Hiring is arguably tougher than ever before in today’s tight labor market. Employers can’t find the employees they need because candidates have jobs they’re satisfied with, or just aren’t moving—Workforce Logiq data shows 72 percent of workers aren’t likely to switch jobs in the next year due to fear of an economic downturn—or ample options drive workers to be extremely choosy, selling their skills to the highest bidder.
On top of that, human resources teams are tight for capacity. With job openings at nearly seven million and the unemployment rate at four percent, the hiring process isn’t easy and it’s taking longer for employers to find the right candidates for the job. The average length of the hiring process in the U.S. is 23.8 days—which speaks to the time it takes to read through each candidate’s resume, cover letter, and other hiring materials, as well as conduct interviews. HR managers across the country are asking themselves how they can hire more efficiently and alleviate process burdens on their teams. The answer lies in a few key hiring trends and advanced technologies.
Skipping the face-to-face interview. Hiring candidates unseen
A surprising new trend hiring teams are adopting to combat capacity and inefficiency issues is hiring candidates without ever meeting them. This trend of hiring “sight unseen” was initially popular within the retail industry, specifically for seasonal gigs. Employers were craving a way to fill openings quickly and because it was taking too much time to meet all candidates face-to-face, determined that a resume and simple phone call would suffice when fitting someone for a position.
However, the trend is now expanding into highly specialized fields, such as engineering, IT and education—not because organizations want to have an impersonal recruiting strategy, but rather because they are trying to fill open positions as quickly as possible with today’s available, competitive talent.
While this hiring method seems to offer a quick fix, it does not lend itself to effective screening that leads to long-term talent productivity and retention. That’s a problem because the average turnover cost of an employee can reach upwards of $15,000 and the chances of employee exits grow exponentially without due diligence and proper screening to make sure they are the right candidate for the position.
It can take three to six months on the job before a hire has added substantial value, so if organizations don’t get hiring right from the outset, the time and costs required to reset delays results even more.
These issues leave employers asking themselves, “How do we go about finding the right people quickly, without skipping important steps in the screening process?”
AI takes the talent search farther (and faster)
One of the misconceptions of today’s labor market is that the right talent does not exist. The talent does indeed exist, but companies don’t always leverage the right tools to find the best candidates. One of the biggest disruptors for the talent supply chain is artificial intelligence (AI). This advanced tool, applied to hiring workflows, is making it much easier for HR and procurement teams to find new, qualified talent that meets demand—and reach candidates with specialized, unique skill sets who otherwise might never have been found. By using AI, the hiring process can be more proactive and efficient, reducing the amount of paperwork overload and addressing team capacity issues and process inefficiencies that are known to plague the talent procurement process.
AI empowers hiring and procurement teams to make smarter and faster hiring decisions by using the technology’s advanced “match” algorithms. These algorithms, which should be based on global data and programmed to take in the largest and most in-depth data set possible to limit bias, can help to find the most qualified candidate based on a mix of various hard skills, including experience and technical proficiencies, as well as soft skills, such as body language and communications skills. With this technology, hiring managers can prioritize their time for reviewing candidates that AI finds instead of spending countless hours trying to just locate the right candidates. The result: hiring teams can find the best-suited candidate for the job and reduce the amount of time humans would waste filing through prospects that would be the wrong fit or don’t meet the specific job criteria.
Open your search to contingent workers
It’s also important to note today’s work culture shift and how hiring contingent, or gig, workers can add value and benefit to your organization. Roughly one-third of today’s workforce consists of contingent workers, and by 2020, that number is expected to grow upwards to 50 percent. Technology is making it easier for people across the globe to work remotely, allowing for increased workforce flexibility. The addition of contingent workers opens up the talent pool even further for employers because it breaks down all physical employment barriers and gives companies a better shot at securing the specific skillsets for which they are looking. It’s still important to extensively screen candidates for short-term or contract positions and make sure they are a cultural fit, but the process can take less time than searching for full-time employees and reduces capacity issues for the internal team.
It’s clear that corners cannot be cut during the hiring process. Employers and HR managers must rely on tech, outside expertise and alternative labor models to be more efficient in targeting their searches to find the right candidates. Better hiring practices lead to better retention rates and lower turnover costs. It is crucial for companies to place a greater importance on finding the right talent and skill for the workforce today, as it will impact the workforce of tomorrow.
About the author: Fatime Doczi joined Workforce Logiq in August 2018, as Chief Human Resources Officer. Previously, she led the worldwide HR organization as Executive VP, Human Resources with Advanced Discovery, a global e-Discovery, and risk management firm. Fatime possesses 15 years of global human resources experience in diverse industries, including consumer goods, hospitality and healthcare as VP, Talent Management, Kindred Healthcare, and VP, HR at the Wyndham Hotel Group. She holds a BS/BA in Management & Global Business from Rider University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.