Hiring

7 Recruitment Best Practices for 2021

Recruitment Best Practices

As it’s nearing its end, we can say that 2020 has been a crazy year. Regardless of what industry you’re in, you have probably been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in some way. If you’re lucky enough to be planning for some hires in 2021, there are some things to keep in mind. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are 7 recruitment best practices for 2021.

1. Use Skills Tests

We can’t ignore the fact that many people have lost their jobs since the pandemic started. In the USA alone, more than 30 million people lost their jobs since March 2020, and unfortunately, the future’s not looking too promising either. There are and will be lots of great candidates looking for work, so you can count on much higher candidate numbers applying for your roles.

Recruitment best practices - testing skills in Toggl Hire

This will have an effect on the initial stages of your hiring process, when the pressure is on to eliminate the bulk of the under-qualified candidates. Instead of reading through endless resumes, save yourself some time and use a skills test instead, such as Toggl Hire. Create a 20-min skills test for the developer, sales, and marketing positions in just 2 clicks.

Candidates can take this test as the first step in the application process, and you as the employer can instantly identify the best of the bunch based on their test scores. You can speed up your hiring by as much as 80%, plus candidates love the experience, so you’ll boost your employer brand at the same time, too.

2. Don’t rely just on resumes

In 2021, some things need to stay in the past. While once a staple of recruitment best practices, things are changing. You may argue that someone unemployed has a lot of time on their hands to create the perfect resume, but that’s exactly the point. You want to hire the best person for the job, and not the best resume writer or designer.

While you may not want to completely remove resumes from your hiring process, you can and should give them a less significant role in determining who gets hired, as they are an ineffective way of gauging who is most qualified for the job. For example, at Toggl, we actually haven’t read a resume since 2016. You can read more about that here.

3. Polish up your job ads

While you will get a portion of unqualified candidates applying because they’re desperate for a job, there is also another reason you may be getting bad applicants. For many candidates, your job ad is the first point of contact with your company and you really need to go the extra mile to create something that accurately reflects the job they will do and at the same time, attract them to apply.

You can expect a variety of candidates, so one thing to pay attention to is to make sure your job ads are inclusive and not biased towards any population type (more than just a recruitment best practice, more like a life rule, arewerite?). A tool like Textio can help with that. The second thing is to make sure your job ads are performance-based and give candidates a glimpse of the goals they will have to achieve when they (potentially) get hired.

4. Reach out to passive candidates

We’ve written about the benefits of hiring passive candidates, and there are many. A lot of times, the reason why you can’t find your ideal candidate is because they’re already happily employed with someone else. The problem is, the pandemic has everyone in a scare that they will lose their jobs and most people are clinging onto what they already have instead of venturing out to find a new job, even though they might be open to it if the opportunity arose.

However, that doesn’t stop you from giving it a try. Besides LinkedIn, you can try reaching out to candidates on specialized platforms (such as Stack Overflow for developers) or social media. In the past, we hired a few people by promoting job ads on Facebook. However, you can also try your luck with organic traffic or posting in relevant Facebook groups and LinkedIn communities.

5. Remember top applicants from the past

If it’s not your first time hiring, you probably have a database of past applicants who left a good impression on you. It may be a shot in the dark but you never know if they are looking for new work at the moment.

The biggest benefit is that you already know the candidate to some extent, especially if they’ve gone through your entire process and you interviewed them. Since you last talked to them, they could have only gained more experience and if they tick all the other boxes, they’re worth reaching out to. And if they lost a job because of the pandemic, they will be delighted to hear from you.

6. Reduce friction in the application process

Thousands of candidates are likely to apply for your open roles, especially if you’re offering remote work in these times. While a good chunk of them may not be a good fit, you want to make sure that everyone completes their application from start to finish. We’ve been spoiled by apps with great user experience and candidates expect something similar with their job applications as well.

In other words, require as little as possible at the very beginning of the hiring process. For our open roles, we only require candidates to do a skills test for their role. A requirement to do the test is to use their LinkedIn account. That way, we have all of their data in one go.

To reduce friction and make it easier to apply, you can do several things, starting from eliminating the cover letter as a requirement. Furthermore, you can eliminate the resume (like we did) by using a skills test as the first step of the application process. This is one of the recruitment best practices we intend to keep in 2021 and beyond.

7. Say no quickly

Of all recruitment best practices, this is probably the easiest (and arguably most impactful!) one to implement. No one likes the feeling of being lead on. Just because you have a large volume of candidates, this is not an excuse to keep your candidates hoping they will hear back from you. The problem is, if 1,000 candidates apply for an open role and 980 are a bad fit, you can’t send that many rejection letters in a short time frame.

You can resort to using an ATS but bear in mind that these applications come with faults on their own, such as analyzing applications by the keywords that candidates use in their resumes. 

We suggest using a skills test such as Toggl Hire. When a candidate doesn’t meet your minimum threshold, Toggl Hire immediately sends an automated email to the applicant, saying that you appreciate their time, but that they’re not the right fit for you. Say no quickly and politely so the candidate can move on as soon as possible.

Wrapping up

While these are challenging times for everyone, it doesn’t mean that hiring will be put on hold until the pandemic is fully over. Using these recruitment best practices, you’ll be able to find great candidates despite the large volume coming through your pipeline.

October 12, 2020