If you’re an HR manager or a business leader, one of the questions that probably keep you up at night is how to hire employees. Hiring has been on the rise based on a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics saying that there were 10.9 million job openings as of December 2021, and the biggest contributors were accommodation and food services, information, and manufacturing of nondurable goods.
Employees are seeking out new opportunities and quitting their jobs en masse and will continue to do so this year as the COVID situation improves and more job opportunities emerge. New types of hiring models, like returnships, are also growing in popularity.
This mass exodus of workers is creating a big gap between the supply of and demand for talent, raising a huge red flag for hiring managers, recruiters, and other stakeholders.
The question now is, how do you meet the emerging challenge and ensure business continuity? Before we discuss how to hire employees in 2022, you should know when to do it and what challenges you will be facing.
How to Know When It’s Time to Hire Employees
One of the most important questions hiring managers face now is when to initiate the hiring process.
There are telltale signs that should let you know when to start hiring additional employees for your organization. Here are the most compelling ones:
Your Current Employees Are Getting Overwhelmed
If your small business is growing (or some employees are leaving), the amount of work that has to be done grows with it. There will come a time when the load will be too much to bear for the current number of employees in your organization.
When this happens, people will start getting sick, and you will see an uptick in absenteeism. They will also be more prone to mistakes, undermining the quality of your services or products.
It is important to keep the communication lines open at all times so you can spot the problem before it gets to this point. If your employees can talk openly about being overworked, it will give you enough time to look for a new employee to lighten the load before the problem gets worse.
High-Value Employees Are Taking on Basic Tasks
When some of your higher-paid employees are doing more and more low-level tasks, you are not getting the most out of your asset. It is also a sign that your employees may need help.
In this situation, you need to hire another employee to optimize the skills and expertise of your current workforce. This will allow your top employees to delegate some of the work to a new hire so they can take on other tasks that add more value to the company.
You Are Turning Down New Business Opportunities
If you find yourself saying no to new business opportunities because of a lack of manpower, then it is time to entertain job applications. The upfront cost of recruiting and the onboarding process will be worth it if it leads to business growth.
However, before you start posting on job boards and start the interview process, make sure that your business model is solid and that scaling up is the best course of action. You could also consider hiring temporary contract workers as long as you meet all legal requirements and follow all labor laws.
Pain Points in the Hiring Process
Now that we have talked about when to hire, it’s time to take a closer look at the challenges that hiring managers and job seekers alike face during the process.
It is important for employers to create a positive candidate experience as this reduces employee turnover and increases profitability or savings in the long run.
However, before you can generate an action plan to make your hiring process more effective and successful, you must first identify what the common pain points are. From there, you can start thinking of ways to connect the right position to the ideal candidate.
Complex Application Process
Many applicants have expressed frustration over application processes that are too convoluted and time-consuming. Some of these applications take more than an hour to complete and are driving job applicants away.
According to Live Recruiter, a survey done by Jibe Software shows that 55% of job seekers give up on online applications where the uploading of a resume is not supported. In addition, 69% of online applicants get discouraged after spending 20 minutes on a job application and end up not pursuing it.
While it is important for hiring managers to weed out people who are not serious about the position, implementing an application process that is too complex will do more harm than good. It will drive away potentially eligible applicants and undermine the candidate experience, which will have a negative impact even if you eventually hire them.
Ineffective Screening Process
According to an article posted by LinkedIn, one of the biggest hurdles during the hiring process is identifying and implementing an efficient screening process. This is especially true for companies that receive a large number of applications.
It is necessary for large organizations to whittle down the long list of potential hires into something more manageable. This is a process called shortlisting and it is practiced by most companies.
The problem starts when the wrong screening criteria are used. When this happens, you will lose the opportunity to talk to applicants who could turn out to be perfect for the job title you are trying to fill.
Lack of Mobile Capability
The Undercover Recruiter says that 45% of today’s job seekers scour online job boards every day using their mobile devices. Moreover, 89% of them will use their mobile devices at some point in the application process for various activities like looking up salaries, reading employee reviews, and saving potential job openings which they can apply for later using a desktop. In this scenario, things like social media and other platforms play a prominent role.
However, based on a report from LinkedIn, only one out of two companies consider mobile recruiting as a top priority. In addition, three out of every ten talent acquisition leaders do not know where to start. Finally, only one out of every five is confident that their site is optimized for mobile users.
In short, there is a wide gap between the applicant and the employer that could make the hiring process more difficult than it should be.
Lack of Transparency
In an article posted by Live Recruiter, lack of transparency during the hiring process is another thing that makes job seekers wary of some potential employers. When people do not know the detailed job description, estimated salary, and employee benefits for a job posting, it impacts how the company’s viability is viewed.
If these questions are not addressed during the onboarding process, the level of engagement for some candidates will suffer. It is also more difficult for the company to gain the trust of the new team members.
Things to Avoid in the Hiring Process
The Department of Labor estimates that the true cost of a bad hire is at least 30% of the employee’s earnings for the first year. And that is just the part that is quantifiable. There are other lasting effects, such as the negative impact on team morale and productivity.
Given the importance of the hiring process, it is important that you get it right and get it right the first time. One way to go about this is by avoiding the common pitfalls that have plagued recruiters and hiring managers in the past. Here are some of the things you need to steer clear of during the hiring process.
Not Having a Structured Hiring Process
To get the best talent and perfect organizational fit from a vast pool of candidates, you need to have a strategic recruitment process. In addition, this process must be clear to all the business leaders. Laying out the steps upfront will help manage expectations when it comes to the speed of the hiring process.
Whenever there is a vacant position in a company, there is always pressure to fill it out fast. This is understandable as productivity and team morale is at risk when employees have too much on their plate. However, it is important to strike a balance between speed and quality to ensure the company’s long-term performance.
Not Attracting the Right Candidates
Attracting the right candidates from the start is important for a small business as it is for a large corporation. Otherwise, your hiring managers would be overwhelmed sifting through numerous irrelevant applications.
Aside from posting the appropriate ads, there are tools that you can use to raise your chances of drawing the right candidate. Once you have the right number of qualified applicants, you can use applicant tracking systems to make sure that you do not overlook any of them.
Putting Too Much Weight on First Impressions
A firm handshake and steady eye contact can make a good first impression, but it is not enough to determine if a candidate will be a great fit for the role and the company across the board.
It is easy to make a decision based on whether you like the candidate or not, which is why it happens more often than you might think. Always keep your focus on matching the strengths of the candidate with what the position requires and nothing else
Not Highlighting Company Culture During the Hiring Process
Most people spend more time at work than at home, which means that they are away from their families for most parts of the day. That is why they are looking for an environment where they feel comfortable, productive, and valued. This is where the company culture comes in.
The core values of the company are as important as employee compensation and other related factors in enhancing employee engagement and maximizing employee retention. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a hiring manager or recruiter is to not showcase the company culture of your organization, which could lead to a mismatch in employee and employer expectations.
How to Hire Employees (Step-by-Step)
Hiring new employees is a long and complicated process. However, it could make or break any organization. That is why hiring managers need to get the best talents possible in the shortest time possible.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. We have outlined the whole process for you from start to finish.
Understand the Local Job Market
Before you start advertising a job post, you must first understand the local job market. How much are your competitors offering for a similar position? Is there a gap between the supply and demand for the talent that you need?
The answers to these and other questions will help you decide later what salary, employee benefits, and perks to offer.
Identify the Hiring Need
Whether you are trying to fill a newly formed position or one that was recently vacated, you need to clearly define your hiring need. It includes a clear description of the duties and responsibilities that the job entails. If possible, you should also identify the success metrics that will help you evaluate the employee's performance.
Decide Between an Independent Contractor and a Full-Time Employee
To make sure that you do not overlook any legal requirements, you need to decide if you should hire an independent contractor or a full-time/part-time employee to fill the position. Your choice will have an impact on the IRS forms that you need to fill out later on.
Get Your Employer Identification Number
You would need an Employer Identification Number or EIN to remit the income tax, social security tax, and other payables required by the IRS. You also need the EIN to remit the state tax, which depends on your business location. You can get from the IRS through the mail, phone, fax, or the internet.
Establish Tax-Related Procedures
Find out what your organization’s tax credit eligibility is for either or both the federal taxes and state taxes. Also, if you are hiring across state lines, you need to know if a tax nexus applies to you. If it does, you must register, collect, and remit the tax to the state.
Set Up the Compensation and Benefits
Next, process the payroll and health benefits, including healthcare premiums and contributions for retirement plans. You would also need a system for payroll taxes. There are software solutions that can help you make, file, and track payments.
Create a Recruiting Strategy
Once you have identified your hiring need and taken care of tax-related activities, it’s time to devise a recruitment plan. You have two options in this step: look at your internal pool (in which case you should ask for manager referrals) or consider external recruitment.
Another decision you need to make is whether to do it in-house with the company’s own HR department or hire an agency to do it for you. The first option will keep the costs down while the second option will make the process go faster. The choice will depend on your unique situation and what your priorities are.
Advertise the Position
Since you have already identified your hiring need, you now have a clear description of the position you are trying to fill. It is time to create a job posting using this information. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, job boards, job fairs, and industry publications are great venues for this. If you want to hire internally, make the job posting known to your current employees.
Review All Applications
When reviewing applications, do not just focus on the resumes. Look for those with customized and well-crafted cover letters which show the applicants’ understanding of the position. Once you have identified the acceptable candidates, get feedback from the current team members on who to invite for an interview.
Interview and Evaluate Shortlisted Candidates
Once you have your list of candidates, you can kick off your interview process. Use interview questions that would give you as much information about the candidate as you can in a short period. You could also use a skills assessment tool or a short test project to give you a better idea of whether the candidate is the right fit for the job.
Do a Background Check
Before making a decision based on the previous step, do a background check. Make sure that all candidates know that this is part of the hiring process. A reference check would also be helpful when evaluating an application. You could also do drug tests if the position you are trying to fill calls for it. To streamline the whole process, use a pre-employment background check service.
Selecting the Top Candidates
At this point, you already have all the information that you need to identify the best candidates. Make a list of applicants to whom you will extend a job offer. You should also have a list of backup candidates in case some of the top ones do not accept your offer.
Extend an initial offer to the top candidate(s). The job offer letter must contain all relevant information, including the official start date, salary, employee benefits, remote work policy, and other terms and conditions of the employment. Also, decide beforehand which items are negotiable and which ones are not.
Once you have successfully navigated the negotiations and the candidates have accepted the job offer, you can start the hiring process. Fill out and fill out all the paperwork relevant to the employment, including Forms W-4, I-9, and E-Verify. You must also provide the new hire with a list of all required paperwork they need to complete and a copy of the employee handbook.
You must integrate your new employee into your current team as quickly and seamlessly as possible, and this is something that you can do with an effective onboarding process. Make sure that their workspace is prepared and that the expectations for the new employee orientation (if any) are clear. A welcome note would be a nice touch to make them feel accepted.
You should also introduce the new hires to the existing team members and give them all the tools that they need, including an official email address.
Make sure that they understand the responsibilities that the job entails, and if possible, give them a list of upcoming tasks that you have lined up for them.
Tips and Recommendations to Hire the Right People
The path that organizations need to take to identify the right applicants is long and winding. Attracting and eventually hiring them is equally difficult. One wrong move and the ideal candidate could lose interest, which means that you miss out on the chance to add talent that could help your company grow.
To help you navigate the convoluted process, we’ve created a list of things that will make it easier for you to find and hire the right people.
1. Communicate your employer brand
If you want to attract the right people, they must believe that you are the right organization for them. In other words, you need a strong employer brand. It encapsulates what your company stands for, what new employees can expect, and what values you expect from new employees. Make sure that this is evident on your website, social media accounts, and other platforms as potential hires today will surely look them up before submitting an application.
2. Optimize for mobile recruiting
Mobile devices are becoming more and more essential in our daily lives, and they have managed to work their way into the job-hunting process. Most applicants today go online to check out job openings, and the smartphone is the most used device for it. To reach as many candidates as possible, optimize your recruitment operations for mobile users.
3. Keep track of backup candidates
If there were promising candidates in the past who did not make the cut, try to engage them and let them know that your doors are never closed. Doing this will expand your talent pool for future roles. Once the need emerges again, you won’t have to invest as much time and effort to fill the position.
4. Step up your onboarding game
It takes a lot of time, energy, and recruiting budget to find and hire the best talents. Don’t let it all go to waste by optimizing your onboarding process. Remember that, while you are still assessing the new hires at this point, the reverse is also true — they are also trying to confirm that working for you is the right move for them.
5. Get the feedback of new hires
To hire the right people, you need to implement the best hiring strategy. If you do not know how effective your hiring process is, who better to ask than your new hires?
Get feedback from your new team members about your employer branding, job posting, interview process, and other parts of your strategy. You might gain valuable insight into which areas to improve.
6. Keep on improving your hiring process even if you don’t have a job opening yet
Employee expectations change over time, so an effective hiring strategy is never set in stone. Keep working on it even before the need arises so when the time comes that you need to start looking for new people, you will be ready.
How to Retain Employees
Employee retention is the ability to keep employees from leaving, which is a sign of how organizations make their workforce feel valued. It has been the focus of many business owners, especially in the face of growing competition in the labor market.
Before we discuss the different ways that you can maximize employee retention, let us talk more about why you should pay attention to it.
Why Retaining Employees Is Important
There are many reasons why it is very important for companies to retain their employees, but the best place to start is cost.
Based on a report by the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation, the total costs associated with employee departures range between 90% and 200% of that employee’s annual salary. So if someone in your company who earns $50,000 decides to leave, you can expect to lose anywhere between $45,000 and $100,000.
This is a very big burden even for established companies, but how much more for small businesses? If you consider further how competitive the labor market is, it is easy to see why some organizations do not survive losing their top talents.
Gallup offers a clearer picture of how big of a problem employee turnover is. In an article posted on the global analytics firm’s website, US businesses lose $1 trillion every year due to voluntary turnover.
To complicate things even more, losing a good employee can impact a company in many ways other than financially.
On top of the direct replacement costs that come with hiring and onboarding a new employee, there are other losses like reduced productivity and team morale. If you are not careful, other employees could follow suit, leaving you in a deeper hole.
An even bigger problem is that if a top talent leaves, you lose someone whom you can depend on to innovate, solve problems, and win for your organization. Effectively, it is like losing the future of your company. The worst part is that you lose it to your competition.
Read More: How To Motivate Employees
Strategies to Retain Employees
Now that we have established how important it is to retain your employees — especially your best ones — it’s time to outline the steps you can take to make it happen.
It is best to start at the beginning: the onboarding process. You should be grooming your employees for success from the first day they set foot in the office. Make sure that you maximize both in-person and virtual platforms, especially in this day and age when remote working is fast becoming a big part of the new normal.
Aside from focusing on the onboarding process, consider pairing a new employee with a good mentor. Doing this is mutually beneficial: your new team member can learn the ropes while being the fresh eyes and ears for the more experienced employees. It is also a good way for the new hire to transition deeper into the company.
Another way to keep employees engaged is by offering competitive compensation packages. Evaluate your salaries regularly to ensure that you are still at par or even better than other companies in the same industry.
If you do not have the budget for a salary bump, consider other forms of compensation, like health care benefits and retirement plans. You could also implement various wellness programs that will help keep employees stay physically, mentally, and financially fit, which is critical in your efforts to draw talent during the pandemic.
Ongoing training will help your employees acquire new skills and improve old ones, making them more productive. If they are more successful at their positions and have room to grow, they will be less likely to explore other job opportunities.
Finally, make sure that you give your employees flexible work arrangements that make it easier for them to achieve work-life balance. Encourage them to take advantage of their vacation time or to take some time off to compensate after working for long hours on a project.
10 New Trends & Stats on Hiring and Retaining Employees
Talking about employee retention is well and good, but sometimes, numbers could explain better what words could not. Here are some of the latest eye-opening statistics that hiring managers and business owners should pay attention to and do something about.
1. Retaining employees is harder than hiring new ones.
According to Workest, one research shows that 63.3% of companies think it is harder to retain existing employees than to hire them. This is based on a study joined by 600 US businesses with up to 500 workers.
2. Most businesses struggle with employee retention.
The same article by Workest says 81% of all businesses feel that employee retention is a costly problem for them. In fact, employers in the US spend $2.9 million per day just to replace exiting employees.
3. Companies with a strong work culture experience less employee attrition.
According to Fit Small Business, one Gallup survey shows that workers are 72% less likely to leave a company with a strong culture-based work environment.
4. Employees are four times less likely to quit if given work flexibility.
According to Quantum Workplace, more and more employees seek flexibility in order to achieve the right balance between work and personal life. Those who work in companies with flexibility initiatives are four times less likely to quit.
5. Six out of every ten employees who quit did not see enough career growth in the organizations that they left.
Around 62% of employees who recently quit their jobs say that there were not enough career development opportunities for them in the company, prompting them to explore other opportunities. This is based on another report by Quantum Workplace.
6. Around 65% of exiting employees saw inconsistent leadership communication in their organization.
Quantum Workplace says that poor leadership communication leaves many employees feeling lost and uninformed. As a result, they feel disengaged and fail to perform well, which affects the company’s productivity.
7. Recruitment is increasingly becoming more like marketing.
According to a Glassdoor survey, 86% of responding HR professionals feel that the recruitment process is becoming more like a marketing activity.
8. Company reviews and ratings are now more important than ever.
Glassdoor says that 86% of all job seekers today go online and read company reviews or ratings to find out more about the organization before deciding whether to apply for a job or not.
9. Social media is key in the recruitment process.
As per Glassdoor, 68% of Millenials, 54% of the Generation Xers, and 48% of Boomers look at a potential employer’s social media accounts to gain a better understanding of its employer brand. It also works the other way, too, with more companies now incorporating social media screening into their recruitment process.
10. It is important for a company to respond to an online review.
According to Glassdoor, seven out of ten job seekers say that their opinion about a company changed after seeing it respond to an online review.
Tools that Make the Hiring Process Easier
Much has been said about the importance of implementing a solid hiring process, which is understandable given the role that employees play in the success or failure of a company. Fortunately, there are many tools today that can make the life of a hiring manager or business owner easier when filling vacant positions in the company.
Here are some examples:
An effective recruitment automation software typically uses AI to source candidates, build talent pools, vet a potential hire, or do a number of other things. These AI recruiting tools can streamline the recruitment process in many ways.
Candidate Relationship Management Software
Using the right CRM software can help you get the best talents available while saving you precious time and money. It allows you to implement marketing tactics that can connect you with the right candidates and grow your talent pipeline.
Free Recruiting Software
You can simplify your hiring process by using one of the many free recruiting software today. You can use it to source candidates, post jobs, go through resumes, or schedule interviews — everything you would need to get the top talents in the market.
The best thing about it is that you do not have to pay a dime to experience its benefits. Many of the best recruiting software in the market are either free or offer free trials.
Applicant Tracking Systems
If you are dealing with a high number of applications, there is a risk that some of them will slip through the cracks. It means that you could miss out on the opportunity to add the best talents to your organization. To prevent this from happening, use one of the many available in the market today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
In some cases, the more you know, the more questions you have. So before we end this article, let us look at some of the most common questions surrounding the hiring process and their corresponding answers.
1. What industries have the highest numbers of job openings in 2021?
The total number of job openings by the last business day of December 2021 was 10.9 million, based on a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest contributors were professional and business services (1,875,000), healthcare and social assistance (1,859,000), accommodation and food services (1,533,000), and retail trade (1,014,000).
2. What is the biggest driving force behind the Great Resignation in 2021?
Based on a report published by the MIT Sloan Management Review, toxic company culture is one of the biggest reasons why a record number of employees quit in 2021. It includes the failure of the organizations to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect.
3. What is the most compelling reason why employees join a company?
There are many factors that drive the decision of job seekers, including salary, compensation, and work flexibility. However, according to Oakstone, the top reason is that the company culture makes them feel like they are part of something special.
4. What do job seekers look for in a job posting?
Most people today are drawn to job postings that highlight the most interesting parts of the position. However, if you use this strategy, make sure that you don’t oversell it and provide an accurate description of the hiring needs.
5. What step in the hiring process takes the most time to complete?
According to Yello, the most time-consuming part of the hiring process is the interview. Aside from taking up much time, it is also very labor-intensive.
Finding and Keeping the Best Talents
Putting the right person on the right job can do wonders for an organization. On the flip side, hiring the wrong candidate does more damage than leaving the position open, at least according to an article on LinkedIn.
Make sure that you navigate the complex hiring process efficiently by following the steps outlined above. You could also use the tools that can help make your hiring strategy easier to implement and more effective.