Relief for Some of HR's Biggest Recruiting Headaches

As with most industries, advancing technology and evolving employee expectations have made their mark on HR, posing a unique set of challenges for staffing professionals to overcome.

For one, the days of employees sticking with one company for decades are long gone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee tenure is about 4.2 years, which creates an acute headache for HR professionals forced to constantly seek the best candidates. In fact, according to a survey by OfficeTeam, nearly 40 percent of HR employees say that recruiting new candidates is their No. 1 challenge.

Another major challenge facing HR professionals is transitioning core processes to the digital realm. For instance, a report from WorkJam found that 61 percent of businesses that rely on hourly employees still use paper applications, and only 10 percent have mobile-optimized applications for HR processes.

Many of the headaches in today's HR environment are exacerbated by a "just get it done" mentality that doesn't leave room for exploring better methods of accomplishing vital tasks. For small and midsize companies especially, this siloed attitude results in chaotic recruiting experiences without standardized onboarding, which ultimately leads to continued turnover.

Thankfully, there are ways to lessen the pain and make the hiring process go more smoothly. Here are a few simple strategies:

1. Make Your Candidate Search Both Digital and Social

Finding qualified candidates has gone social. The rise in freelancing and entrepreneurship means that many of the most qualified individuals are working for themselves. This trend forces businesses to look for employees rather than wait for potential candidates to submit applications.

Savvy companies such as Google and Apple find new employees not by looking over official resumes, but by combing through social media profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn. To attract top talent, companies are also advertising themselves with socially conscious "commercials" and visible online presences.

2. Lure Top Talent With Great Benefits

A company's benefits package is an incredibly important part of attracting the right candidates. Keep in mind that today's potential employees are looking for perks outside the norm – they're looking for more than a salary and two weeks of vacation.

Most notably, millennials prefer socially conscious companies that grant time off to volunteer. These employees also prefer the option to work remotely or telecommute. Offering a schedule based on productivity rather than face time is an essential way to separate your company from its competition and attract the newest talent.

Getting the word out about these perks is essential to attracting the best candidates. Many effective HR staffers are spreading the word through sites like Glassdoor, where employees are encouraged to talk about their authentic experiences with a company.

3. Make Digital Recruiting Tools Work for You

Commercial job posting sites are widely used, but they're perhaps not as effective as they appear to be. Though convenient, these sites tend to create additional work for HR specialists, as many of the submitted resumes come from less-than-qualified applicants. There's a lot of digital noise, leading companies to seek more sophisticated technology solutions.

For years, larger organizations have had access to powerful tools, such as applicant tracking systems like Deltek and Vibe, but technology shifts are making more options available to smaller businesses as well.

Growth in HR technology means more attention can be paid to the applicant's journey. This gives greater visibility to the many parts that have to fall into place to process a single applicant, such as the applicant's schedule, the hiring manager's schedule, the HR team member's schedule, and more. Streamlining these connections is where online scheduling software can be extremely helpful.

Making Your Tools Work

A tool is only effective if it's used properly. When implementing new technology, accept that there will be bumps in the road; create a plan to recognize these irritations early and often. You'll know your system is successful when it's widely used by the audience you're trying to reach.

The best potential candidate likely has multiple independent projects going. This can present a challenge to HR staff, but it's important to remember that the same technology structure that allows candidates to establish their own self-serving fulfillment structures for their talents also allows HR specialists to find and recruit those potential hires.

With the skillful use of digital hiring platforms, HR can quickly identify and communicate with the best person for the job, improving efficiency and cutting down on the noisy interview process of yesteryear.

Kendall E. Matthews is vice president of global marketing and communication for AppointmentPlus, an online scheduling software application for organizations that provide services on an appointment basis.