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Human Resources Advice: What to Do When the Best of the Worst is Still Bad

human resources adviceTHERESA DEW
HNI Human Resources Manager

We see this all the time — organizations take a pool of not-so-hot applicants, pick the top three to interview, and then hire the best one. But if you’re starting with a deficient pool of candidates, the best of the worst is usually still bad.

The war for talent is on, and it's tougher than ever. But don’t compromise your hiring criteria just to fill a seat. After you make that offer, that person is likely going to be around for quite some time. Make sure you get the right fit!

Here's some human resources advice for increasing your flow of applicants and getting some new talent in the door:

1. Make Sure Your Application Process is Easy

Would-be employees often won’t bother with a difficult or elaborate application process, especially if other companies in your industry are hiring as well. A web-based application is best, but if you have to post a PDF, make sure it’s “fillable” — in other words, you can type responses directly on the form.

We recommend keeping your application as short as possible, asking for only basic screening information. Then once you have them hooked, you can share some of the great things about your company and ask them for more background on why they're the right person for the job.

2. Look for New Sources

Want to freshen up your pool? Start looking in new places. Are there key associations or trade groups to hit? Are there natural gathering places for folks in your industry where you could reach passive candidates? Which websites and networks are your employees active on? Take our human resources advice and turn over those stones!

3. Get Social

Social media recruiting is quickly growing as a source for candidates. LinkedIn offers position postings that allow job hunters to apply with their LinkedIn profile with just one click. This easy application lets somewhat passive candidates to throw their hat in the ring. Twitter, Facebook, and even message boards also can open you up to a new talent pool.

4. Polish Your Pitch

To stand out in a sea of boring job descriptions, try taking a different approach. Change up the job title, or massage the description. Treat your job postings as an elevator pitch for your organization. Creativity counts!

We've had some fun with our job postings at HNI. They're not perfect, but we stopped talking like lawyers, asked our hiring managers to really think about the type of the candidates they’re looking for, and tried to let our culture shine through. Check out our crack at fun job postings on our Careers page.

5. Solicit Referrals

Employees can be some of the best sources for prospective hires. If they’re speaking positively about your company off the clock, they’re your incognito recruiters. Referral bonuses or incentives can sweeten the deal — but even just explicitly asking them to talk to their networks can help immensely!

What Human Resources Advice Can You Share to Improve Applicant Flow?

What other techniques have you tried for increasing your pool of candidates? What’s worked? What hasn’t? Please share your human resources advice in the comments below!

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Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits