Talent acquisition continues to confound distributors, who routinely list it as a pain point for their businesses, but by shifting from the quantity to the quality of applicants, you will improve your success rate, according to recruitment motivational speaker James Ellis.
"Most of your great prospects have no idea who you are," Ellis, self-described "crazy person," said at the Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International annual conference earlier this month in Las Vegas, NV.
And because of that, many companies wind up with way too many unqualified candidates for an open position. But by knowing your audience you can narrow your pool to only the applicants that would be a good fit for both the position and the company. Here are Ellis' tips for identifying stronger candidates in the hiring process.
1. Know your audience. This begins by knowing the demographic you're targeting (skill level, location, etc.); the typical application process (how and where they apply for jobs); and candidates' motivation for applying (are they likely after a good paycheck, a ladder to something better, etc.?).
2. Simplify the application process. Have you tried applying for one of your jobs? Don't make applicants fill out lengthy forms on your website, but instead try to make the process possible with only a smartphone. And don't forget social media as a key channel for sharing job postings.
3. Improve job titles. Ellis pointed out that many distributors post job openings with the blandest of titles, such as Warehouse Associate I. Remove any "junk" from the title and description (such as "great opportunity") and describe what the job really is – how they'll spend their time and how it helps the business.
4. Give them a reason to act. Getting a candidate to move down the application path – awareness of the job, interest in the job, deciding to apply and then actually applying – requires some effort on your part. By making the job description more colorful and the application process easier and then asking them to apply, you are encouraging qualified candidates to act.
5. Make them the hero of the candidate journey. What's in it for the applicant? By turning the hiring process into how candidates can help your company thrive – looking for a stellar salesperson who can grow revenue; in need of a warehouse manager who can streamline operations, etc. – you are showing them the value they'll bring.