Speaking on the My Business Podcast, Rafael Moyano, CEO of the Australian branch of global recruitment firm The Adecco Group, offered some handy insights into why employers may be struggling to attract and retain skilled workers.
He also had some useful tips on making the hiring process less time-consuming for busy employers.
Job titles count — for and against you
As Mr Moyano explains, many employers — particularly as the size of the business increases — try and get creative with their job titles. But this is a big no-no when it comes to recruiting people for these positions.
“You want a specific position, yes. [So,] name it,” he said.
“Sometimes we love to put around now you are the manager of [XYZ]. No, no, no. Just put what you need, so people will know if they want to apply or not.
“If there is confusion [about what the job actually involves, that] is where there is a mess. So, just be clear on the position that you are looking for and name it.”
Similarly, he advised against relying on a candidate’s job title as an indication of the duties they performed in a role when assessing applications.
“Nowadays, there are so many new positions created, so many different titles created, that just the title gives you very little information [about what the job entails].
“Sometimes maybe it’s the sector you’re looking [within], and by chance you have the same title at the previous company — [that] helps a lot. But I think that all the insightful information comes from the description of what you [as a candidate] have done.”
Failing to embrace tech (even basic computer functions)
It can be daunting, overwhelming even, to be bombarded with applications for a position and then having to filter through the many, many irrelevant ones to find the ones worthy of an interview. All on top of everything else demanding our attention: serving customers, putting out fires and keeping the light on.
And no one understands this better than a recruiter.
“So, if you can use technology to, let’s say to filter and to simplify the process, do it,” Mr Moyano suggested.
That tech, however, can be as simple as hitting Control + F on the keyboard to scan applications for particular keywords, and binning any that fall short, Mr Moyano said. The point is about searching and filtering, which computers can do much faster than the human eye.
“Choose what you like, be very clear for you [whether something] is an asset or not.
“So, be clear what really matters to you, to try to filter.
“It could be language, it could be you’re looking for any IT application, it could be software skills... or it could be a previous experience.”
Doing too much, too soon
Trying to do a catch-all during the initial filtering is unwise and needlessly time-consuming, Mr Moyano suggested.
Instead, evaluate different types of skills and experiences at a specific stage in the recruitment process.
“You have to look at the hard skills on the resume, but later all soft skills will come with the interview,” he said.
“Once you have the short list for the interview process, you assess the softer skills.”
“[If] you try to do everything by the resume and you don’t have [a] clear [idea] which kind of profile you want, you’ll be all the time just looking, looking, looking through resumes with not any filtering.”
Forgetting, or cutting short, the ‘onboarding’ process
This can be where many employers fall down: they bring in great recruits, but can’t keep them for long.
“I think many companies underestimate the onboarding process,” Mr Moyano warned.
He said that employers “probably put a lot of resources and time and effort on the [initial] onboarding”, but many new recruits will leave if this integration with the rest of the business is cut short.
According to Mr Moyano, employers suffering from this problem should take a step back and review not just their onboarding process, but also who is actually responsible for doing the hiring and choosing candidates to fill vacancies, as it may be that poor candidate choice means new hires are destined to fail.
Secondly, onboarding is more than just an initial phase — it should be an ongoing process to keep employees engaged, connected and integrated within the business.
“The first year of anyone working at the company is where you see around 60 to 65 per cent turnover,” he said.
“The onboarding may give you a guarantee that the person will probably stay with you for a couple of months, but if they’re not happy later because of their peers, because of their boss, because the job they are doing is not what they were looking for, they will leave.
“It’s really important that later you keep taking care of this person, because the first year is the crucial year.”