Posted on January 09, 2019 by SnapDragon Associates, LLC

As the leading recruitment resource for the Lumber and Building Materials Industry, we stay on top of changes that affect the success of our clients. Your work force is your biggest asset and businesses that aren’t informed of the latest hiring trends risk losing out on top talent to their competitors. As “Industry Insiders” it’s very important to build our knowledge and stay current of trends affecting our clients, in this instance our research focused on the Evolution of Recruitment. *CareerBuilder & SilkRoad conducted a survey of 1000 job seekers and discovered that low unemployment and high demand for talent are feeding a recruiting environment where job seekers have higher expectations for their job search. Fact: Open positions far outweigh the number of available candidates to fill them. “Today, it’s a job seeker’s market and they know it” – It’s not the first time you have heard this within the past year. In the current job market, the employer no longer holds the cards but there are things you can do to improve your close rate on hires and increase your chances of hiring that top talent. In this survey it was discovered that more than 40% of candidates have higher expectations for how an employer treats them pre-hire and how they are on-boarded. Companies need to revamp their recruitment and onboarding processes in order to attract and engage Best-In-Class talent for their teams.

How Convenient is your Application Process?

It’s a fact that the top two frustrations of job seekers are related to the application process. As a hiring manager, have you ever taken the time to apply to one of your positions yourself to understand what your future employees experience? Is it a good experience or a frustrating one?  We can tell you that most of you reading this have not and when you do, you might be surprised how “un-user” friendly it is.

  • Is your site mobile device friendly? With today’s technology, candidates are searching for jobs on their mobile devices more than ever. In fact, 3 out of 5 candidates are applying for positions on their phones throughout the day.
  • How long is your company’s online application? Ease and quickness of the application is paramount to your business. Nearly 1 in 5 candidates spend less than 10 minutes tops on an application before moving on.
  • Does the candidate need to enter endless information in the application after first uploading a resume? This can be the most frustrating part of applying online – many sites do not allow the candidate to move on from the “previous employer” field even if they have already uploaded a resume. Time is money, and the additional click-throughs turn top talent off. Remember, top talent knows they are valuable, and you need them more than they need you.  It sounds outrageous, but it is a reality in this environment.

Ease and quickness of the application process will produce more qualified passive candidates who are busier doing their jobs than looking for one.

Application Sent – Now What?

Once a candidate has applied to your company the communication has begun, or has it? Over 75% of candidates claim the online application process for most employers today is much like falling into a black hole. One candidate described online applications as a printer on the side of the Grand Canyon where his resume is printed and then flies out the back and into the canyon below, making him wonder if anyone really sees it.  This is the experience many of your candidates encounter daily and they are frustrated. Candidates today want to be engaged throughout the process. Nearly 7 out of 10 candidates cite a lack of acknowledgement once their application has been completed.

When a Candidate is Left in the Dark, They Move On!

We speak with several candidates throughout the day, many of whom are shocked that a recruiter is calling them back to acknowledge receipt of their resume. In a market where companies are struggling to find talent it is imperative to keep candidates engaged. They need to know their time is valuable and their job search is just as important to you as it is to them.

From the *CareerBuilder & SilkRoad report:

  • 100% want some form of communication
  • 80% of candidates expect constant contact throughout the application process
  • 76% Expect a personalized e-mail response
  • 36% Expect a phone call
  • 18% are happy with a text message
  • Over 50% of candidates wait less than 2 weeks to hear back from an employer.

In today’s world, poor communication is unacceptable. It is imperative that we treat potential hires like customers and be more responsive. If we do, you lessen the chance of them moving on!

Communication is key states, Tony Shepley, President of Shepley Wood Products  who shares:

“It is a balancing act between moving faster than we should and not moving fast enough for a candidate. If we move too fast, we might miss key points of due diligence and hire someone who is not suitable or hire them for a position that is not right for them. If we don’t move fast enough, we may just lose the candidate because another employer grabs them!”

Offer Accepted – No Guarantees:

In a competitive market such as we are encountering today, candidates feel the need to remain competitive. In fact, over 50% of candidates who have accepted a job offer continue their job search while they await the perspective employer’s pre-employment screening results. The length of time it takes the employer to perform a background check can be a huge turn-off for candidates. Over 40% of candidates who have accepted a new position will wait less than 10 days for the company to update them on results of the pre-employment screening process before moving on.

*CareerBuilder & SilkRoad Report:

  • 86% of employers have had candidates walk away from an accepted job offer
  • 67% of employers predict ¼ of all new hires will not show up after accepting an offer
  • 45% will accept a counter offer and stay with their current employer

A career change is life altering for most candidates – they have to provide notice to a current employer where they have been for years, they may be relocating or be concerned they don’t know where their next paycheck will come from. Timeliness is key . . . you must be sure that candidates feel at ease throughout the entire process. Ask yourself, how does your company engage with a new hire throughout the process? Additionally, do not leave a candidate alone with an offer. Schedule a follow up call to “review the offer” where you will most likely find questions about the offer and some trepidation issues that you can alleviate with a quick chat.  A simple note or call that looks like this: “Dave, I would like to schedule a quick call to review the offer with you after you have had a chance to digest it for a day or so, what works for you?”

Onboarding – Are You Engaged?

Congratulations, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief because you found the right person for the job. BUT, be cautious!

If your company’s onboarding program is simply the traditional one-day orientation process of reviewing benefit options, completing paperwork, going over compliance documents and company policies & procedures, it is time for you to reassess its value if you want to attract and keep the best employees. The days of a quick tour, introduction to the staff and where the coffee pot and bathrooms are located are gone; you’ve got to put some effort into welcoming your new hire.

Orientation programs have evolved as recruiting has.  Onboarding goes beyond traditional orientations – onboarding is ongoing from the day the offer is accepted to well into the first months of employment; and beyond.  If your company does not already have a successful onboarding program that encompasses not only engaging with HR, but also with hiring managers and their new team, it is time to reassess.  Otherwise, statistics have proven that you may lose them quickly to companies that do.

Tony Shepley, President/Owner of Shepley Wood Products shares:

“We have a very comprehensive in-house LMS (learning management system) online learning program that allows individualized training and incorporates end-of-lesson testing to measure comprehension and identify coaching opportunities. We are focused on promoting from within and rate our managers on identifying, coaching and promoting talent from within. Lastly, we put every new employee through “Boot Camp” which has a new hire work in every part of the company so that they can see how the organization fits together, as well as get to know people across all departments.”

In fact, Tony takes each new hire to lunch on their first day to welcome them to the team and express his appreciation of having them join the Shepley family and how this new hire will impact the business.  It’s not like that for most, in fact, nearly 40% of employees hired have shared that their direct manager played no apparent role in the hiring or onboarding process. These same managers feel their company could have involved them more with onboarding to assist in preparing the employee for their first day on the job.

Are You Losing Over 50% of the People You Hire Due to a Lack of Communication or a Poor Onboarding Experience?

If so, consider some ideas from our SnapDragon team:

  • Starting at the interview phase, involve more team members in the interview process
  • Offer a “test day” where the potential new hire can understand how your business operates 1st hand, leaving them prepared for day one
  • Have a small get together welcoming the new hire to the team
  • Be sure they are clear on the Mission, Values, and Outcomes of their position
  • Make certain everything is fully set up for the new hire before they arrive on day one
  • Share a story, maybe about your first day on the job
  • Host a team lunch, one where you can introduce each member of the team

Onboarding a new employee is not a difficult process – what most companies forget is that the process begins when the candidate has accepted the offer. Your current process determines how successful the employee is going to be, and how long they will stay at your company. A better onboarding experience is the best way to solidify these variables.

Although technology solutions today add value in automating the processes, they don’t replace the value of the human touch. With today’s tight labor market your company must stand out as a “best-in-class” employer in order to attract top talent to your organization. Revisit and revamp your recruitment approach and onboarding process from offer, to acceptance, and beyond.






* CareerBuilder, and Silkroad. “State of Recruiting and Onboarding Report.” CareerBuilder’s Employer Resource Center, 6 Nov. 2018, resources.careerbuilder.com/guides/state-of-recruiting-and-onboarding-report-2018.