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Top Workplaces: Recruiting and Hiring

May 01, 2024 06:29AM ● By Bob Helbig

For employers and employees, matchmaking seems to have gotten more difficult.

A recent Top Workplaces Research Lab study revealed that employers and job seekers alike are struggling with the recruiting and hiring process. 

What ticks off job seekers the most? The frustration with the amount of time it takes to find a job, along with the added stress and spotty communication. 

“The labor market has changed,” said Kinsey Smith, senior people scientist at Energage, which conducted the research. “Jobseekers are no longer as patient. And there’s a dwindling pool of people who are willing to jump through all of those hoops to work for an organization that they are not sure is even the right fit for them.”

One example: There are big gaps in perceptions centered on clear communication of company culture. While 80 percent of employers believe they effectively convey their company culture to job seekers, only 30 percent of candidates share the same perception.

Furthermore, while 60 percent of employers said they felt they were regularly communicating, only 28 percent of job seekers said they felt the communication was sufficient.

Both hiring organizations and job seekers agree that hiring, recruiting, and finding a job are more difficult than in past years. Post-pandemic, companies have been battling challenges around inflation, the great resignation, and issues around remote work, among others.

The Top Workplaces Research Lab recently conducted a comprehensive survey, gathering insights from both hiring organizations (246 responders) and jobseekers (302 responders) to shed light on the hiring process. While there were some commonalities in their views, there were also significant disparities. Here are some other key findings.

Challenging times: Both employers and job seekers report an increased level of difficulty in the hiring and job-hunting processes compared with the pre-pandemic era. 

Perception gap: Job seeker responses indicated a more negative interview process than what hiring organizations believed candidates at their own organizations would experience. 

Culture fit discrepancy: While 95 percent of hiring organizations considered culture fit highly important when selecting a candidate, only 45 percent of job seekers shared this perspective. 

Dissatisfaction with time-to-fill positions: Nearly half of hiring organizations (47 percent) expressed dissatisfaction with the time it takes to fill vacant positions within their organizations. 

Effective recruitment channels: Hiring organizations reported that they find most candidates through employee referrals and job boards. 

Effectiveness of hiring efforts: Surprisingly, only 56 percent of hiring organizations rated their hiring and recruiting efforts as highly effective. 

Where are employers finding workers? Of those employers surveyed, 78 percent said they find talent through referrals. Some 61 percent use job boards. Another 38 percent use word of mouth, and about a third rely on direct advertising. Another third said they used promotions and transfers to fill positions.

When asked what obstacles are hurting the hiring and recruiting process, 62 percent of employers said there was a limited talent pool. About half said candidate expectations for pay was a barrier. Another third cited candidates unexpectedly dropping out of process as well as a limited number of applicants. And 29 percent cited candidate expectations for remote work.

Not surprising, employees valued pay, work-life flexibility and benefits (in that order) when looking for a job.

When asked what would improve the process, job seekers said better communication, transparency about pay, a shorter process and clearer expectations around the job itself.

Recommended best practices for employers around hiring:

·        Communicate more, from start to finish, at every phase of the process.

·        Streamline the hiring process.

·        Be transparent about pay from the beginning.

·        Design the process to be more inclusive of diverse candidates.

·        Collect data on the most important aspects of the hiring process, and use it to improve.

For employers that are struggling to fill spots, Smith said “it might be time to look internally and see what they could be doing differently to try to shift things.” She said companies would be wise to assess their hiring process by talking not only with new hires but with jobseekers who did not join the organization. 

Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is the survey partner for Top Workplaces.


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