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Not your mama’s high volume hiring: Tips from a labor economist

Danielle McClowSeptember 10, 2021Awareness

I despise the phrase "the new normal" (because what's normal?); however, the reality is I'm constantly hitting walls when trying to tackle standard recruitment marketing strategies for example, how do we handle high volume hiring? Today's landscape forces us to weigh safety concerns, adjustments to wages/benefits, and the fact that no one shows up for interviews on top of the traditional recruitment pitfalls.

All in all, this is no longer your mama's talent acquisition strategy.

To help make sense of today's recruitment and what comes next, I sat down with Economics Professor Jacob Bastian.

Top ways to differentiate your high volume hiring

Jacob and I swapped stories on what we're seeing in the market today across industries. And while it's not all bad, it's not great either. But we have hope.

We see the Great Resignation 2021 and Great Rehire trends and their potential to optimize our current recruitment strategies to make them stronger, more inclusive, and just better for today's workers.

We're living in a worker economy. That means you have options if you're a worker, and you have work to do if you're an employer."

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Jacob Bastian, Economics Professor, Rutgers University

Here are our top takeaways on how to get hiring.

Incentivize the interview

With 10 million open roles, workers have options. It's imperative that once you snag a candidate for an interview, coordinate all the logistics and, let' face it, get your hopes up that the person attends the agreed-upon time slot. The problem is that it's just not happening.

Candidates have taken "ghosting" to a whole new level at this point. So organizations must respond with incentives Ñ and many have taken to cold, hard cash.

While I know this is not necessarily possible for every organization, especially those hiring at volume, it is happening, and people are talking about it.

So what should you do to keep pace?

  1. Offer incentives. Work with your HR and TA teams to figure out what's best for your organization. Then advertise those payments, discounts, or whatever in your recruitment marketing campaigns. (CRM email blasts, programmatic ads, and career site callouts are good places to start).
  2. Make interviews easier. If incentives are not possible at this time, you can also try to entice candidates with on-demand video interviews. The reason why candidate ghosting is at a peak is that candidates don't need to wait around for interview scheduling. They have plenty of options for other roles, so they don't have to wait on you. Cut down the time, especially for high-volume hiring, by leveraging on-demand interviews.

Strategize tenure thresholds

Similar to incentivizing the recruitment process, many organizations are now turning to strategies that promote tenure thresholds.

We know that the Great Resignation 2021 is an unfortunate trend for organizations today, but there are quick fixes to try and extend employee tenure (even for high-volume roles).

What are the top two tips to increase tenure?

  1. Create sign-on bonuses. Offering sign-on bonuses is a great way to make your organization and the open role more attractive. While most candidates look at the salary/hourly pay, benefits, and work-life balance in the job search, the rise in sign-on bonuses has made it part of the checklist. To help with tenure, you can set parameters around sign-on bonuses. For example, the worker must stay for X amount of months or return the sign-on bonus.
  2. Pay monthly working bonuses. If you want to keep workers, at scale, at your organization, it helps if they have monetary goals. While most organizations offer end-of-year promotions or increases, workers are more interested in job-hopping for quicker payouts. To combat this issue, organizations like Amazon are offering monthly bonuses. Each month they pay out money and increase the amount with each passing month (longer tenure = higher incentive).

    (Similar to interview incentives, you want to get these offers out there too. Don't wait until the end of an interview cycle to mention the pay and bonus details. Start adding these details to your CRM campaigns, job descriptions and ads, and external and internal career websites.)

Recognize the gender gaps

Unfortunately, one learning coming out of the pandemic is that women suffered the greatest impact. In fact, nearly 1.8 million women dropped out of the labor force amid the pandemic.

Given that 2.3 million fewer women are working now let's focus on getting women back to work, at volume, by touting the top benefits they want.

What are two takeaways to get women back to work?

  1. Extend work-from-home options. We've learned that the majority of workers enjoy working from home. Exceptions lie in early career professionals and some specific talent groups, but work from home has many benefits for working women. For working mothers, work from home has allowed them the opportunity to care for their families (especially while schools and daycares shut down). If your organization has ended or plans to end work from home, you risk losing and not attracting women.
  2. Offer flexible schedules. Next to where women are working, when they are working is just as important. Allowing women to adjust working hours to meet their individual needs is a great way to keep women working and/or get them back to work. Stringent hours of 9-5 are hindering organizational success because we've already figured out that work gets done at night too. Limiting hours to old school hours is not the forward-looking recruitment practice of today.

(Same as the tips above, these benefits and practices should be put on blast to advocate for your brand.)

While yes, this is not your mama's recruitment marketing strategy, I think your mama would be very proud to hear that you analyzed the trends, listened to experts (like Jacob), and took action on what comes next.

High-volume hiring is hard. But keeping pace with the needs of today's workers makes the process easier and helps bring joy to your organization.

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