If you’re a recruiter, you understand all too well that the employment market is in constant flux. Volatility, while not necessarily predictable, should be anticipated. Over the course of the past few years we’ve seen sudden and erratic changes, like the 2016 federal hiring freeze and the 2020 coronavirus outbreak; however, we’ve also experienced the emergence of new technology, like artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual reality.
No matter what the employment market looks like you should constantly be evolving your strategic workforce plan to account for changes throughout the year. While such changes may include budget reallocations or cutting open roles, it’s critical you maintain your employer brand and continue building your talent pipeline.
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Prioritize Maintaining Your Employer Brand
An employer brand takes months to create and the impact of it builds rapidly over time. Unless you have a well-established brand that is sought after by candidates, you do not have the luxury of letting your employer brand take a break when hiring goals are reduced. Doing so will set you months behind when hiring becomes a priority again. Rather than retreating to reactive recruiting approaches in times of uncertainty, it’s important to continue prioritizing proactive approaches like your employer brand.
Improve Your Cost-Per-Hire
Calculating cost-per-hire includes the money your company spends on average to hire an employee. This cost takes into account everything from the moment a new role opens up until the offer is accepted, which can include travel expenses, ad spend and agency fees as well as time spent on recruiting and employer branding — not to mention productivity loss and salary for the role. For reference, the average cost-per-hire is $4,425, but that number changes significantly by industry, role type and role seniority.
One factor that is not considered in this calculation is that a strong employer brand can reduce your cost per hire by a staggering 50 percent. However, if you have a poor employer brand, you can expect to pay a 10 percent higher salary in order to attract qualified candidates. Removing employer branding from your recruitment strategy will cost you more money in the long run.
Hiring Freezes ≠ Job Search Freezes
If you have to cut roles or are facing a full-on hiring freeze, it is even more important to continue building your employer brand through tough times. Why? Because regardless of whether or not you have roles open now, candidates are always looking for jobs. In fact, during the 2018 market correction, monthly job applications on Built In sites only fell by half a percentage point.
Market volatility often pushes employees to assess their own employer and determine if it is actually a company they want to work for. Not having an employer brand when job seekers are looking for employment will put you at risk for losing top candidates and maybe even your current employees. By boosting your employer brand to improve employee retention rates, you will be among just 30 percent of companies reaping the benefits of this worthwhile strategy.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
Work takes up the majority of a person’s life, making the decision of employment one that isn’t taken lightly. Job seekers need time to do their research and make clear decisions about who they want to work for.
We dug into our own data and found that on average, people complete five job search-related activities before applying. A solid employer brand with lots of great content will help candidates learn more about your brand faster, ease their minds about you as an employer and ensure them that they are making the right decision in applying for your open roles. Keep your employer brand top of mind with candidates so when hiring gets back to normal, you’ll be the first employer candidates think of when looking for a job. It will reduce your time-to-hire, ultimately reducing your cost-per-hire.
Continue Building Your Talent Pipeline
Your employer brand will play a major role in setting your talent pipeline up for success because if candidates don’t know about your company, they won’t be able to apply for your jobs. When you consider the fact that top candidates are only on the job market for about 10 days, it’s critical that your talent pipeline is efficient and establishes a meaningful connection with candidates early on.
Regardless of your company’s current hiring needs or the state of the employment market, it’s important to continuously attract candidates and build your talent pipeline so when new roles open up, you can fill them quicker; saving on costs, time and productivity.
Prepare for Employee Turnover
Employee turnover rate calculates the percent of employees who leave a company over a period of time. This includes both voluntary and involuntary turnovers. The average annual turnover rate is 19 percent, but this changes by role and industry. Regardless of how volatile the employment market is, you will still incur employee turnover and backfilling these essential positions will remain a priority.
According to SHRM, the average time-to-fill is 36 days, but if you’re backfiling hard-to-fill roles like software engineers this number will only increase; making it all the more important to continuously have warm candidates in your talent pipeline. A strong talent pipeline will help you quickly keep up with these hiring needs and reduce productivity loss.
Identify which recruitment strategies are vital to supplementing your talent pipeline and continue investing in them. This will reduce the risk of increasing your time to fill, and ultimately save your business money.
Get Creative With Sourcing Strategies
There are a number of different sourcing methods recruiters can use to fill their talent pipeline while under budget constraints. All of these sourcing strategies are low-cost investments and will help you find truly great candidates without depleting resources.
Get to know how to utilize boolean search in recruitment to better refine, narrow or broaden your sourcing results. This search method is extremely helpful for filling hard-to-hire roles, like engineers or data scientists.
Additionally, your applicant tracking system (ATS) is another great resource at your fingertips because it includes anyone who has ever engaged with your employer brand as a prospective candidate, meaning they already know about your company.
Even when the employment market is volatile, company goals remain. Regardless of how, when and why the employment market changes, a strong talent pipeline and employer brand will help your team be largely unphased when it occurs. Besides, when the market bounces back — which it always does — you will be prepared thanks to your proactive recruitment strategy.