The start of a new year symbolizes a clean slate. Every year without fail, January is the month of good-intentioned people overwhelming gyms, eating copious amounts of leafy greens and kicking bad habits to the curb. Why not bring some of this enthusiasm into the workplace? Here are five New Year’s resolutions that every recruiter should make this year.
Embrace social and mobile recruiting.
You’ve heard about the importance of social and mobile recruiting, and you’ve been meaning to ramp up your tactics, but…no more excuses! Your first recruiting resolution of 2016 should be to create or enhance your social and mobile recruiting strategies.
Let’s talk about mobile recruiting first. This year, the number of smartphone users in the United States will grow to 198.5 million, and 90 percent of these tech-savvy Americans will search for jobs on their phones. Of that 90 percent, about 44 percent will apply to jobs directly from their phones. That being said, you can’t afford to ignore mobile recruiting any longer. Make sure that your company website, career site and all other pages are optimized for mobile use, and rework your lengthy application process. Applications should be relatively short and easy to fill out on a mobile device—one popular tactic is to accept LinkedIn profiles in lieu of formal resumes. More than one-third of companies have already taken steps to improve mobile recruiting, according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management. Don’t get left behind.
Now, time to talk social. With 156.5 million Americans on Facebook, 66 million on Twitter, and 122 million on LinkedIn, social media is no longer an area that recruiters can afford to ignore. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2015 U.S. Recruiting Trends Report indicated that LinkedIn has surpassed online job boards, corporate career websites and referrals as the best place to find quality hires.
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Aside from using social media to search for high-quality candidates, make a resolution to step up your social media game. Create profiles for your company and interact with potential job candidates in order to build your employer brand, and spend extra time on social media advertising in order to attract fresh talent. This is a resolution you won’t regret.
Strive for diversity.
Next on your list of recruiting resolutions should be to make diversity a priority—as a recruiter, you are in a unique position to increase diversity within your company. Not only is being inclusive in hiring people from different backgrounds the morally right thing to do, it is also good for your business.
A study published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that diverse companies were 45 percent more likely to experience growth in market share, and 70 percent more likely to capture a new market than non-diverse companies. Why? When you bring together a group of people from different backgrounds, ideas are challenged and innovation is unleashed.
According to Katherine Phillips, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, diversity actually enhances group work. “The mere presence of diversity in a group creates awkwardness, and the need to diffuse this tension leads to better group problem solving,” Phillips says. Meanwhile, in groups that represent cultural fit—meaning groups full of demographically homogenous and similarly minded people—members are more likely to blindly agree on everything, rather than cause any disturbance in the group dynamic. Overall, diverse groups have been found to complete tasks better than non-diverse groups do.
So, what can you do to diversify your recruiting efforts? Try recruiting from a different candidate base than you normally do. Use this gender decoder tool to see if your job descriptions are subtly deterring one gender from applying. Enlist the help of intelligent sourcing tools that aren’t susceptible to human bias. Finally, set some goals for yourself. Need some inspiration? Pinterest recently hired its first head of diversity in an attempt to increase the hiring rate of women in engineering roles to 30 percent, and increase the hiring rate of minorities in non-engineering roles to 12 percent.
Follow Pinterest’s progressive example. 2016 is the year that you need to finally get serious about diversity.
Think like a marketer.
With the job economy looking the best it has looked since the Great Recession, you should make it a priority to model yourself off of your pals in the marketing department.
As of November 2015, there were 3.8 million job ads listed on online job board Indeed. How will you make sure that your jobs stand out from the others? You’ll need to put your marketing hat on. First, revisit your job descriptions to confirm that they are written in an appealing fashion that will attract your ideal candidate. Secondly, do some research on the basics of search engine optimization to ensure that your job ads are easily searchable. Next, reevaluate the placement of your job ads. Are they being seen by the right people? Perhaps your desired audience would be more likely to see your ad on social media than on a job board, for instance. Learn how to use marketing analytics to guide your efforts.
In a candidate-driven market, recruiters have to work harder than ever to land the best talent. Make a conscious effort to think like a marketer this year—you will thank yourself later.
Construct your employer brand.
Though it may not be included in your official job description, you should vow to take an active role in shaping and exemplifying your company’s employer brand this year.
An employer brand is how employees, customers, potential job candidates and the general public collectively perceive a company. It’s important to create a unique personality for your company, because employees and candidates alike want more than just a paycheck from their job. Employees want to believe that their company is more than some cold, corporate machine.
So, what can you do? First and foremost, enhance your company’s career site. Your career portal might be the first experience that a candidate has with your company, so make sure the site is engaging and effectively tells your company’s story. Consider making recruiting videos to help showcase your company culture. After all, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.
Additionally, your company