15 Ways to Nurture Your Online Hiring Process

Word art about the hiring process

You may have realized that most hiring processes must be online to successfully attract and select top talent. You may have even implemented at this point some sort of technology to allow you to process employment applications and resumes online. Perhaps you even enrolled in other tools like hiring assessments, processing onboarding paper work online, or you added some recruiting tech to make job postings a little easier. If so, that is great – you are on the right track. However, you cannot stop there – if you fail to nurture your online hiring solution, you might as well not have one at all.

High tech is just the beginning

There are numerous additional activities that you must engage in to make your hiring tech actually result in improvements. It can help you, but it won’t do the work for you. There is still much to be done, however, the type of work you must engage in is just different. For example, you may have staffed well in the past without using any social media, but you spent a lot of time managing the process for receiving and reviewing employment applications. Your new online tech may help you spend much less time processing employment applications, but that free time now has to shift to engaging in social media, something you never had to do before, but you must do now to support your online process and the new candidate expectations associated with it.

You might wonder what you need to do to nurture your tech. We’ve put a list of 15 ways to help you ensure your online hiring process is effective. Now you just need to get to nurturing!

1. Know Your Candidate Traffic: Do you know where your candidates come from – especially the successful hires? Why do they come through that source? What other sources aren’t producing candidates? Why? Understand your traffic and look for opportunities to drive the right candidate pool to your online hiring process.

2. Examine the Length of the Hiring Process: Candidates have an increasingly lower tolerance for barriers to the hiring process. Is your hiring process streamlined? Can the employment application be shorter and focused on the most relevant information? Where do you have the most candidates drop out of the process? While candidate drop off can be good in that you can filter out those that aren’t dedicated or not very interested, if your process is unwieldy you are going to lose good candidates.

3. Understand Your Turnover: There are a number of ways to get at this, but if you don’t know why your people leave, then you can’t possibly know if your hiring process is designed to reduce your specific turnover problem (or if your problem has nothing to do with your hiring process at all). You might be hiring the perfect employees but you are driving them out for reasons that are occurring post hire.

4. Source the People that Don’t Finish Your Online Process: Your online process should be setup so that you can reach back out to anyone that at least begins the hiring process online. If you can’t reach these individuals or can’t do so easily in mass, you are missing out on a “second chance” with a large group of candidates. There should be a low barrier to entry, even if your entire process is longer in duration by design.

5. Share Candidates Between Locations: If you have multiple locations in close proximity, candidates should be shared between locations. This means that hiring managers need to have the tech and training to do this in every case possible.

6. Policy Set for Walk-Ins and Associated Training: If you receive candidates “off the street” at your business locations you should clearly define what happens when a candidate arrives with anyone that might interact with the candidate. Ensure that the process is consistently applied across all locations. You probably have “steps of service” of some kind for your customers – the same should be the case for your candidates.

7. Tablets at Your Locations and Providing Take-Aways: This can help street traffic apply quickly onsite and can also engage passive candidates that might be on location as a customer, but see the option to apply, even if they had never considered doing so previously. Consider also using a small card or flyer to provide candidates something to take away with them about next steps or the company in general.

8. Employee and/or Customer Referral Program: We know that employee and customer referrals tend to be one of the best sources of quality candidates. A good program can increase quality candidate flow and can even support successful onboarding by encouraging the referring team member to be personally invested in the new teammates’ success. The first step is creating one; the next step is creating a high awareness with your employees about how to use it.

9. Evaluate Your Hiring Step Order – and add a personal touch: A personal touch early on can help attract candidates to your brand and get them invested in the hiring process. Use caution with this type of adjustment, as it can quickly become much too manual/time consuming to be feasible. However, a small touch early on that is manageable can go a long way. Examples include: calling candidates within 24 hours of applying or adding in a short pre-screen interview as a first or early step in the process.

10. Evaluate Your Hiring “Model”: If you are using a multiple cut-off method where candidates are screened out at each step, consider the benefits of a compensatory approach where many steps are considered before eliminating candidates.  For example, instead of eliminating candidates after an assessment, and then after the first interview, consider using them both as inputs into an overall decision. Perhaps even the reverse can be done to help improve your process. Each methodology has pros and cons, but considerable thought should be given into how each step works and if it is the best method for the position, step, and candidate volume. For example, many skills can be taught – are you immediately eliminating candidates according to a skill that could be trained on the job?

11. Add a Realistic Job Preview (RJP) to the Hiring Process: RJPs increase candidate interest in your brand and highlight elements that are uniquely positive, or inclined to attract, the type of people that would fit your culture. This might involve communicating unique elements of your brand, or it might mean figuring out what you need to add to attract the best candidates. While this can be done using a variety of methods, videos and interactive self-assessments are becoming popular for sharing what is great about your brand and whether a candidate is likely to fit.

12. Stylize Your Job Posting Language: Communication with candidates can greatly influence their interest in your brand and hiring process. Consider whether your email language or posting language could be improved, especially for initial hiring steps. Is it boring? Does it sound like your brand or a bureaucratic list of sterile job tasks? Boring job postings don’t engage candidates and fail to generate interest.

13. Tailor Your Candidate Communication: Of course, all of this assumes you close the loop with all individuals that apply. Are you guilty of leaving candidates frustrated because they don’t know what happened to their application, or where they are in the hiring process?

14. Examine Your Onboarding Process: In an ideal world, your hiring process is intimately connected with your onboarding process as both are strongly related to tenure – especially in the first 90 days. Make recruiting easier by reducing turnover because of lackluster onboarding. If your new hires don’t feel special and part of the team right away, you are now fighting to prove why they should not leave from the start.

15. Establish Evergreen Hiring: You probably aren’t always keeping jobs “posted” or listed as “open.” Always accepting applications from candidates not only generates a talent pool that can be immediately sourced when the need arises, but it also creates an opportunity to reroute candidates who apply for one position into one of better fit whenever possible.

Notice that many of these activities are not one-time events. In the true sense of the word, they are nurturing activities in that they need to be maintained for your online hiring process to continue to thrive. Also notice that they often are not just carried out by HR. Being able to effectively attract, recruit, and onboard remarkable people often involves the entire team. Your team should know their roles and be trained to engage candidates effectively.

Consider these 15 methods and consider how nurturing you and your team are with your hiring process. To learn more about about how to build a hiring process download the eBook below.

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