Points of View

Help Wanted: Make it easier to fill jobs or get left behind

Help Wanted: Make it easier to fill jobs or get left behind

Eric Van Duren

To say, “It’s an interesting time to be in Talent Acquisition” is an understatement with many recruitment professionals thinking “HELP!”. For me, an interesting time also brings an array of opportunities to shape what the future of hiring should look like. In this blog we’ll look at what we know about the employment market and specific things employers can do to fill more jobs.

Thanks to research shared in the Talent 2025 New Talent Landscape video we know:

  • The US and Michigan are at a historic low in labor force participation rates
  • Retirements have been accelerated within the aging workforce
  • The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on women and minorities
  • It would have been wise to invest in the makers of Help Wanted signs around 18 months ago

I bring humor, or attempt to, in that last point because if like me you’ve been in more urgent meetings than you can count along with many restless nights thinking about the impact this is having on your employees, customers, and community. This struggle can bring strength, and the support rallying behind hiring needs to be used as a catalyst for change that will increase outcomes and better the experience you provide. Let’s examine a few changes that will allow you to more easily fill job openings and avoid being left behind.

 

Adjust internal policies

Unfortunately, within many organizations policies are legacy documents, updated annually with minor tweaks to lock down one-off scenarios that leaders have in their minds. An overhaul is needed if this has been your practice, with a particular lens on how to include vs. exclude. From attendance, to performance, to drug testing, to background checks; identify ways to weave inclusivity into the fabric of your organization.

How about a quick example around the background check process and hiring individuals who are returning home after prison? I’ve come across many leaders who equate this population of candidates to a risk they can’t take. To that logic I say one of my favorite things to say which is, “show me the data,” with a typical response being, “uhhh”. The truth, employing returning citizens requires securing investment in time and funding based on the results it will drive. Then proper understanding, partnership, individual readiness and knowing no population has a 100% success rate in the hiring process. If done with a solid plan and support from senior leaders, working with returning citizens only expands the opportunity to make and retain great hires.

 

Improving access

Improving access to jobs is a key differentiator in today’s employment market. When supply vs. demand is not in your favor, making it easier to get hired is amplified. Start by challenging yourself to reduce the time it takes to complete your employment application by 50%. Then, for jobs essential to operations where you can’t seem to find enough candidates, here are a few ways to help make a candidate’s journey simple and exceptional:

  • Speed matters. Contact all candidates within one business day of application and have them interviewed within two.
  • Consider removing hiring managers from the process when your interview to hire ratio is below two. If above two, investigate why candidates are being ruled out.
  • Create a workflow that allows you to interview, offer, and onboard in a single session. This helps avoid the candidate ghosting phenomenon.
  • Cultivate relationships with partners that allow you to set up hiring events in community-based settings. Why not go to your candidates instead of always making them come to you?

 

Prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diverse experiences and perspectives will enable you to surface additional candidates, increase retention for those you hire and ultimately make us better as a whole. This effort needs to be at all touch points, including where and how you show up. Know that reality will shine through and dedication to living what you say is essential to making this an actual priority. What you can’t be is silent. A friend of mine loves to coach on “using your voice” and the importance of listening, learning, and taking a stance on what you believe. Your hiring process should echo what you believe and demonstrate why all candidates will feel cared for when they join your team. Look for an upcoming blog where I will talk more about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

Future blog posts

This is part one in a series of three blogs that will be posted in the coming weeks. Future topics will include developing your current workforce to meet talent demands and specific ways to build around diversity, equity, and inclusion. I have a passion for networking; if interested, find me on LinkedIn.

 

Connect

What are some things you are doing to make it easier to fill jobs? Let us know on Twitter @WMTalent 2025.

Check out Talent 2025’s Issue Spotlight on identifying new sources of talent on YouTube.

Connect on LinkedIn. Learn more about Spectrum Health.

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