What Smart Companies Do Differently
Part I - Recruitment
I have been an industrial psychologist for forty-eight years. Early on I noticed confusion between the concepts of recruitment and selection.
To this day, it continues. Let me shed light on important differences between the two activities.
Recruitment is the act of engaging, listing, or furnishing with a supply. In the human resources area, it is finding and attracting employees for a task or job.
Selection is this act of differentiating among candidates to find the right ones for the job. To put it another way selection implies making a choice or a decision based on available data. In the case of hiring, the data could come from an interview, an ability test score, or a combination of an interview and ability test.
This blog will explore recruitment and my next blog will cover selection.
Employee Recruitment & The Job Market
The job market has changed markedly in the past two years.
Early retirements driven by the COVID pandemic, the continuing retirements of the baby boom generation, and lower post baby boom era birth rates have contributed to a smaller labor pool.
Help wanted signs at grocery stores, restaurants, and big box retailers combined with banners outside of manufacturing and food processing plants promoting signing bonuses and job skills training are signs of the growing job openings across many businesses.
To operate effectively, companies need to invest in ongoing, creative recruiting efforts that offer incentives to capture the attention of applicants who may not even know that a particular job or job opening exists.
Job & Career Opportunities: Creating Awareness
The act of creating awareness about job and career opportunities within a company is what industrial psychologists refer to as applicant pool development. The goal with applicant pool development efforts is to secure multiple applications for each job opening whenever possible. Recruitment is the engine that helps to fill the applicant pool.
We recommend a combination of information, incentives, and marketing channels to get the attention of passive job seekers into the pool of potential candidates. (Passive job seekers are those who may be unemployed, retired, working part-time, pondering a career change, or employed in a full-time job.)
Effective recruitment serves as the stimulus to get passive job seekers to not only pay attention to a potential employer but to take the desired next step and submit a job application.
Today, many organizations are relying on electronic recruitment through sites such as Indeed, Career Builder, or LinkedIn. While these sites serve as attractive vehicles with the advertised promise of reaching many potential applicants, we caution clients that there are limits to this one size fits all approach.
The competitive job market necessitates a blended recruitment approach to reach passive candidates and cause them to pay attention and then seek information on job opportunities. While online sites such as Indeed can be recruiting and data management time savers, there is no substitute for creative marketing approaches that foster inquiry and personal contact with potential candidates.
Recruiting "Power" Tools
Examples of active, personalized blended recruitment efforts are job fairs, job site tours or open house events, and employee referral incentives.
Job fairs enable employers to talk directly with potential candidates about their jobs and they facilitate application collection.
Facility tours or open house events enable applicants to see what goes on behind the walls of a plant or process and potentially interact with incumbent operators to learn about the work of a particular organization. This can help passive job seekers to see opportunities for work they might not have fully appreciated before the tour.
Facility tours are a valuable insurance policy. They help to prevent people from blindly applying for a job that might not ultimately suit them because of the physical or mental demands of a job that are not apparent until setting foot at the job site.
Employee referral programs leverage the pride and knowledge of those closest to the work to serve as recruiters and create interest for job opportunities.
A Creative Recruiting Effort
Ariens, a leading manufacturer of lawnmowers and snowblowers, based in Brillion, Wisconsin, is an excellent example of a company using creative blended recruitment strategies. The Ariens marketing and HR team provided employees with yard signs like election campaign signs to post at home. The signs promoted the legacy and pride of the Ariens company and became so popular that the company did a second printing to provide additional signs to its employees. Since Ariens has employees coming from four sizeable population centers within 50 miles of its plant, they now have what amounts to free recruitment advertising in each of those markets.
The Ariens Yard Sign
Recruiting efforts deliver value when an organization has a diverse applicant pool with multiple candidates ready to participate in an organization’s employee selection process and accept a job offer.
Stay tuned next time for the connection between recruitment and selection and the important role that effective selection efforts play in making recruiting investments pay off.