Consider Thinking Outside the Box (Way Outside of It) In Hiring

September 27th, 2019

Having trouble recruiting and hiring top talent these days? If you are, you’re not alone. By now everyone with a job vacancy to fill knows it’s a job seeker’s market out there. With unemployment hitting its lowest levels in almost 20 years, there simply aren’t enough people looking for the number of jobs that are available. Hiring managers and recruiters have found themselves in Hunger Games-worthy competition for the best people, and many are realizing the tried-and-true tactics they’ve used for years just don’t work anymore. A lengthy interview process, skills assessments, and tests? Forget about it. That kind of drawn-out process will leave you holding the bag faster than you can say: “I’ve been ghosted.” It’s becoming a problem. Last month USA Today reported that up to half of job applicants are ghosting during the hiring process only to materialize in another company that is hiring faster.

So the speed of the hiring process can be bogging some people down, and another piece of the puzzle is the holy grail of industry experience, which is what a lot of recruiters and hiring managers focus on. Only, maybe it isn’t the holy grail after all. In this job market, it might pay to think outside of the box (way outside) when hiring, and focus on candidates who have no experience whatsoever in your industry. Skills and success in their backgrounds, yes. Relevant industry experience, no. What’s the point? Here are a few positives.

Add depth to the candidate pool. You will be casting your net wide, and opening up the process to people with varied backgrounds. Focus on if they have the skill set necessary to perform the job functions.

A faster hiring process. When you’re not so ultra-specific in your parameters for the job requirements, you can fill it a lot faster. Snag those good hires before they ghost you.

Diversity breeds creativity. We assume you’re already hiring a diverse workforce in terms of gender, race, and age, but diversity of thought is important, too. When you bring in people from varying backgrounds, you open up the discussion to new ideas and perspectives in a way that hiring someone with a decade of experience doing exactly the job you’re hiring for doesn’t. You’ll get open-minded innovation, not set-in-their-ways status quo.

That’s all well and good, you may be saying to yourself, but how do I go about attracting people from different industries? A few tactics:

Get your current employees involved. Employee referrals are a powerful recruitment tool, but it goes beyond the immediate stamp of approval from a current employee to a prospective one. You can be completely upfront with your employees and tell them you’re open to casting your net wide. Outline the skills necessary to do the job, and let employees know you’re looking for people with those skills, not necessarily relevant experience. This will open their minds to Frank from accounting at their last job who just might be a good fit for an HR generalist. Offer monetary rewards or even extra days off if a referral ends up as a new hire, or even in the final pool of candidates.

Build your brand on social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. YouTube videos. Podcasts or blog posts. Show what a great culture you have and why people of diverse backgrounds want to work for you.

Flip your job descriptions. Start with the perks, benefits, extras, and company culture. Then list the skills needed to do the job. Include links to the aforementioned social media so candidates can see for themselves what it’s like to work for you.

With a little outside-the-box thinking, you not only can increase your chances of quickly filling job vacancies, you may just ramp up the innovation, creativity, and depth of your departments as well.

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