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How to prepare your recruiting team for 2020

2020 is almost upon us. While turning the page to a new year can be rejuvenating, it also brings its fair share of challenges that impact a company’s hiring, screening and recruiting process. That’s why it’s vital to prepare your recruiting team the right way to ensure a strategic advantage in our ever-changing industry.

Analyze the 2020 Recruiting Environment

Before ringing in the new year, determine the recruitment environment by anticipating hiring needs for 2020.

To start, companies need to analyze their business plan and make estimates about how many positions will need to be filled. During this process, consider workplace shifts that may happen as a result of promotions, lateral moves or attrition. Not only will it determine the recruitment environment in 2020, it can build pipelines as you go to speak with candidates about potential job opportunities for the entire year.

Once hiring needs are determined, it’s time to look at historical data. When doing this, analyze the average number of applicants, time to hire and applicant-processing time for each department with hiring needs. Typically, this information can be found in your applicant-tracking system and can provide useful insights.

Also see: 2020 trends for HR to consider

As a result, organizations can better forecast hiring needs, which translates into greater efficiency, fewer open positions and a greater likelihood of hiring success.

Finalize Recruitment-Marketing Plan

Today, LinkedIn isn’t enough. In 2020, refocus efforts on marketing to create an irresistible employer brand that engages with more job candidates. This can be accomplished in the following ways:

  • Revitalizing career sites. One of the ways to improve recruitment marketing is by revitalizing your career website, which is shown to have the highest percentage of hires. However, a recent report from Talemetry showed that many Fortune 500 companies lack career-site maturity. In fact, around 40% of Fortune 500 rely on their ATS only or link jobs to their ATS job-search results and descriptions. By making major improvements to a career site, employers will be able to unlock new opportunities to engage with more high-quality candidates.
  • Fine-tune sourcing. Many companies are overspending on job boards and staffing agencies. These channels account for nearly half of sourcing spend but yield only 35% of your applicants. Combat this by rethinking that spend and strategy. Fortunately, there are many technologies that allow recruiting teams to fine-tune sourcing efforts based on which job-site locations are driving the largest pool of applicants. As a result, recruiters can surpass goals while being more cost-effective.
  • Social recruiting. If social media isn’t part of your recruitment-marketing plan, 2020 is the perfect year to incorporate it. Today, more than 73% of people age 18-34 have found jobs via social channels, and 21% of job seekers reported finding their “dream job” through social channels. In addition to helping recruit top talent, it’s a more affordable option and also tells a story about how your company is treating its employees.

Implement Conversational Recruiting

Ghosting is no longer just a dating phenomenon. It’s a practice that’s skyrocketed over the past two years. In fact, more than 83% of recruiters have experienced “ghosting” from applicants during the hiring process.

One of the main reasons job seekers ghost is because many recruiters are still using a single-channel approach, which will not win you the war for talent. These tactics are more transactional than relational and can make the process take longer, which can turn candidates off. In today’s day and age, it’s all about building strong candidate relationships by effectively streamlining communication.

Fortunately, recruiters can avoid these problems by implementing a candidate-centric model with “conversational recruiting.” This flips the traditional administrative-centric model to one where candidates are at the center of the process. To accomplish this, recruiters need to make it easier to connect with candidates and vice versa, with 100% digital and mobile engagement, including video and social-media networks.

Not only will it deliver an unbeatable candidate experience in the new year, but it will also decrease overall time to hire.

This Includes Text Messaging

In today’s fierce talent market, recruiters need new, innovative tools to talk to candidates where they’re already researching and applying for jobs–on their phones. That’s why texting offers recruiters an incredible way to connect with candidates in real time and engage in conversations that matter.

With billions of text messages sent every day, texting is viewed as convenient, less disruptive and more personal, which is why it enjoys the highest read and response rates of all communication channels. Studies also show that today’s candidates would rather text than talk. A recent Jobvite report highlighted that more than 64% of workers who receive a text after applying for a job preferred this type of communication over email or phone call.

Related: How to make mobile recruiting work for you

Not only does texting help candidates engage with recruiters on their own turf, it also allows hiring teams to work more efficiently and reduce time to hire with the use of intelligent text-based chatbots. This enables recruiting teams to save hundreds of hours not having to schedule and conduct phone screens with unqualified candidates and spend more time engaging in conversations that matter.

In fact, on average, recruiters who use this technology can disqualify candidates in 52 seconds and save 922 recruiting hours per year–reaching 10 times more candidates per day than before.

If your recruiting team isn’t taking advantage of texting or AI-powered chatbots, then you’re already behind. Now is the time to start building a framework that incorporates these tools into your 2020 recruitment process to better engage with both active and passive candidates.

Revitalize Onboarding

Studies have shown that nearly half of new hires leave their new position within a year. While many factors can play a role in this, a good first impression is important. A bad first day can result in candidates walking out the door, and then you’re back to recruiting for a replacement.

With U.S. companies devoting an average of 24 days and $4,000 to identify and hire each new employee, the incentives to keep that employee in the organization are high. Yet, 35% of companies spend no money on onboarding. This needs to change. Onboarding has proven to be effective, yet only a small fraction of companies utilize it.

See also: Boost retention by making your onboarding program strategic

To fix this, the onboarding process should start from when you’re hired through the first 90 days and include strategies that make new employees feel welcomed, get socialized and prepared for their role. Furthermore, revitalize it by making the process totally digital and centralizing all tasks, which allows you to get new hires working more quickly than ever before. Finally, don’t forget to track employees’ progress to tell whether or not your onboarding plan is working and, more significantly, if your company is retaining new hires.

Overall, taking these steps will reduce administrative costs, improve time to productivity and lead to happier employees.

Aman Brar is CEO of Jobvite.