The post-pandemic corporate world, engulfed by the wave of digital transformation, has ushered in a new landscape. A McKinsey finding suggests that organizations big and small are going all out toward building a dynamic workforce for the digital economy.
As HR professionals juggle scouting for talent by screening resumes from different sources, talking to prospective candidates, lining up interviews, and the like, they have their task truly cut out. No one said recruiting was an easy job!
However, the most fundamental aspect of hiring is often not spoken enough about - that of balancing hiring needs. Recruiters need to put their finger on which role to fill first if they want to deliver results fast and efficiently every time.
While prioritization of roles is a tough nut to crack in a world full of opportunities and talent – on our blog, we try to explore the nuts and bolts of hiring prioritization.
What are the five tips to follow to effectively prioritize hiring?
Prioritizing hiring can often seem like a mundane waste of time that could be better invested in tackling other things as a recruiter. However, that is not true. Now that you understand the factors you must keep in mind when prioritizing your hiring, let us take a dip into a few actionable tips you can actually follow to get started:
1. Get to the specifics
Focusing on filling up several roles in one shot is a recipe for disaster. You must make peace with the fact that not all jobs are created equal. Keen to learn the ropes of prioritization. Wondering how? Start by getting a bird’s eye view of all the open roles and put them into the following categories for context:
- Niche skills requirement
- Roles for immediate hire
- Generalist/ specialist roles
- Technical role/ managerial roles
- Value creation/Value enablement roles
Next, identify the most compelling business need and find answers to the following questions:
- Does the job offer the scope to be filled up as an internal promotion?
- Is the job recurring on the hiring radar very often? What can you do about it?
- What kind of an impact does the job role have on overarching business goals?
- Can the job responsibilities be distributed among the team, and for how long?
- How much friction and impact on the bottom line does a delay in hiring for the job cause?
In a nutshell, switch to a market-driven hiring strategy that aligns with your business’s requirements. If sourcing eats into your time, consider alternative hiring pathways such as outsourcing to third-party vendors.
2. Build a robust talent pipeline
Be proactive in setting up a thoughtfully crafted candidate pool, and it is going to come in handy when you want to capitalize on high market demand. One, it creates a nurturing environment for potential hires, and two, it saves time and resources for your business.
Additionally, it puts you a step ahead of the competition and improves the quality of hire since you are fairly conversant with your key candidates’ backgrounds and preferences. Here are some ways you can do it:
- Social media referrals: Social media abounds with infinite possibilities. Here is some proof. An almost natural choice for social media sourcing is LinkedIn, as that is where all the headhunting really happens. Use it effectively.
- Networking events: Attend career fairs, industry-specific seminars, and community service groups as it is a sustainable method to build a dynamic talent pool. It helps you stay in the know of prospective candidates’ skills and preferences and helps build relationships and maintain a regular communication channel with them.
- Implement an employee referral program: Your current employees are your true word-of-mouth referrals. Tap into their potential and encourage them to refer potential candidates for future opportunities. A strategy that rewards them for successful hires is the best bet to grow this further.
Leverage other sourcing strategies such as advertising the job vacancies on obvious platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster, or using niche channels like Behance and GitHub for filling technical or highly specialized job roles.
3. Be proactive with follow-ups
Ensure you take the time to touch base with prospective candidates and identify ways to regularly keep them in the loop. Strong communication goes a long way in nurturing candidate relationships that can prove helpful in the longer run.
If you are an HR consultant that works with different clients, make sure that you are aware of changing requirements and positions so that you can tweak your hiring strategy in alignment with your evolving client’s needs.
4. Leverage tools to build a system
Steer clear of haywire processes and develop a system that lets you keep track of your top hiring priorities. Managing all recruiting activity on docs and spreadsheets can be tricky, so invest in a recruiting tool or an Applicant Tracking System and save yourself some hassle.
By being meticulous, you save yourself the trouble of losing sight of your goals. Adopt an equanimous approach to both high-priority and low-priority roles because you do not want your personal biases to affect your hiring priorities.
For instance, if you are hiring at scale, automate skill assessment tests to rank and filter candidates based on how they perform specific tasks. You can single out the best-performing candidates for the interview rounds.
At the end of the day, every job is an important role to fill and may cause everyday operations to take a beating if not attended to at the right time. So make sure you lay down a strong foundation.
5. Ask for help (and outsource!)
If you find yourself lost in a sea of resumes and open positions without clear direction or are having trouble finding the right skill set matches, stop living in denial. It is time to ask for help.
A dedicated recruitment process outsourcing provider can help you set your top hiring priorities in alignment with your organizational goals and market trends and take away menial tasks off your plate, such as resume screening or preliminary interview calls, thus giving you the much-needed bandwidth for making a higher impact.
What are the six things to consider when prioritizing hiring?
We live in a candidate-driven world now. Hiring efficiency is crucial, and hiring teams are more than eager to develop a process that lets them recruit faster. Here are the six things to consider when prioritizing hiring:
1. Focus on the immediate business requirement and ROI
The first natural and instinctive step is to determine how filling or not filling a position directly impacts your business’ bottom line. Consider if your business can do away with hiring for the role and still manage to function without much friction. Once this is answered with a categoric “yes” or “no,” the rest falls in place rather organically.
2. Make a particular case for niche skills
Factor in the time taken to hire for positions with unique skill sets; that way, your prioritization roadmap draws itself on its own. However, be wary of hasty hiring in order to just up the numbers. Set realistic timelines while also doing a smart hiring cost analysis and impact on ROI.
3. Honor hard and fast hiring deadlines
Some roles would need to be filled in immediately in view of a critical project. Take stock of such time and budget intricacies and set buffer periods right up front before diving into the next steps. This will help you form a realistic picture of when to actively look out for and when to take a step back with your hiring.
4. Zoom in on the market situation
Today’s markets are dynamic, and so should your hiring priorities. Be flexible in adapting to changing requirements and fine-tune your search metrics with demand/supply curves. A rule of thumb idea is to assess the time-to-hire for various positions and constantly recalibrate your priorities based on market conditions.
5. Consider the organizational size
The size of your organization plays an integral role in directing and channelizing your hiring strategy. Typically, larger organizations have more open roles with well-defined timelines and KRAs, while smaller bootstrapped firms have less structured roles with overlaps.
Make sense of this and see which positions need immediate attention and which can take a backseat for a while, and set your priorities straight. Simplify your hiring process!
6. Look inwards
Look at hiring goals and priorities beyond the linear track of external hiring. Consider the benefits of internally filling up positions, given that it is less daunting and more time-efficient.
Here is a quick hiring hack that could possibly save you some time and resources! Take a quick look at your resume database and look for past applicants that just missed it by a whisker. Re-interview them for fitment and relevance for current requirements. Sounds like a win-win?
What is the takeaway?
Operating in this competitive market where the end goal for organizations is to attract and hire top talent is obviously challenging. Hiring teams must seek innovative ways to keep up with the evolving expectations of today’s professionals and, at the same time, fulfill their obligations.
When creating a priority list, the basic idea should be to leverage technology and automation so that you have a quality talent pipeline that helps you quickly identify and recruit employees.
Hiring is a two-way street and can be met with success if nuance and strategy are thrown into the mix. Factors in the changing dynamics of the market, as well as growing preferences of today’s talent, and you have a success story that gets past the cookie-cutter approach that we have long seen with hiring. Let us shift the gears; are you game?