Talking tech since 2003

You can become an exceptional recruiter without an innate knack for writing compelling emails. You can shatter headcount goals even if you can’t successfully woo every candidate. Often, what sets great talent teams apart from good ones is the creative, time-saving strategies they use. Whether they want to source smarter, close candidates more effectively or interview faster, these teams are using novel problem-solving methods that work better and faster than most.

In this post, I want to share 10 top recruiting hacks for 2018. Through working with hundreds of recruiters, I’ve learned these tactics really do generate results. My conviction is they’ll work for you too. The good news? You won’t have to overhaul your entire process or dramatically improve your skill set to put them to use.

1) Roll out a “LinkedIn Profile Revamp” campaign

At your next company meeting, carve out time for everyone to dive into their LinkedIn profiles. Begin by having them assess their current profile. What story are they telling about their work, if any? Then, ask your team to consider adding three new elements to their LinkedIn profile: 1. The impact of their role, 2. What they think is special about your team, and 3. Their favorite activities outside of work – whether that’s concerts or chess. Your employees may not feel comfortable with spicing up their LinkedIn language and overall story, so recruit marketing team members to walk around and help them craft it.

2) Customize your careers page with employee spotlights

Candidates want to hear from current employees. Why did those team members join? What does their role entail, and why is it fulfilling? Begin by organizing a professional photoshoot that captures employees in their work environment. Take headshots, group photos, and shots of employees in meetings and at their desks. Then, you can feature employee stories along with their individual photos on your careers page – otherwise known as employee spotlights – and include team shots that showcase your company’s dynamic.

3) Use calendar “chunking” for sourcing, phone screens, etc.

Tip from Stacy Donovan Zapar, Founder of Tenfold & The Talent Agency

Block chunks of time on your calendar for sourcing, phone screens, candidate feedback, hiring manager meetings, and more. If you don’t block the time, it might get booked with other lower priority items (and sourcing should be a daily priority!). Personally, I focus on sourcing first thing in the morning and do my calls and meetings later in the day, but find a system that works best for you. And while you’re at it, include a lunch break for much-needed recharging time. We all need that too!

4) Build rapport with candidates who aren’t right

Tip from Tennyson Jones, Recruiting Researcher, Netflix

Great people know great people – if I’ve built a great rapport with a candidate who ends up not being right for the job, they almost always have zero problem sending me the names of other great people who may be closer to what I’m looking for. So always ask for referrals if you feel comfortable – this tactic has resulted in a few different success stories of mine.

5) Go through 10 resumes with your hiring manager before kicking off every candidate search

Print out a batch of candidate profiles, then meet with your hiring manager and push them to tell you what excites or deflates them about each one. Which experiences and skills are important to them, and why? Do they see red flags on any resumes? Asking these questions will clarify what they’re looking for, help you bring candidates in that match their ideal template, and propel your search forward.  

6) Customize each hiring process with interview kits

To set your team up for success, it’s important to customize their experience. Some ways to do this include: helping your interviewers come up with strong questions, helping them set up different scorecards for different roles, and communicating additional info for interviewers to keep in mind. You can do all of this through building ‘interview kits’, i.e. interview forms with questions and guidance. Reminder: be sure to give your interview panel complementary questions – that way, your candidate doesn’t have to repeat themselves five times over.

7) Enforce a 24-hour feedback submission deadline

Ingrain this rule in your interviewers’ minds during interview training, emphasize it in your ‘interview kit’, and reiterate it during your quarterly check-ins. Timely feedback is a crucial part of your recruiting success – you’ll update candidates faster, move them through your process more smoothly, and ultimately have greater success with them.

8) Send a welcome email to new employees, GIF included

It takes five minutes or less to make a GIF, but they’re incredibly meaningful to candidates. At Lever, our recruiting team sends every new hire an email with a GIF of their future team cheering excitedly. And here’s the bonus: they include the entire company in the email. Then, every Leveroo sends a welcome email of their own – which often feature more hilarious GIFs. But this can be a closing strategy as well! Even if your candidate hasn’t yet said yes, you can still send them an email with a GIF and ask your team members to reply expressing their excitement.

9) Regularly check your conversion rates throughout the process

Once a month, step back to look at the percentage of candidates who make it to the screening process, to an onsite, to offer, and to hire. Are your rates changing for better or worse? Where do you lose most candidates? What can you do differently to improve conversions? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can brainstorm to figure out which parts of your process need strengthening. If your onsite to hire ratio is high, for example, that means you’re bringing lots of candidates onsite, but not hiring a high percentage of them. This could mean that your phone screen (or whichever stage is before your onsite) is not effectively discerning which candidates are a fit.

10) Explicitly request a diverse range of referrals

When you ask for referrals, challenge your fellow employees to think beyond the obvious – past their three best friends that may or may not be all from the same demographic. Emphasize that diversity requires deliberate effort, and it’s something all employees can help with – by making introductions to great people they know, even if they don’t fit the “traditional” profile. It only makes the team stronger in the long run!

Ideally, the hacks above can help you become more productive and goal-crushing in 2018.

If you’d like to read through all 103 of the recruiting hacks we catalogued in our recent ebook, download it here. And once you’ve completed the recruiting process, you can use PEO firms like JustWorks to help onboard new employees seamlessly.

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