Written by Stephanie Mauney
27th September, 2022
Broadening the Hiring Pool
The hiring pool is the group of candidates that become applicants for a job requisition. When the applicant pool is small, it can be challenging to find a quality hire out of limited options. Employers in the current strained market may often face that disappointing moment when following up on a recently posted high-priority position.
The job has been published across a few job boards, on the company website, and shared on LinkedIn. All the typical sharing methods have been utilized, but applicants are not flooding in even after several days. Hiring managers may wonder how they can begin to attract a wider audience of qualified talent. There are a few ways in which employers can re-evaluate their hiring methods in order to engage a broader range of job seekers.
Skills Based Hiring
A transition to skills based hiring removes several barriers to candidates that do not meet minimum levels of education or years of experience. Learning to transition the mentality of hiring can be transformational for recruiting efforts. Thinking about what the job requires in terms of skills reaches candidates that are capable of completing all functions of the job, but don’t meet base level requirements leading to them being filtered out of applicants. For example, even a small change such as considering those who have a four year degree OR equivalent experience. This opens the jobs to all those who didn’t necessarily complete a bachelor’s degree, but have many years of well-developed experience making them qualified for the job.
Hiring managers should also review potentially transferable skills that would allow for a star candidate to be successful in the role. Consider an exiting teacher as an example; they may be highly organized, detail-oriented, and have excellent high stress management skills-all extremely valuable skills for many types of jobs. Employers should analyze the core skillsets that meet the needs of functional job duties. Listing these skillsets opens up the position to those applicants looking to make a career transition
Re-Evaluate Job Requirements
Coupled with a transition to skills based hiring, organizations can expand the applicant pool by re-evaluating job requirements for technical skills, software knowledge, and certifications. Limiting applicants to those that hold advanced skillsets or particular certifications leaves candidates with untapped potential out of the pool. Are there ways to offer on the job training? Can candidates agree to complete courses or obtain certifications after starting? A candidate that meets 75% of the job requirements, but lacks one missing skill could hold long tenured potential, especially when realizing that the company is willing to make a longtime investment in their professional development.
In today’s hiring world, remote and hybrid jobs are what almost every candidate is seeking. Of course, there are those trade, entertainment, service, and hospitality jobs that require in person work. Those employers must find other ways to offer flexibility. For those employers that are able, they should continue to review the ability to allow employees to work remotely. Offering a job remotely immediately widens the hiring pool extensively. Without geographical limitations, the number of potential candidates instantly expands exponentially. Offering the job regionally, nationally, or globally can have benefits in bringing not only more candidates, but a candidate pool of diverse applicants. Bringing diversity to the organization by drawing in employees from other cultures and areas has benefits that go well beyond successfully filling the role.
Get the Word Out
It is proven repeatedly that one of the best and most successful ways to fill an open role is with an internal referral. When employees refer their networks to the role, they come with an internal employee already vouching for their ability to do the job well. When traditional job boards, recruiters, or social media campaigns are not proving successful, employers should consider offering an employee referral bonus program. Encouraging already engaged employees to do recruiting within their own network can often draw in top talent. Employees hired from internal referrals tend to have longer than average tenure than the typical hire and are less expensive to hire.
Broadening the hiring pool is a challenge. It can be difficult to get key leaders behind a change in the hiring procedure, but the benefits far outweigh the barriers. When competing with a competitive market within a low unemployment economy, it is vital for employers to get creative in hiring practices. Widening the candidate pool with these tips is one way to draw in additional resumes for consideration.