If you’re an HR professional in a mid-sized business, you’re juggling a lot. Time and resources are scarce, and when autumn rolls around, it's hard to keep all the balls in the air.
I know it’s difficult to keep up with the demands of the season, so I’ve put together a few simple tips to make the fall rush easier. And even if you end up reading this article in April, keep reading — these are things you can do year-round.
Figure Out Where You Can Delegate and Automate
HR professionals at mid-size businesses often struggle with delegating. It’s not because they’re control freaks; many simply don’t feel like they have the time or money to teach other people, train hiring managers, or share management of the applicant tracking system.
However, lack of delegation is a recipe for stress, burnout, and mistakes, so figure out what work you can hand off or automate. Look to your hiring manager, for example.
What more can they do? Hiring managers often perform interviews and pass the results along to HR. But if you have an ATS, you can involve your hiring manager in the process and potentially turn over some tasks to them. Additionally, you should see what tasks can be automated.
This will result in three things:
You’ll get better documentation throughout the process and have a better understanding of candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.
Your processes will become more efficient, and your metrics, such as time-to-fill, will improve.
Your hiring manager — or whoever you get more involved in these processes — will be more engaged and will build skills to support a dynamic, robust team.
Text Your Candidates
If you’re not already doing so, make it a practice to send text messages to candidates.
Texting has become ubiquitous, even in professional environments, and the texting capability of your ATS will help you reach candidates quicker. And it’s probably a communications method your candidates prefer. So there’s no reason not to take full advantage of the technology you have at your fingertips when you see a good candidate.
However, be sure to set clear rules at your organization for text messaging, and be transparent with candidates on how you’ll use it. First, offer texting as a communications method preference during the application process. You can offer an option to make it the default method, which is something I recommend. But be very clear with candidates that you’ll only use the contact information to communicate about the position and set those same rules for your organization. This will create trust between you and the candidate. Mass texting such as for promotional purposes can lower candidates’ perception of your organization, making it less likely that they’ll apply for a position with you again.
Also, use predefined templates for your text messages. This will help avoid typos and other clumsy errors and will keep your language consistent and professional.
Audit Your Employer Branding
First impressions are important. You expect your candidates to show up at a job interview with an ironed shirt, nice shoes, and a clean copy of their resume. Similarly, you need to make the best first impression possible with your employer branding.
Start with your career page. It should be both inviting and simple. Don’t overburden candidates with information, such as nitty-gritty details of your retirement and health care plans. Present only what’s necessary for a candidate to make a decision on whether they should apply.
You should also audit the steps of your application process. Ask yourself how much information is truly necessary to make a decision on whether someone is a quality candidate. Perhaps you need a resume and only a few questions. Simplifying your application process will invite even more candidates to apply; a burdensome, time-consuming application process is a red flag for candidates.
Prepare for the Hiring Season
My final bit of advice is to look at the calendar. If you’re in an industry with seasonal hiring, you’re likely feeling it in your stomach — because it’s time to begin the holiday hiring rush all over again.
If you don’t want it to be a rush, then get started early. Go through your ATS and begin reaching out to past seasonal workers, as well as previous candidates. You’ll get a jump-start on finding out who’s unavailable this year, and you should be able to find quality workers faster. The more you staff up early, the more you’ll save on marketing for open positions as the holidays approach.