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In this episode, we talk with Sara Causey, Staffing & Recruiting SME at Causey Consulting LLC, about best practices for talent acquisition, common pitfalls many companies find themselves in, and strategies for the audience.

What you will learn:

➡️ Why the recruiting funnel is important

➡️ The importance of employer branding in recruiting

➡️ Top Of Funnel Strategies

➡️ Skills Testing & Pre-Employment Screening

What Is A Recruiting Funnel?

Recruiting funnels help to simplify the recruiting process by breaking down complex recruiting processes into various stages which can then be broken down further into goals and tasks. The funnel usually starts with creating employer brand awareness and ends with the onboarding of a new hire. 

A hiring funnel is similar to a sales funnel. When it comes to the sales funnel, let's say you need 100 leads to go through the top of the funnel in order to get one reliable client out at the bottom. Think of your hiring funnel in the same way. Prospective candidates and applicants go through the top of the funnel and follow the employment journey from interview to negotiation followed by pre-employment checks and finally an official hire. Once an employee is hired, it is important to provide them with the tools for a smooth onboarding process. Although times have changed, and the workforce no longer seems to be in it for the long haul as they once were, a guided onboarding transition can help new hires see at least some sort of future with your company.

The Importance Of Employer Branding In Recruiting

In order to have that abundant talent pipeline, it is crucial not to neglect the top of the funnel, which can come back to bite you in the end when it's time to fill an open position. Rather than having candidates on hand to call, you would be required to start from scratch which can be very time-consuming, taking away from other priorities. This is where employer branding comes in handy.

The modern-day labor pool stays connected through social channels such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and Facebook. These are the best places to reach your candidates. Keep in mind, when it comes to social media it is important to have your content aligned with your company values, in order to best represent your culture to potential employees.

Your existing and past employees have the power they have to influence your company's reputation through reviews on job search sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed. An external temperature check of review sites is a great first step to see what is being said about your company which is equally as important as investigating how employees are feeling. Sara suggests conducting stays interviews and making sure your internal employees are happy, and if they are not, then find out how you can improve their experience. It's also a good idea to check job sites such as Indeed or Glassdoor regularly to stay on top of feedback and be proactive about responding to both good and bad reviews. 

Top Of Funnel Strategies

Job Descriptions & Salary Transparency

One of the most effective ways to fill the top of the funnel is to construct clear and concise job descriptions. It is highly suggested to present the position with the required duties to fulfill the job and a day-to-day outlook so they know what to expect right off the bat.

 In some cases, companies have falsely advertised job salaries, which eventually came back to bite them once the word got out that the position actually pays significantly higher. Due to these discrepancies, there are some locations that are regulated to include a salary range when posting a job description. Rather than negotiating with candidates, you present the pay range and make them aware compensation is based on their level of experience, and allow them to choose if they see your company as a good fit for them.

It seems millennials and Gen Zers that are new to your hiring funnel, who may have been part of the workforce for 10 years or so, are no longer putting up with employers nickel and diming them. Executives and CEOs make a pretty penny, yet state they don't want money-hungry employees when really they're the ones that need to look in the mirror. It's time to share the wealth, and realize their employees have bills to pay too! Sara says it best...

"They cannot pay their mortgage, or their rent or their car payment with a jelly of the month club, pizza parties, a slide in the office, they need to have money in order to be able to take care of themselves."

It seems that honesty is the best policy when it comes to job postings and communication with employees today. 

Social Media

It's safe to say, the majority of people, at a prime working age, hold some type of digital footprint and might be interested in switching up careers. Whether you understand technology or not, now is the time to step out of your comfort zone and get familiar with emerging technologies. Sara is passionate about pushing for continuing education

As an HR talent acquisition professional, rather than counting on candidates coming to you because you're a startup or your company is so great, it should be your responsibility to get educated and adapt to the needs of the current labor market. This is not like the financial crisis of 2008 when people with steady jobs and steady pay held onto their jobs for dear life. Candidates have options now, and they hold the power, which is why you should be on social media connecting with the hidden cache of talent. Traditional job boards are no longer making the cut; sourcing talent in Facebook Groups, or staying connected with candidates through Instagram and Twitter. These are great ways to connect with and get to know candidates.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Another strategy to help fill your recruiting funnel with candidates is SEO which is simply the process of improving your website so it shows up in search results. When developing an inbound recruiting strategy, it's important to understand your candidate personas. A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your company's ideal applicant for a specific job role. When developing your candidate personas, ask yourself:

  • What questions are they asking?
  • What articles are they researching?
  • What's important to them when selecting a job? 

This step is important whether writing job descriptions, content for your careers page, publishing employment-related blog posts, launching a podcast, or posting on social media. 

Skills Testing & Pre-Employment Screening

When bringing candidates into your hiring funnel to build up your talent pipeline, rather than throwing caution to the wind, make sure you perform legally obligated testing. Sara recommends always consulting with legal and notes that many companies are joining the Second Chance hiring movement although some don't know what this actually means. Their interpretation sees it as boomerang employees returning after leaving, but second-chance hiring refers to someone that has a criminal background, which to some companies may seem taboo. Many companies that have overlooked this talent pool in the past individuals are now reconsidering them to fill skills gaps.

Another trend, in some cases, includes waiving drug testing requirements. Although, if you're talking about a CDL driver or heavy equipment operator, you don't want to risk them being impaired under the influence, and it is suggested to seek legal counsel for clarification.

Other than that, if there are steps you can eliminate to speed up the hiring process and be more competitive, it's worth consideration. As it relates to skills testing, one crucial aspect is to not insult a candidate's intelligence or experience. For example, if you are trying to hire a machinist for your manufacturing company, and you're considering someone with 10 years of experience, but requiring them to take a beginner class, that can be degrading. 

Resources

If you're new to HR, Talent Acquisition or simply want to learn more about what a hiring funnel is, Sara's free Udemy course will help you better understand the hiring process. This online course will help you understand what a hiring funnel is, potential problems that occur at various stages of the funnel, how to improve bottlenecks in the hiring process, and better understand the overall hiring process. Below are links to Sara's LinkedIn profile and her Udemy course, What Is A Hiring funnel:

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