The 3 Steps You Need to Take If You Want to Hire Top Talent in a Post-Pandemic Job Market

Posted by Mark Bohdanyk on June 25, 2021

It seems a little counterintuitive that, even though unemployment levels in the US are still hovering over 5%, companies are still struggling to hire the right people. One thing is clear - the skills gap isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it’s getting worse, thanks to the radical shift to digital brought on by COVID-19. 

For today’s businesses, hiring and retaining top talent is becoming a make or break issue. Top performers in today’s complex technical roles can be up to 800 times more productive than average performers. In other words, your next hires may well be your single greatest competitive advantage. 

The trouble is that the pandemic has radically altered - well, pretty much everything. Including what job seekers are looking for in their next role. Luring those superstar performers away from the competition will require a serious recruitment rethink. 

Here are 3 key areas to upgrade, if you’re keen to scoop up top talent this year: 

1) Amp up your employer brand 

As the job market picks up again, employees are considering their options. COVID-19 shone a spotlight on how businesses really treat their staff - leaving many disgruntled employees ready for a change. 

25% of workers are planning to leave their jobs in the next 12 months, with the majority citing burnout as the cause.  The New York Times calls it the “YOLO Economy” - white collar workers, disillusioned by their neglectful employers, exhausted by 10 hour days of Zoom calls, and with plenty of unspent savings in the bank, are chucking it all in for high-risk ventures or better work-life balance. 

For companies looking to steal a march on the competition, this offers a tremendous opportunity to recruit top performers. If your business was one of those who figured out how to support your employees during the pandemic, now is your time to shine. 

Here’s how:  

  • Make sure that your job listings, Careers page and social media all showcase the support initiatives you offer your staff - such as mental health support, meditation classes, wellness programs or childcare funding. 

  • Emphasize the opportunities for flexible working hours or working from home. A flexible schedule is a must-have for up to 88% of quality candidates, according to Glassdoor.

  • Reassure candidates by adapting your hiring process to them where possible - for instance, by allowing them to choose their interview slot and keeping the recruitment process effortless and transparent. 

  • Demonstrate a sincere commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity. Many top candidates have been underwhelmed by their employers’ “shallow” DEI initiatives. Standing out from the crowd will mean defining and implementing a long-term, measurable strategy to promote DEI, and living by those values at an operational level.
2) Upgrade your candidate experience 

Today’s job seekers expect to have a great digital experience with your company - or they may well just not bother to complete their application. During the pandemic, we all became so used to doing everything online, our tolerance for a frustrating digital experience has fallen dramatically. 

It’s time for recruiters to start thinking like marketers. It’s not all about the top end of the pipeline - what are your bounce rates like? How many candidates take one look at your lengthy, off-site application form and just give up? Are you asking candidates to repeat their contact details again and again? 

After all, there’s no point spending time and effort creating a stand-out employer brand - only to lose your top candidates before they’ve even finished completing their first application form. 

To get this right: 

  • Start by applying for one of your own jobs. Is it a pain? Are you making it hard for the right people to apply? 

  • Look for opportunities to build your brand into the experience. Can you customize the process? Can you embed your Applicant Tracking System into your website, instead of sending candidates off-page? Have you defined a company voice to use in your job listings? 

  • And, speaking of job listings - are yours terrible? By which I mean - are they totally generic? If they are, then you’re likely to find yourselves buried in unsuitable applicants within minutes of publication - especially given the current state of unemployment  

  • Instead, consider the job description to be a love letter to your dream candidate. Be specific. Be detailed. Above all, be honest!

3) Overhaul your recruitment strategy and toolkit

In the post-pandemic world, it’s time to take a long hard look at our recruitment tools, sources and processes. For starters, restricting yourselves to traditional talent pools, such as leading universities, makes no sense when today’s top candidates may have been just as likely to pick up the necessary professional skills on their own, from a laptop in their living room. 

What’s more, Harvard Business Review points out, conventional skills-based hiring doesn’t work if the skills required for a role can change in a matter of weeks. Within the next 18 months, jobs in key functions like IT, finance or sales will require as many as 10 new skills. By the time a candidate has been selected, their skills will already be slipping out of date.   

Finally, today’s recruiters need to be able to hire remotely. This isn’t as simple as shifting everything over to video call. Zoom fatigue is real - and faulty internet connection is a terrible reason to miss out on a great new hire. 

To keep your top candidates excited to join your team, consider: 

  • Offering asynchronous processes where possible, to make the recruitment experience easier on both the candidates and your hiring team. For instance, use a video interview software like SparkHire to let candidates complete the initial screening phase in their own time. Your team can then review the videos at leisure.

  • Start hiring for potential, rather than technical skills.  Today’s top candidates may not have the big name credentials - rather, you might want to look out for people who can learn new things fast. 

Markers like a broad range of experience, transferable skills, a strong sense of initiative and hgh levels of curiosity may prove more useful than previous experience in an identical role. 

Consider increasing your focus on internal hiring. It may be far more cost effective - not to mention great for employee morale - to upskill an existing top employee at your company, than it is to hire a new one who already has the skill required. 

  • Upgrade your toolkit. You’ll need a platform that supports internal hiring, but also allows you to promote external jobs to both passive and active candidates. You’ll also need to make sure that your tools have the sensitivity to preserve security while working with confidential postings externally. 

  • Level up your team. While you might be used to working with a specific recruitment agency, no one agency is likely to be able to specialize in every field and function. As a result, you’ll be stuck waiting while they scramble to find the ideal candidate - while leaving money on the table. 

With a platform like RecruiterShare®, you can be connected with rated and vetted recruiters anywhere in the world within minutes, and without paying crazy agency fees. Think crowdsourcing - but for top recruiters. You’ll be able to find and hire top talent faster and better than anyone else.  

Summing up, to scoop top talent from under the noses of the competition in today’s post-pandemic job market, you’ll need to: 

  1. Create and promote a strong and genuine employer brand; 
  2. Think like a marketer, and make sure that the experience of getting hired at your company is enjoyable, engaging and unique; 
  3. Get the tools and processes in place to hire remotely, hire for potential, hire outside the usual talent pools, and hire fast. 

If you’d like to know more about how RecruiterShare could help your business find and hire top talent in today’s post-pandemic world, please click here to read more about us - or set up a free consultation call with us over here. 

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