empty chairs at business that is hiring applicants

Find Qualified Applicants in a Post Pandemic Job Market

Are you frustrated with your company's lack of applicant flow?

Finding qualified candidates to fill jobs is a struggle for many employers right now.

You might be seeing lower applicant flow now than you were before the pandemic hit. Or even worse, no applicant flow at all.

Most employers have seen a 50-60% drop in applicants between April 2020 to April 2021.

Pressure to Find Qualified Applicants

Likely you're feeling pressure to find qualified applicants to fill jobs. Many are wondering if the struggle to get more applicants is unique to them and their company.

You are not alone in this struggle to find qualified applicants to fill your open jobs!

If we looked at job reports during the beginning of the pandemic, we would see a high number of layoffs. With that many people out of work, you'd think that there would be a lot of job seekers out there looking to get hired.

High Numbers of Unemployed Workers

Current unemployment data available makes it seem like there are many unemployed people. But job seeker data isn't matching up to what companies are experiencing when looking to hire.

Job Reports and Unemployment Data

Here are a few reasons why the data isn't matching up to the applicant flow reality:

  • Data numbers don't account for the many unemployed workers who went back to school. Also, many others started looking for more flexible gig jobs such as Uber, Lyft, and Doordash.

  • The employment data doesn't include those unemployed that are still apprehensive about COVID-19. Many still are nervous about getting face-to-face with customers at a workplace.

  • Much of the employment data available is too zoomed out to see specifics. It's hard to get a reading for local areas, specific industries, and types of jobs you're hiring for.

Low Applicant Flow Impacts Business

Here's the bottom line: Low applicant flow is having a huge impact on many businesses trying to hire.

It's almost impossible for any company to survive, let alone thrive when you can't find qualified applicants to expand your teams!

Currently, our job market is in a perfect storm for a lack of finding qualified applicants.

Why Isn't There Enough Applicants to Fill Jobs?

There was a lot of chaos and uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago. We're now facing a more positive, yet similar difficult situation when it comes to hiring as things open back up.

There's still the high government payout for unemployment which is keeping some potential applicants home.

Job seekers now have new expectations about different work environments like working-from-home.

And to make the job market even more competitive, everybody's hiring all at once.

Does Spending More Money Equal More Applicants?

As businesses open back up, most employers are increasing their hiring spending. This increase in hiring spending makes the entire applicant sourcing ecosystem more competitive.

Despite this extra spending, employers are seeing fewer applicants than they expected.

So then they throw more money at the problem without actually changing at all. Just throwing money at the problem is making the lack of applicants feel worse than it is.

Improve Hiring Strategy = More Qualified Applicants

Job boards are changing. Your competitors are changing. And the desires of the job seekers are changing.

Even with all this change happening, we're still seeing many employers using their same passive hiring approach. The approach they were using pre-pandemic and yet expecting the same results.

Hope for the Hiring World!

Are you ready for some good news when it comes to finding great applicants?

We've been doing a ton of data studies with our jobs and employment data, and they're all reflecting HOPE!

Here are some key points we found for better hiring:

  1. Find applicants that have fallen out of your hiring funnel.

    Most employers are seeing less than 1% of qualified job seekers in their inboxes. This means that for each applicant you receive, there are 99 more potential job seekers out there. These 99 potential job seekers have fallen out of your hiring funnel for one reason or another.

  2. Reduce hiring friction when applying for your jobs.

    When employers focus on reducing friction, they see a 40-60% increase in applicant flow. Reduce friction with a shorter application to bring in more qualified applicants.

  3. Write an engaging job ad that shows off your best job perks.

    Employers who write a more engaging job ad focused on the job seeker, see a 50-300% increase in applicant flow. When you understand your target job seeker and speak more to them, you'll begin to see amazing results. Make sure that along with great pay you also offer benefits, perks, flexibility, and growth.

Turn on the Applicant Flow!

Hiring plans and applicant flow strategies are great, but will not make a difference without taking action.

At this point in the hiring climate, we are in, there aren't any easy answers. It will take learning and strategy on your part to help get job seekers interested in your jobs.

Here are some tips to turn on the applicant flow:

  1. Change your hiring view.

    Employers are going to need to change their model about how they view the world of hiring and recruiting.

  2. Ditch your old hiring approach.

    Create a new hiring approach that's proactive rather than reactive to the current job market.

  3. Get the entire team involved in hiring!

    Every employee in your company has to know that finding applicants is important. Let them know that you need their help in recruiting their future co-workers. Make hiring with employee referrals a big deal and remind them often that you care about it.

  4. Hiring is an ever-changing process.

    Your hiring approach needs to be a deliberate, proactive action plan. This hiring plan isn't going to be a one-time change. Employers will need to adapt and adjust their recruiting approach to find out what's working, and what isn't.

12 Weeks to Improve Applicant Sourcing

Over the next 12 weeks, I'm going to be laying out a step-by-step plan on how to improve your applicant flow.

We'll call this The 90 Days of Applicant Sourcing.

Step 1. Start with a hiring process audit.

We'll dig into your current hiring approach and applicant flow to see exactly what's going on. Understanding your hiring process will also help in taking proactive steps to improve.

Step 2. Create a hiring roadmap.

We'll create a roadmap with core areas for optimizing hiring results in your current process. We'll help you find balance in attracting applicants by focusing on other sources. This will help bring in better quality applicants and improve long-term hiring success.

Step 3. Understand hiring frameworks.

We're going to provide you with hiring frameworks and formulas, proven to improve applicant flow. We'll outline new hiring practices and principles that work in hiring every time. (But are very different from the way most employers are approaching hiring!)

Be on the lookout for this series of blog posts that are going to follow this one over the next 12 weeks. I will walk you through step-by-step what you can do to improve your hiring and applicant sourcing efforts.

Prefer listening to a podcast rather than reading? You can find these tips on The 90 Days of Sourcing Series over on our Hire Hacker podcast.

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