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10 Ways to Achieve a Transformative Hiring Strategy

You can’t achieve your business outcomes without achieving your goals when it comes to hiring and retaining top talent. According to LinkedIn, 70% of people are not actively looking for new jobs, but 87% of people are open to new opportunities. That means a huge opportunity for employers are willing to convince top talent to come and impact their great companies. 

So how can you create a hiring strategy that meets the needs of today’s talented workforce? Our VP of People, Mike Bailen, recently spoke at the Day One event in Seattle about just that. Here are his top ten ways to build relationships with strong talent and get everyone at your company on board and involved in the process.

1. Rethink job descriptions

Attracting great talent starts with a killer job description. But instead of giving them a list of what you need today, how about listing the impact they will make within the first year and beyond? Approaching descriptions this way can do wonders for candidate quality and more.

According to Gallup, 34% of U.S. workers are engaged, tying the highest statistic for this market in Gallup’s history. With engagement on the rise, favorable business outcomes will follow suit. Show your best foot forward to top talent by highlighting the impact a role will make to your great company to attract people who show up ready to add value on day one

2. Lead with stories instead of jobs

“I think storytelling is the best vehicle to market and to build your brand,” says Bailen. “We have a marketer that actually sits within recruiting and her role is to really lift up the curtain and show you what it’s really like to work at Lever.” This person can author content on behalf of departments and teams to show what it’s really like to work in different roles at your company.

3. Ask hiring managers to write stories

“We also get hiring managers involved,” says Bailen. “In addition to impact descriptions, we ask them to write stories.” It’s another vehicle to put out in addition to impact descriptions. Stories are great content to post on LinkedIn, as well as content you can run targeted ads with on different websites to get people’s attention. Hopefully, they get to the end and apply!

4. Optimize job ads

“If you aren’t seeing over 3% click-through-rates, you should iterate,” says Bailen. Ensuring that you have solid click rates and matching that with quality applicants can make a huge impact. When in doubt, look at the latest in tools and technology on sites like Talent Tech Lab.

5. Optimize landing pages

Bailen recommends Zoomforth as an easy site to leverage and spin off landing pages. They enable recruiters and other fields to put the right message in front of the right candidates at the right time, throughout every stage of the recruiting process.

“I think career sites are traditionally really hard to influence from an HR professional standpoint,” says Bailen. “Marketing is reluctant to change collateral, so I’ve always looked for solutions or tools that you can make dynamic and actually take into your own function. We’ll produce landing pages for different roles for different departments. When we reach out to candidates, we can have them go to those landing pages versus have them go to our career site, which really doesn’t speak to them.”

6. Source through your own ATS

As the stat at the beginning of this post shows, there are very few active job seekers, but 87% of people are open to new opportunities. That’s a huge margin! They’re just waiting for the right message and opportunity to make a jump, so it’s important to allow your recruiters to hunt for the right talent for roles. And don’t get stuck on LinkedIn! Ensure that you can track those people back to your applicant tracking system (ATS).

“What we’re seeing out of our customer base is a 46% response rate, which is just crazy. If you think about LinkedIn numbers, I think it’s 20-25% is really good. We’re seeing our customers get 46% response rate,” says Bailen.

Be sure to check our latest Talent Benchmark Report to see where you stack up next to Lever’s client base.

7. Show diverse voices and a diverse workforce

“It’s not enough for a recruiter or for you or whoever just to continuously email the same person over and over again. You want to get other people involved. Recruiting truly is a team sport. The more voices you can get, the more people in your organization you can get to send emails out, the better,” says Bailen. The hard part is coordinating it all, while sourcing talent at the same time. But diversity of voice can really make a difference.

Bailen’s other secret is to not ask them to apply for a job. “I think it’s totally appropriate to ask for a coffee meeting, invent them to lunch or to an event,” he says. “Again, this is all about nurturing. It’s the long game. You might be doing this even when you don’t have a current opening. So, think about nurturing as being a core part of your talent strategy.” It’s only with this element that your hiring practices can reach true transformation.

Meet with hiring managers regularly and decide what nurture cadence is best once you find talent that you’re trying to recruit. In Lever, 5-7 email nurture cadences can be set up in a matter of minutes. 

8. Send on behalf of the hiring manager

“Lever has a 37% open rate,” says Bailen. But this number greatly increases depending on who the email is coming from. There’s a 24% increase when sending on behalf of an executive, and a 19% decrease in time-to-hire when nurturing candidates. 

“I think that’s the hard part of sourcing is there’s a lot of activity that happens outside of your core solution and your core ATS and CRM. You never get that insight back because it’s LinkedIn’s data, right? What’s great about it is that we have a partnership so they push that data back into Lever. Yeah, it’s super easy to find emails these days, right? There’s Chrome extensions where you can swoop the candidate profile into your CRM and into your ATS pretty quickly,” says Bailen.

9. Uplevel the recruiting coordinator position

Lever also rethought the role of recruiting coordinators to enhance the candidate experience. This experience can make or break the offer acceptance rate. When Bailen started at Lever, there was a 70% offer acceptance. It’s now upward of 90%, a metric that candidate experience specialists are super proud of and held accountable for. They produce interview guides, and think about every candidate they interact with. It’s important to have a team accountable for this.

10. Allow for internal mobility

Last but not least, internal mobility can change your ability to hire quickly, retain talent, and not spend more on onboarding. It takes only 7 internal applicants to make a hire internally, and 14 days on average to make a hire. How can you build a brand internally around careers and working at your company? Bailen shares that at Zappos, employees did a lot of shadowing to allow for movement. 

Lever’s Internal Mobility streamlines the application process and allows recruiters to provide white-glove treatment for employees interviewing for other roles. It’s also built on top of Lever’s custom access controls, which allows for granular granting of sensitive information privileges, meaning the hiring team involved will get to see everything they’re supposed to — and nothing more.

Final thoughts: Achieving a transformative hiring strategy

It takes everyone on board to achieve stellar hiring best practices. From the job description to sourcing and nurturing top talent, no part of the employee lifecycle can be missed to achieve transformation. And ensuring you have visibility at each part of the process can make all the difference to reporting and communicating if changes need to be made.

To get help transforming your hiring strategy, set up a custom demo to see Lever’s ATS + CRM in action and what it can do to elevate your recruiting best practices.