A poor hiring process simply doesn’t cut it in today’s job market. The unemployment rate is low, and that means employers are fighting for top talent. If your recruitment process isn’t up to snuff, you’ll lose out on the talent war. The good news is that you can take steps now to improve your hiring process.

Tip #1: Stop losing great candidates to the ATS black hole.

Applicant tracking systems can help companies manage the hundreds – or even thousands – of job applications they receive. But if there are problems with these systems, the most qualified candidates could get lost in the process.

Applicant tracking systems typically use keywords to compare resumes to job descriptions. This can help recruiters find the best match, but only if the keywords are accurate. Job seekers have been advised to optimize their resumes for key words. Job descriptions must be similarly optimized. An inaccurate or outdated job description will result in inaccurate and outdated matches.

Problems can also arise when a job applicant is a perfect match – for a different position. Some applicant tracking systems are easier to manage than others and finding applications when you need them can sometimes prove more challenging than it should be.

Choose a good applicant tracking system. It should be easy to use, and it should make searching and following up simple. Then make sure your job descriptions are accurate.

Tip #2: Pay attention to your branding.

Companies need strong brands to attract customers. Likewise, recruiters need to leverage their companies’ strong brands to attract talent. For recruiting purposes, your brand must communicate a positive workplace culture. Prospective candidates have access to social media and websites like Glassdoor, which can give them insight into what working for a company is really like.

As an employer, you have to give candidates a reason to choose you – and a good salary and benefit package might not be enough. A Deloitte study found that 52 percent of millennials rank a positive work culture as “very important” when deciding which organization to work for. According to a study from BetterUp, more than 90 percent of people would accept a lower salary if it meant they could do more meaningful work.

People spend a good chunk of their waking lives at work. They want that time to be well spent. To attract workers, position your company as a rewarding place to work.

Tip #3: Enhance the candidate experience.

If candidates dislike your company’s hiring process, it may negatively taint their perspective on what it’s like to work for your company. Although some employers use tactics like the stress interview – a purposefully stressful process designed to test applicants – this method can scare away your best applicants. The application process is your chance to create a good first impression. Remember, while you are interviewing the candidate, the candidate is also interviewing you.

  • Be clear. Provide accurate job descriptions and transparent policies.
  • Don’t waste the applicant’s time. Show them that your company values and respects talent.
  • Be open and forthcoming. Allow the applicant to get to know your company.

Tip #4: Stay in touch.

You think you’ve found the perfect candidate. You schedule an interview or even make an offer. Then … crickets. You don’t hear anything from the candidate ever again. This practice is sometimes called ghosting, and there’s been a lot of talk about it recently. Hiring managers are understandably frustrated when it happens to them.

But here’s the thing – companies have been ghosting job candidates for decades. People apply for jobs. They go on interviews. They never hear back. Or maybe they do hear back, but it’s only after months have passed.

Good communication has to go both ways. If you want candidates to stay engaged in the hiring process, make an effort. Let them know what to expect and provide a reasonable timeline. Then, stay in touch with them throughout the process.

Need help attracting top talent? Contact Mulberry to take your recruiting and hiring strategies to the next level.