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Steve Jobs once said, “The secret to my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” With over 264,000 recruiters employed in the United States, there are legions of people vying to get top talent to fill their positions. The most sought-after potential employees only look for a job for an average of 10 days. Knowing what to do — and what not to do — can be the very thing that helps you land that prize employee.
“Candidate expectations for how they want to be communicated with have changed drastically. They want a recruiter that is vulnerable, empathic and listens to them for clarity and understanding,” explains Trevor Bogan, Regional Director of the Americas Top Employers Institute.
Companies also want recruiters who are adaptable, and who stay abreast of the latest trends.
We’ll discuss what recruiters did in the past that was successful, what you should stop doing in 2024 so you can keep attracting talent and what trends can make you more competitive with nabbing future employees.
What worked in 2023?
At the start of 2023, a staggering 96% of all workers were looking for another job. Recruiters had a prime opportunity to woo top talent and employed several strategies to fill positions.
“Utilizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices helped recruiters hire more productive and creative teams. With candidates showing a preference for companies with these practices, as well as the practices themselves uncovering new talent, DE&I helped organizations make big strides in meeting their hiring goals,” explains Heather Tenuto, CEO of The Muse.
While DEI programs did face scrutiny and even cutbacks as the year progressed, they were still impactful to the hiring process. So much so, that experts predict they will continue being an important part of securing new employees in 2024.
Employers also gave less weight to resumes and CVs, and more weight to the job duties themselves. “Instead of relying on traditional qualifications, recruiters put emphasis on skill-based hiring, so candidates were assessed and hired based on their skills and abilities towards specific tasks,” states Armine Pogosyan, IT HR Director at Dyninno Group.
Clear, concise job postings gave way to a smoother hiring process for HR professionals and job seekers. In addition to being forthright about job requirements, hours and even potential benefits, companies also gave more details about workplace options.
“Organizations that offered remote work and/or flexible hours options were able to retain their talent and attract top candidates. Even businesses that offer less flexibility were able to make gains by being very clear about their policies and expectations,” says Tenuto.
Using technology in more productive ways helped recruiters simplify the hiring process. “Technology is the enabler of identifying and harvesting the new improvement opportunities in both the way the work is being performed, and the output of the work. So probably it is not that surprising that technology played a pivotal role in recruitment in 2023,” Pogosyan notes.
Employee referral programs were another successful tactic in 2023. In fact, 84% of businesses put the programs in place. The goal is to have people who already know the company, its culture, and its values, bring in people who they know would be a good fit. Research shows that businesses save money when they make an employee referral hire. And an employee who comes through the referral program is 40% more likely to stay with the company after a year than non-referral employees.
Strategic choices benefitted recruiters and their companies in 2023. Some practices, however, are no longer serving them or potential hires. Insight into those strategies is what will help recruiters rise to the challenge of getting top talent in 2024.
What should recruiters stop doing in 2024?
While it’s great to know what worked last year, knowing what not to do as you move forward is just as valuable.
Stop neglecting your employer brand
It’s a critical part of the hiring process. “Many companies that had some lulls in hiring in 2023 also stopped investing in their employer brand. A gap in these efforts will make it harder to catch up when hiring fires up again,” Tenuto advises. “Employer brand efforts also buoy current employees who benefit from consistency and reinforcement of why they joined the company in the first place.”
Stop creating postings that don’t provide details and structure
“Actively use company culture, values, and employee experiences to attract candidates. This means moving away from generic job postings and corporate jargon, and towards more authentic and engaging content,” states Tenuto.
Stop ignoring social media is a valued source for culling new talent
More than half of all active job seekers take to social media for their job hunt. And experts say sites like LinkedIn, Tik Tok, and Twitter are ways to reach the younger demographic of people looking for work.
Stop using only major job sites for your postings
Use niche sites that speak more to your company’s culture, or the type of job that you are advertising for. Specific sites cater to jobs in certain industries, and even certain environments, like remote work.
Stop thinking of all AI as a bad thing
Technology is here to stay, and constantly evolving. Be proactive and figure out how to use it to your advantage. “From using enhanced predicting analytics and AI-driven decision support integrating AI algorithms, to strategic workforce planning using analytics to forecast the needs, it is clear that data-driven decision making will continue to evolve in 2024. The use of digital survey tools will make data, and especially real-time feedback more accessible and more understandable,” notes Pogosyan.
Stop relying on traditional perks to lure top talent
They want benefits that stand out. “In 2024, with changing candidate expectations, recruiters must focus on what modern candidates are looking for. Work/life balance, flexible hours, career development opportunities and a commitment to diversity and inclusion are often as important as salary and bonuses,” Tenuto says.
Stop only considering in-person interviews
More than 40% of all workers either work at home full-time, or in a hybrid work situation. That means remote interviews are more critical and sought after now than ever before.
Stop leaving candidates wondering during the application process
A lack of communication is a big turnoff during the job search. More than 80% of job candidates say better communication during the hiring process would vastly improve their experience.
Things to Remember
As you start implementing changes, keep in mind that many things that worked last year are still in high demand. Incorporating DEI practices, when appropriate, can help you think outside of the box when recruiting. Find candidates who have the skills needed for the job, instead of just focusing on their resume. And use technology in a way that helps to simplify and expedite the hiring process.
Make changes that work well for you, as well as the people you’re looking to hire.
“In 2024, it’s critical that employers work on refining their candidate experience. This means they need to think like a prospective candidate—how many interviews will take place? Will there be an assessment? When are you looking to have the position filled?” Tenuto concludes. “Communicate with candidates upfront so that there aren’t any surprises during the interview process. This will help to set expectations and keep top talent engaged through the recruitment process.”