key – a company’s participation at career fairs, trial days etc. – will still be very important elements for a successful hiring process.”
Key Insight: Hiring managers and recruiters need to work in partnership to collectively improve the information provided in CVs and job posts to help tech solutions provide accurate results.
How can you help recruiters deliver improved candidate lists?
Having a purpose is not the catchall answer, but the insights you can provide into the team, function or division are definitely fit for purpose. Your insider knowledge will help to sell the role, and help your recruitment partner understand more so they can better inform candidates when appropriate.
Purpose is important in the hiring process, as it gives a potential applicant a deeper understanding of the company and why it does what it does. Purpose also helps hiring managers put a role in a wider company context, which helps recruiters sell the role to a wider audience. But purpose does not need to be captured in a formal document like a company mission statement.
When the recruiting parties are aligned, and if current and future skills sets are visible and understood, then psychometric testing can be introduced to assess behavioural skills. Through this type of testing, you can move beyond the static, backwards looking CV as the document indicating potential candidate suitability.
It favors wider pre-selection and allows for better prequalification, and more equal and inclusive recruitment. The candidate responds to personality and motivation questionnaires developed by researchers, while you define the criteria for success, as well as the technical and behavioral skills needed to successfully fulfill the role.
Key Insight: Psychometric testing in recruitment favors wider pre-selection and allows for better prequalification, and allows for more equitable, inclusive recruitment thanks to a proper assessment of employer-employee compatibility.