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8 Must-follow recruiting strategies for hard-to-fill positions

8 Must-follow recruiting strategies for hard-to-fill positions

Hiring hourly workers comes with a unique set of challenges you may or may not be aware of. In this blog post, we walk through ways to optimize your hiring process for positions that aren’t always easy to fill.

If you’re a business that hires hourly workers, you may have a few coveted job openings that you just can’t fill. Why? Because you’re competing with thousands of others employers who hire hourly workers. To attract applicants to these hard-to-fill positions, recruiters need to embrace creativity and persistence, and develop the right strategies to source and recruit the kinds of workers who will add real value to the business.

Below, we reveal 8 must-follow recruiting strategies to help you recruit workers for your hard-to-fill positions. 

What is a recruiting strategy?

A recruiting strategy, also known as a recruiting plan or recruiting strategy plan, is a formal document that identifies and explains the actions your recruitment team plans to take to source, qualify, and hire the best candidates to fill your open positions. Ideally, you would create a strategy for each stages of the recruitment funnel so hiring managers have an idea of how to recruit at each stage. These stages can include (but are not limited to):

  • Writing job descriptions
  • ‍Sourcing candidates
  • Recruiting candidates
  • Closing placements

How to create a recruiting strategy for hourly workers

To create the most effective recruiting plan for hard to fill positions, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I ultimately want from a recruitment strategy?
  • Where are my current bottlenecks that seem to cause applicants to get stuck?
  • How will I measure the success of my recruitment strategy?
  • What specific recruitment metrics should I track?
  • If I identify the need for change, how will I go about making this change?
  • What software or other options are available on the market that can help me improve my hiring process?

Once you’ve made a list of questions that your strategy should answer, you can start 

building the pieces for each stage of the hiring funnel.:

8 Recruiting strategies for hourly workers

Some positions are more difficult to fill than others; for example, those that require specialized training in industries such as manufacturing or transportation, or roles in rural areas.

Here are some recruiting strategies to include in your plan to hire for hard to fill positions.

1. Sourcing strategies for hourly jobs

Here are some effective recruitment techniques to help you hire hourly workers:

  • Use your applicant tracking system (ATS) to store candidates’ details. 
  • Pro tip: A Labor ATS that is designed specifically for hourly roles can ensure you have the right hiring funnel set up for evergreen job openings. 
  • Implement a referral system to incentivize your employees to help you with your search.
  • Pro tip: Keep track of incoming referral candidates and relevant information within the candidate profiles section of your Labor ATS.
  • Use social media recruiting.
  • Pro tip: Diversifying your recruitment channels, in addition to using a Labor ATS designed with candidates in mind, will help boost the number of candidates who complete the application process. 
  • Leverage online job postings across multiple networks. 
  • Pro tip: Use your Labor ATS to craft a job description and post the opening to multiple job websites at the same time.

2. Think of candidates like customers

Candidates expect your hiring process to be smooth and easy. They’ve adopted the Amazon Prime mindset, where they want to spend the least amount of time to get the maximum results. Therefore, every part of your recruiting solutions for hard to fill positions should be geared toward making the best impression and providing a seamless candidate experience.

To achieve this, you should:

Respect the candidate’s time

Communicate with candidates at different stages of the recruitment funnel to ensure that they’re up to date on what’s happening, even if they haven’t secured the job. Just because they’re unsuitable for the position in mind doesn’t mean they shouldn’t receive adequate communication.

Brand your company to attract for hard to fill positions

Every communication that goes out to candidates should reflect your brand. Keep your brand identity, tone of voice, and a high level of courtesy, regardless of whether the candidates are invited to the next stage in the recruitment funnel.

Using a mobile-first platform, for example, can help provide the best candidate experience with its mobile-first platform. One example is interview scheduling: it’s straightforward, easy, and takes just a few clicks. Candidates can select time slots based on the availability of the hiring manager. Candidates also can create video-recorded interviews straight from their mobile device.

Another way candidates can quickly complete the hiring process is through electronic document signing and document uploads. As for messaging, you can communicate seamlessly with different candidates through SMS and WhatsApp capabilities.

3. Look for ways to reduce time-to-hire 

Reducing time-to-hire is a key part of an employee recruitment strategy. If you take too long to make contact or move your candidates through the recruitment funnel, your competitors will step in to snap them up.

If you show that you value your candidates’ time, they’re more likely to believe that you will value their time as employees. The recruiting tool you select to underpin your recruitment strategy for hard to fill positions should significantly reduce time-to-hire.

Find out how to reduce your time-to-hire by 50% or more.

To drive home the point of how slow time-to-hire metrics affect your business, here are a few ways your company might suffer:

  • You can lose the best candidates.
  • You can have a reduction in productivity and revenue.
  • Your company’s reputation can be damaged.

Because there are different processes as part of the greater recruiting strategy, it can be difficult to decide what’s causing bottlenecks. For example, it could be one or more of the following factors:

  • Approving requisitions
  • Scheduling interviews
  • Interview roadblocks

While the cause can be difficult to identify, it’s imperative to address the known bottlenecks to improve time-to-hire. 

To test whether your optimized hiring funnel is getting you the results you want, activate your ATS’s analytics dashboard. This dashboard can provide high-level metrics and clear insight into your recruiting plan and how your funnel is performing.

Additionally, you can get more detailed analyses on:

  • ‍Stage metrics: To help you visualize what’s causing delays and how you can troubleshoot them.
  • Conversion rates: The number of applicants who complete the entire hiring process.
  • ‍Interview attendance: Find out how many applicants actually attend interviews compared to how many might be dropping off.
  • ‍Workflow speed: Keep an eye on your workflow and know when a specific process needs adjusting to increase speed.
  • Cost-per-hire: Find out how much it costs to hire one person and track this metric as you make tweaks to your funnel over time.
  • Cost-per-applicant: Similar to cost-per-hire, this metric explains how much it costs to bring applicants into your funnel.
  • Applicant volume: Get an idea of how many applicants you’ve been able to move through the funnel. 

4. Write compelling and concise job descriptions

You need to attract the right candidate with good, solid job descriptions. Without an eye-catching job description, you won’t be able to engage the best candidates.

Here are a few tips for writing the perfect job descriptions:

  • ‍Your title should be as clear and precise as possible. Avoid using ambiguous language in the job title. As soon as your ideal candidate sees the job title, they should be driven to read further.
  • ‍Include a detailed summary. This is where you sell the job to the candidate so they’re encouraged to start the application process.
  • ‍Make the job description as brief as possible. Include only the fundamentals of the role, like day-to-day duties and the skills and qualifications they’ll need to have to succeed.
  • Clarify schedule expectation and pay. Applicants expect to know what’s expected of them, so include this vital information in your job description to avoid wasting time for both applicants and recruiters.
  • Mention opportunities for advancement or include a sample career path so they know that accepting a job with your company means they’ll have the chance to grow and learn. 

Click here to see examples of job description templates.

5. Use social media channels to build your employer brand

No serious employee recruitment strategy would be complete without the use of social media. This is now a must-have recruitment tool for sourcing candidates. Using social media will enable you leverage connections and sharing to greater networks. Even if the person who sees your job posting isn’t interested or a good fit, they may know someone who is and share it with them.

Social media shouldn’t just be used for posting jobs. It’s also an ideal platform to show your workplace culture.

Click here to learn about five companies who are doing social recruiting right.

As a recruitment technique, your human resources team can be active on social media to show your company in the best light. They can also actively search for potential candidates and encourage them to apply for open roles. Your company should have a strong presence on social media so that when jobs come up, interested candidates already have an idea of what it’s like to work with you.

6. Use both free and paid platforms 

Thousands of jobs are posted to free job platforms like Indeed and Monster every day. Therefore, it could be difficult for your ideal candidates to see your posting if these are the only platforms you use. Ask yourself, are free job boards still relevant in job recruiting today? The answer is, absolutely. Click here to read why.

Another way to expand your search is to join specialist networks to source candidates who are in high demand. For example, a medical professional network can help you source applicants working in this field, since they’re not usually on general job boards.

7. Re-engage former employees to fill empty positions

Re-engaging former employees who have left to fulfill other obligations can help you fill roles when your busy season hits, or they can provide recommendations for workers who might have gaps in their schedule and are looking to fill them.

Additionally, a referral program can incentivize current employees to make recommendations of people who might be a good fit for open roles. If your employees are happy working for your company, they will have no issue with making recommendations. This is a good way to use your employees as brand ambassadors and provide them with rewards if their referral is hired.

8. Add flexibility into your hiring process

When designing your employee recruitment strategy, ensure there’s a degree of flexibility offered to candidates. The growing contingent workforce shows that more people value flexibility so they can enjoy an appropriate work-life balance.

Your recruitment strategy for hard to fill positions should include ways you can help employees not only enjoy their time at work, but also their time away. Provide extra perks like working from home, a collaborative open office environment, or even company social events. 

Conclusion: Recruiting strategies to fill your hiring funnel with quality talent

These 8 recruiting ideas are the first steps you should take to get an optimized recruitment system off the ground. But these plans can only be effective if you have the right recruiting tools to support them. As job applicants and candidates become savvier, they expect everything to work like clockwork. If not, they’ll have no problem abandoning their application. 

By focusing on a customized candidate experience, accelerating time-to-hire, and making your recruiting solution as easy and swift as possible, you’ll nail your recruiting strategy and get the highest quality workers on your payroll before your competition.