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3 ways to revamp your hiring process to bring in and keep top talent

Jenny Battershell director of marketing Goodwin Recruiting
Jenny Battershell
Jenny Battershell is the director of marketing at Goodwin Recruiting, a full-service recruiting firm. Battershell spent nine years as Goodwin's director of sales and four more as the marketing and client relations manager before moving into her current role.

Due to changes in the workplace in a post-pandemic world, upskilling and reskilling are now paramount to a company’s talent management strategy when competing for the best talent. Shifts in the global economy require organizations to alter their approaches to hiring talent, especially as previous tactics, such as hiring based on location, are no longer viable for finding the best employees. Hiring talent is no longer about a specific location but rather the technical and professional skill sets that companies need to attract.

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Evaluating employees and new hires based on transferable job skills instead of work histories can help level the playing field while also allowing HR leaders to capitalize on the talent they already have. Because transferable skills are highly valued in the modern era, skill-based hiring practices allow for more diverse talent pools and often lead to more improved and effective hiring processes in the long run.

That said, skill sets have a set amount of time before their usefulness becomes obsolete, an issue that technology and healthcare recruiting firms are very familiar with. In 2017, the half-life of the average learned skill was about five years. In 2021, this number dropped to four. This means that, four years from now, the current skill set of the workforce will be worth half as much as it is today. The half-life of technical skills is even shorter: They typically have two-and-a-half years of relevance before newer and better skills are required.

To keep up with the demand, organizations must rethink their hiring practices, focusing on growth and development opportunities for new hires. Companies that teach necessary skills to employees allow new talent to stay motivated, learn and grow. In some cases, HR leaders can find success by hiring candidates with proficient skills in some areas, and then upskilling the other areas through training to meet specific job demands. Doing so allows both employees and employers to prosper, as the employees get to learn and grow in their career paths, and the employers can foster successful, substantial talent.

Why should companies consider remote hiring?

Recruiting employees begins with understanding what each individual job requires and hiring candidates with the right attitudes. An employer can better match its hired candidate to the job with training and development if the employee has the right attitude to begin with. Being willing to learn new things and tell their story are key. It is no longer about being at the right place at the right time.

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Given that an estimated 74% of U.S. companies are using or planning to implement permanent hybrid work models going forward, more jobs will be available uncoupled from specific locations. In such work environments, it’s imperative for HR and hiring leaders to begin utilizing effective hiring practices that attract top remote talent. Many jobs, particularly in functional roles like finance, technology, sales and customer service, are well-suited for remote hiring. This means the job and the person doing the job are no longer limited by geography.

Remote hiring opens the talent pool immensely, as HR teams no longer need to limit their searches within a geographic sphere. Even small companies with effective hiring practices, compelling employee value propositions and worthwhile cultures can compete against larger organizations for top talent as these values become paramount to employees. As a bonus, remote workers are often more productive and happier, particularly in major cities, as commute times can be a derailer.

Effective hiring practices to attract and retain top talent

Are you ready to expand your hiring search? Here’s how you can locate, attract and retain talent in the shifting job marketplace:

  1. Write job descriptions from the candidate’s perspective.

Hiring teams should write job descriptions that attract candidates and limit unnecessary jargon that would only confuse and repel potential candidates. List the essential traits and requirements for the role without making a laundry list of characteristics so specific and redundant that you turn top talent away instead of sparking their interest.

Use language that speaks to the value of the position and company while also showing why candidates should consider working for your business. Writing from the candidate’s perspective allows you to step into a job seeker’s shoes and view your company more objectively, ultimately opening opportunities for reform and improvement along the way.

  1. Tailor benefits to appeal to the ideal candidates for the role.

As a rule of thumb for best hiring practices, ensure that your benefits are strong enough to attract candidates to your business over the competition. These benefits could include childcare, vacation days, parking and transportation perks, community service opportunities and DEI programs.

Consider all the benefits you can provide to your ideal candidates, and keep in mind that work/life balance is especially critical. In fact, 40% of job candidates around the world rank flexibility in the top-three factors they consider when making career decisions. When you can offer flexible schedules, hybrid or even remote work environments, and additional benefits, top new talent will be more likely to choose your company over your competitors.

  1. Create opportunities for growth and development.

Candidates and employees alike place significant value on career prospects, such as on-the-job training and future promotions. You can meet these requirements by creating targeted development opportunities and other programs, such as tuition-reimbursement opportunities.

You can also use development and coaching to attract skilled employees by having career pathways based upon tenure and role. As you compete for top new talent, it’s important to also remain committed to developing current employees to ensure your business is performing to the best of its ability and giving employees space to be their best selves.

Hiring great employees isn’t difficult when your company is desirable to top talent. In a competitive hiring environment, establishing a robust organizational culture and opportunities for individuals to grow are the best ways to attract excellent talent. Employees favor organizations with positive environments, competitive benefits and prospects for progress. HR leaders can fulfill workers’ hiring, onboarding and career expectations by delivering the incentives, work/life balance and career progression chances that workers desire. Ultimately, this will allow your business to attract and retain top talent in the new world of hiring.