Professionals working in people-related fields, and particularly working for consultancy firms, will by now be very accustomed to business managers and owners’ complaining that it is incredibly difficult to attract and select high-performing staff for open job roles.
While the most recent statistics from the ABS indicate there has been some relief in the form of reduced job vacancies (albeit by 2%), this issue is unfortunately not going to go away. A report commissioned by the former Commonwealth Government revealed Australia is projected to reach a shortfall of almost 200,000 workers by 2050.
Some of this is due to a skills shortage – there are simply not enough qualified professionals in Australia to fill all job vacancies. However, we as a firm are consistently hearing from many of our clients how tough it has been to fill roles that don’t even require a high-level qualification, so skills shortages do not account for everything.
While Peoplogica are not a recruitment firm, we have been increasingly providing advisory on how our clients can structure their selection processes to ensure they remain competitive in the job market and find their next high performer during these challenging times. Our success in this area is our ability to use a more psychology-based approach, we assist clients to structure job adverts that will be appealing and attractive to the “type” of candidate that they need.
Below are some recommendations that have dramatically improved our client’s recruitment outcomes.
1. Sell the job to your perfect applicant.
The problem with finding the perfect applicant for your open job role is that you are competing with every other organisation in Australia for them. If your job advertisement doesn’t stand out from the crowd, why would a high-performing applicant decide to apply?
Peoplogica have long been assisting their clients with benchmarking roles based on thinking styles, behaviours, and motivators, and then using this information to design compelling and persuasive psychology-based job advertisements. This ensures the advertisement is exciting and speaks directly to the ideal applicant.
We have yet to find a client who has not seen a significant increase in not only the quantity but quality of their job applicants because of using these targeted advertisements.
2. Provide clear timelines and regular communication.
How often have you put your heart and soul into applying for a job, only to hear nothing from the recruiter and receive a thanks but no thanks a few months later? How often have you applied for your dream role but accepted another offer because the recruiter just didn’t get back to you or provide updates soon enough? Would this affect your likelihood to apply for a job with the company in the future?
By not providing timelines and communication with prospective candidates, you are not only wasting their time if they are clearly not a fit, but you are potentially losing out on top talent. The reality is that high-performing candidates will have no problem finding a job in this market, and they will not wait around forever for you to get back to them. They will go with your competitor instead, who has likely been regularly updating them, negotiating offers, and being proactive, while you sat on your hands and got complacent.
Think of every applicant as a potential future customer and treat them with the same respect you treat your customers.
3. Follow up on all queries proactively and as soon as possible.
This point relates to the one above. If a candidate is asking questions about your open job role, it means they are genuinely interested in the position and are intending to apply. Therefore, ensuring you reply as promptly as possible will increase the likelihood they will be invested in the recruitment process.
4. Ensure you are being realistic with your expectations.
How many years of experience are really required in the role? Will your ideal employee be motivated by your current remuneration package? Is that qualification necessary or would it just be a bonus?
Being realistic about experience, remuneration, and qualifications will widen your candidate pool and most likely result in great candidates who would have otherwise not applied. Identify those components of the role which can be implemented into training, and understand the importance of cognitive abilities, personality, and motivators in predicting performance. A degree and experience only go so far if you don’t have the right personality for the role!
5. Be Transparent
If you are including skills, psychometric testing, reference checks, and conducting several interviews as part of your recruitment process (which you should be for best results), make sure you communicate this to the candidate as soon as they make the shortlist. Ensuring they are clear on what to expect means they can plan their application accordingly and will know where they stand in terms of the next steps and timelines.
Peoplogica have been increasingly providing this guidance and more to our clients who have been finding it highly difficult to attract and select their next high performer over the past few years. In each case, we have found this guidance to result in significantly higher numbers and quality of applicants, and higher performers being placed in their new roles quicker.
If you think we could assist you in tackling your own recruitment-related challenges, or if you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us.