How to Engage with Talent Whenever and Wherever You Find It

Recruiting is more than just filling vacant positions. It’s a continuous process that involves sourcing talent, engaging with candidates, and even connecting with individuals who may be a good fit somewhere down the road.

“The best companies want the best talent—even if they are not currently hiring,” says Dr. Tricia Callender, head of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Thinx. “All the processes, paperwork, and planning are great, but what makes the engine run is the talent. Top companies know this and are always recruiting even when there is not an open position currently.”

In today’s competitive hiring landscape, maintaining an “always be recruiting” mindset is crucial. After all, Monster’s Work Watch report found that 92% of employers plan to hire in 2023. To win the battle for top talent, you will need to be proactive in connecting with active and passive job seekers whenever and whenever you can.

At Grainger, Jody Catanese, senior director of talent acquisition, knows how challenging it can be to find quality candidates in a competitive labor market. “We believe it’s important to maintain strong branding that builds awareness and reinforces organizational values while promoting career opportunities,” she says. “The more active we are in maintaining a connection with top talent, especially among diverse candidates, the higher the likelihood we will have great people available as opportunities occur. This also creates a positive candidate experience and shortens cycle times for hiring.”

Below, we’ve outlined several ways you can find and engage with top talent.

Get in Front of Talent with Digital Advertising

Digital advertising channels, such as search, display, and social media, can allow you to quickly build awareness and drive applications, even among passive job seekers. “Your candidates may not even be looking to move roles and, therefore, will not be active on job boards,” says Liam Read, head of recruitment operations at The Curve Group. “Therefore, display and social media advertising can be a great way to make them aware of suitable opportunities on platforms they are using by catching their eye and encouraging them to look at job advertisements they otherwise would have missed.”

With digital advertising, you can target top talent by job function, years of experience or seniority level, geography, skill sets, interests, and more. “With the right audience targeted, you should tailor the language and creative assets used in your ads to the audience and regularly conduct A/B testing to identify messages that resonate best,” Catanese says. “Continue to optimize your campaign by allocating more budget to top-performing ads, and these campaigns will quickly round out your recruitment marketing strategy to attract the best talent to your company.”

Retarget Candidates to Stay Top-of-Mind

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that continues to work for companies long after a customer has visited their website. The technology works by following people around the web as a way to keep their brand in front of their target audience. Retargeting is so successful it’s been shown to increase click-through-rates by 180%. When used for talent acquisition, retargeting can help you stay connected to candidates by placing your job postings on websites where interested candidates are likely to see them.

“Retargeting plants a seed and is a very effective brand-building strategy,” Callender says. “It speaks for you long after the potential customer has left your website. This is much the same for talent acquisition—reminding talented people that, ‘hey, this amazing company is somewhere you should be working’ and hopefully turning that into a conversation, meaning a hire somewhere down the line.”

Build Awareness Through Social Media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, allow you to showcase your brand, values, and what life is really like working for your company, which can help build brand awareness among potential candidates.

“It is essential in this day and age to leverage social media to amplify not only the sales of your products and services, but your company’s brand and what it stands for,” Callender says. “Job seekers now demand this. And businesses, in turn, must respond to those demands. Leverage social media to amplify your culture and values and—this is key—be candid about areas where your company needs to improve.”

Leverage Your Employer Value Proposition

Communicating the value, recognition, and rewards that employees gain from working for your company is critical to winning the competition for top talent. An employer value proposition (EVP) can help you communicate what you, the employer, will give to your employees in return for their time, loyalty, and productivity. It’s also a great place to mention what your company stands for and its values.

Now more than ever, employees are looking for and are attracted to EVPs that go beyond the job/work and offer other, more meaningful values,” Read says. “For example, commitments from a business to support diversity, inclusion and equality, the environment, mental health, or communities.”

Attend Industry and Hiring Events

Attending events—both in-person and online—can help employers draw in candidates from many different backgrounds. College job fairs and networking events, for example, might help you get in front of younger job seekers, while specialized, industry-focused events could present opportunities to connect with more seasoned workers. Also, consider attending or even sponsoring events geared toward diverse audiences, like veterans, the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and those with disabilities.

“In order to find other sources of untapped talent, put yourself in that talent’s position and think about where they hang out and spend time,” Read says. “For example, they may attend virtual and physical events aligned with their roles—from webinars to networking events. Consider trying to secure a speaker slot or a sponsorship deal, so you can get in the room or be more visible to them online. The same applies to job fairs. Consider building relationships with your local educational providers who run courses aligned with the roles, industries, or specialisms you’re hiring for.”

Create an Employee Referral Program

Another way you can engage with talent and expand your network is through your current workforce. Often, great in-house talent has connections within their fields and can point you in the direction of other like-minded individuals who may be a good fit for the roles you’re hiring for.

“Referrals are always a great source of what is often passive talent,” Read says. “If you do a great job with recruiting and onboarding a new starter or continue to demonstrate an ongoing investment in your existing employees, they’ll be your biggest advocates of your employer brand and can really help you to talent pools you can’t access directly.”

Communicate Through SMS and Email

It’s time to hang up the phone, recruiters. These days, most candidates, especially Millennial and Gen Z job seekers, would rather communicate via text or email. It’s the best way you’ll reach them in today’s competitive labor marketplace.

According to Read, contact with candidates through SMS and email can also speed up the recruitment process. “As a recruiter, it’s important to remember that candidates have lives,” he says. “For example, they could be at work and unable to answer calls during the day discreetly, so SMS and email provide great channels through which you can communicate swiftly.”

Optimize the Application Process

With about 70% of job applications completed on a mobile device, it’s important to ensure that your career site and application process is optimized for smartphones and tablets. Catanese says, “At Grainger, we’ve found that a simple, clear, and enjoyable user experience drives conversions, and maintaining this ideal experience across desktop and mobile is key to staying relevant with job seeker expectations. A mobile-optimized experience from career site to application makes it easy for candidates to find what they’re looking for from anywhere, at any time, and apply in minutes. As reliance on mobile devices for online access continues to grow across generations, including the up-and-coming Gen Z workforce, maintaining an efficient and enjoyable experience across career sites will help companies more effectively compete for talent.”

In addition to making your career site mobile-friendly, consider eliminating redundancies, like forcing candidates to fill out information that can already be found on their resume, to speed up the application process and decrease bounce rates. Also, make sure your career site is accessible for people with disabilities by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Build Your Talent Pipeline with Monster

Finding the right talent in a candidate-scarce market is challenging. That’s why Monster’s recruitment solutions are designed to help you build a talent pipeline and streamline the hiring process. From promoting your jobs on social media and the Monster Audience Network to creating a compelling company profile, we can help you target and engage with candidates wherever they may be. Check out our interactive guide to learn about all the ways Monster can help you engage with today’s top talent.

How the Right Employer Branding Can Help Curb “New Job Jitters”

Excited for a new employee to join your team? Your new hire is likely to be excited too, but there’s a good chance they’re also feeling anxiety, nervousness, and other emotions that make their palms sweat and their heart pound.

In a recent Monster poll, an overwhelming 87% of candidates said they have experienced “new job jitters,” or the feeling of nervousness or anxiety when starting a new job. These jitters are so bad that about 1 in 2 said starting a new job is scarier than a performance review, visiting the dentist, holding a spider or snake, or even skydiving—yikes.

“There is a lot at stake with a new job, as few people have the luxury of quitting without another role lined up, particularly with the current economic conditions,” says Dr. Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES, founder and career coach of caffeinatedkyle.com. “Simply put, candidates need to be successful in their new jobs to put a roof over their heads and food on the table. There is also the added pressure to perform and avoid being laid off in an incredibly competitive job market.”

While it’s completely normal for a new hire to be a little nervous for their first day of work, when those nerves become so great that they start to lose sleep or their personal relationships begin to suffer, employers need to evaluate what they can do to help keep those jitters in check.

How to Ease New Hire Fears

Prioritizing employee mental health should start before the employee’s first day of work even begins. Failure to do so could lead to negative repercussions. In a Monster poll, 22% of workers said they weren’t able to perform to the best of their ability because of their new job jitters.

“It’s important to ensure new hires know they are walking into a psychologically safe environment on day one,” says Shayna Royal, director of recruiting at Paycor. “They need to know it’s okay to ask questions, suggest new ideas, and not know everything. Doing this sets the tone for the onboarding process and ultimately their experience with the company and their willingness to be forthcoming around concerns that may impact them from fully showing up. We want our associates to feel their best and give their best, but if they’re bogged down with the anxiety of new job jitters, that’s not possible and it will be clear we did not do our best to prepare them.”

Addressing mental health and quelling new job jitters starts with having the right employer branding in place. Here are a few ways you can help put new hires at ease ahead of their first day on the job.

Make a Great First Impression Through Your Career Site

Your career site is often one of the first places a candidate or new hire goes to learn more about your company, so it’s important to show them what it’s really like to work for your company. Showcasing company leadership, DE&I programs, and employee resource groups, can help new hires better see themselves fitting into your organization. A great career site should also include testimonials from current employees, giving new hires extra peace of mind.

Clearly Define Job Responsibilities

As much as you would like your new hires to hit the ground running, a Monster poll found that it typically takes most new hires about 1 to 3 months to feel settled into their role. Almost one-third of respondents (65%) said they felt imposter syndrome or the feeling of self-doubt and personal incompetence, during their most recent onboarding process. Trevor Bogan, regional director at Top Employers Institute, says, “The fear of failure can drive people to doubt their skills and capabilities in their new role.”

One way employers can help alleviate any doubts early on is by setting expectations right from the beginning in the job description. “The job descriptions should be clear and detailed so as to accurately describe each role’s requirements, duties, and responsibilities,” Bogan says. “This will let applicants know what to expect from the position.”

Articulate Company Values and Benefits

An employer value proposition (EVP) is a promise of what you, the employer, will give to your employees in return for their time, loyalty, and productivity. This presents a perfect opportunity to set and clarify expectations for new hires before they even decide to join your company.

Your EVP is also a great place to mention any special perks or benefits, such as paid time off, flexible work arrangements, healthcare, and parental leave policies, which will help reassure new hires that wellness is a priority. This is especially important considering that 1 in 4 workers will hold off submitting any PTO requests when they first start a new job. Not to mention, many workers are scared to tell their new boss they’re pregnant or expecting a child.

Showcase Your Brand Through Social Media

Social media channels allow you to show and tell real stories in real time, which can further help candidates and new hires get a sense of what life will be like when working for your company. “Through social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, employers can post updates about upcoming job openings or showcase happy employee stories,” Bogan says. “This will create a positive image of their brand, which will convince potential candidates that they’ll be joining a great team if they take up the role.”

Humanize Employer Communications

When communicating with a candidate or a new hire, it’s important for employers to remember they are speaking to an actual human being, not an anonymous person behind a computer screen. Royal says, “Employers can add personal touches to humanize their branding and build deeper connections that create a psychologically safe environment to help curb those new job jitters. Breathing life into communications via social media posts, websites, and email communications can help new hires feel more connected. At Paycor, we’ve done this by sending personalized, quick videos from executives welcoming new team members and ensuring that candidates know about our inclusive culture that encourages people to bring their whole selves to work.”

Address Mental Health and Wellness During the Interview Process

A great candidate experience can set the tone for onboarding and often lead to a great experience working at your company. Elliott says, “When recruiting and interviewing candidates, consider how you market and talk about your mental health benefits as well as your philosophy toward time off.” For example, hearing from a hiring manager about being an engaged parent and that the company doesn’t give them any issues ducking out for a bit to pick up their kid from school can be a powerful story.

Create a Roadmap for Day One and Beyond

After the job offer has been accepted, remember to continue communicating with the candidate in the days leading up to their first day of work. Let them know what they can expect on their first day, the first 30 days, the first 90 days, and beyond.

“Recruiters should create a roadmap explaining in detail what day one looks like, who they’ll talk to, and when and where they need to be,” Royal says. “Teams need to think through even the tiniest details like sharing what time to log on (time zones can cause confusion for remote teams), and what to do once they’re online. This can take a huge load off of a new hire’s mind, so they can focus on getting to know people, learning their way around, and soaking in mountains of new information.”

Offer an Orientation for New Hires

A new hire orientation can be a great way to ensure every new hire gets all the information they need to be successful in your company. “Employers can help boost a candidate’s confidence for their first day of work by offering an orientation for new hires,” Bogan says. “An orientation allows the candidate to get to know the team and workplace better as well as receive an in-depth overview of the company, its mission, and expectations. Additionally, it can provide helpful tools, such as an employee handbook or training materials that will give them an understanding of the job from day one.” An orientation also allows new hires to ask any questions about benefits or paid time off policies they may have felt uncomfortable bringing up in the interview process.

Learn More About Employer Branding

From conveying your company’s commitment to employee mental health to perfecting your messaging on work-life balance, Monster’s Employer Branding Guide can answer all of your questions about how to devise a branding strategy to attract today’s top candidates. Download today to learn more.

Why Your Employer Value Proposition Matters More Than Ever in 2023

If you’re looking to build up your team in 2023, you surely know that competition for talent is fierce. After all, Monster’s Future of Work survey found that 92% of U.S. businesses are planning to recruit this year. And they’re wasting no time finding right-fit candidates — in the first month of 2023 alone, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report showed that more than half a million payrolls were added to the economy. Not to mention, there are still plenty of open positions on the table with nearly two jobs available for every worker. 

With so many employers hiring, it’s never been more imperative — or more challenging — to attract suitable candidates quicker than your competition. In fact, in Monster’s Future of Work survey, 14% of all recruiters expressed difficulty differentiating and describing the value of working for the company for which they are hiring. That’s where an employee value proposition (EVP) can help. 

What is an Employee Value Proposition? 

An employee value proposition is an important element of any employer branding strategy. Think of it as a promise of what you, as an employer, will give to your employees in return for their time, loyalty, and productivity. 

“An employee value proposition gives an employer the opportunity to express the more nuanced facets of their organization, such as clarifying company culture or unique company assets,” says Amy Casciotti, vice president of human resources at TechSmith. “If the Great Resignation has taught us anything, it’s that applicants are looking to join a flexible, welcoming work environment, but oftentimes, they won’t know a company’s corporate culture until they’ve committed to a position. The employee value proposition is a great place to clarify what the company stands for, its values, and what its organizational culture is like. Moreover, this statement can set your company apart from others by identifying any special perks that come with the position, such as flexible work arrangements, catered lunches, or company-wide events.” 

In addition to employer branding, an employee value proposition can also be a useful tool in talent acquisition. Casciotti says “developing a thoughtful yet clear employee value proposition that goes beyond the traditional work benefits can entice potential candidates to inquire about your company.”  

In fact, Gartner research found that effectively delivering an employee value proposition has its benefits, including: 

  • Attracting 20% more candidates 
  • Increasing new hire commitment by 29%
  • Reducing annual employee turnover by 69% 

Updating Your Employee Value Proposition 

Creating an employee value proposition is not a one-and-done assignment — it needs to be continuously maintained in order to be effective. “The EVP should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in the company and in the market,” says Sven Patzer, chief executive officer at Sveny Corp. “At minimum, it is recommended to assess and revise the EVP once a year to ensure it remains relevant and appealing to potential candidates.” 

With that, employers should acknowledge that candidate expectations have certainly evolved over the past few years, and many simply don’t want to “go back to normal.” To survive and thrive in today’s labor market, employers will need to tout more than health insurance and the number of PTO days offered (although, those are still important, too!). Monster’s Future of Work survey found that companies will need to do a better job communicating benefits like workplace flexibility and salary protection in their employee value proposition, provided it’s authentic. 

“To meet the evolving expectations of candidates, employers need to embrace flexibility and prioritize salary protection in their EVP,” Patzer says. “This can be achieved by actively listening to employee feedback, staying current on industry trends, and adjusting policies and practices to better support work-life balance.” 

Here are a few ways companies can update their employee value propositions for today’s challenging economic climate: 

Offer Work Flexibility 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees found favor in the flexibility of working from home. This is still true today. On Monster, the #1 candidate search overall continues to be for “work from home” or “remote” jobs. 

Allowing employees to work from home at least a few days a week, or have greater flexibility in creating their daily work hours, can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting talent. In fact, Monster’s Future of Work survey found that about half of employers believe offering flexible work options gives them a recruiting edge. 

Action: Promote the various flexible work options offered within your employee value proposition, job descriptions, and employer branding. 

Be Inclusive 

In the aforementioned Future of Work survey, just 5% of all recruiters rated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) as one of their top three priorities. Yet, DE&I continues to rank as a top priority among candidates for the past three years. This presents a prime opportunity for employers who are actively promoting DE&I not only within their organizations but also in the world, to stand apart from their competition. 

Action: It’s important not just to communicate your company’s commitment to DE&I in your employee value proposition, but also to show your commitment. This can be accomplished through imagery, partnerships, inclusive language, and more. 

Foster Meaningful Connections 

Even in today’s remote work environment, it’s important for managers to build connections with their workforce. “Employees are at the heart of every organization, so it’s important for corporate leaders to keep a pulse on their employees’ values, concerns, and opinions and make sure that those are directly feeding into the employee value proposition,” Casciotti says. “Maintaining an open channel of communication will not only keep employers in tune with employees desires but what potential candidates may be looking for in a workplace.” 

Action: When crafting your employee value proposition, don’t forget to ask your current workforce what they love most about working for your company. 

Provide Stability and Support 

Amid high inflation and news of mass layoffs, it’s hard not to be concerned about the future. That’s why we weren’t surprised to see that the security of a consistent paycheck has become so desirable for workers. Offering salary protection can help ensure that employees and their families are taken care of in the event they are unable to work. 

Action: Your employee value proposition should put the employee first. This means communicating company values that go beyond making a profit. 

Build Your Employer Brand Today 

In the race to attract great employees, taking control of your employer value proposition is crucial. Want to learn more? Contact one of our employer brand specialists at Monster Strategic Talent Solutions to see how we can help establish your value proposition, show candidates why they should work for you, and gain a competitive edge. 

Drive Growth With a Phenomenal Candidate Experience

By Alison Goldman

Are you struggling to convert top talent into hires?

Many staffing firms have numerous open orders, and simply not enough candidates to fill them all. Despite a difficult economy, the labor market remains tight, with Bureau of Labor Statistics data reporting two open jobs for every unemployed worker in the U.S. Changes in job seeker behavior add new challenges, such as “ghosting.” To be “ghosted” by a candidate means that at some point during the recruiting or interviewing process, they disappeared without a trace or explanation. According to a recent Monster survey, about three-quarters of recruiters say they’ve been ghosted, and nearly half (47%) of candidates admit to ghosting.

To understand ghosting, you must consider the generational makeup of today’s candidates. According to the World Economic Forum, Millennials make up about 37% of today’s available workforce, with Generation Z contributing an additional 61 million workers. Our survey found these cohorts to be the most skeptical candidates, with a combined 54% of candidates distrustful of promises that companies make about job expectations, benefits, perks, and culture. Our data also shows that these generations place a high importance on company culture, further amplifying this sentiment. Candidates may only make it halfway through the process if they don’t trust or value the opportunity they are presented.

Your best weapon against ghosting is a great candidate experience

An investment in a great candidate experience can push candidates through the funnel faster, increase conversion rates, and boost recruiter productivity. Recruiting is still a very human business, and your team’s greatest asset is their time. That time is better spent with candidates who are likely to complete their application because they trust the job opportunity, believe in your firm, and understand how you can help their career. Staffing agencies that invest time in explaining to candidates who they are and how they can help are successfully winning job seeker confidence and building stronger rapport.

One workforce solutions firm that understands the value of great candidate experience is Nesco Resource. “Now more than ever, employers are competing for candidates’ attention. A positive impression from application to onboarding is crucial to finding (and keeping!) talent in a crunched market,” says Anastasia Fete, vice president of marketing at Nesco Resource. “We believe that by reducing friction throughout the hiring process, we set the tone for a successful placement.” Kevin Hatgas, director of digital marketing at Nesco Resource, says “Job seekers are increasingly mobile-first. When we looked to redesign our website in early 2022, the top priority was ensuring that job seekers could easily and quickly find and apply to open positions no matter what device they are using. By keeping that experience top of mind, we were able to improve overall traffic, online application rates, and get more people working”.

The Fountain Group has also focused its sites on building trust, adding FAQs to enhance process clarity, and leveraging Google reviews from real job seekers. “We are extremely proud of and grateful for the positive reviews our contractors and clients took the time to post about The Fountain Group on Google. We believe that highlighting those positive experiences on our website provides additional credibility to our proclamation that TFG truly is “Your Ally in the Quest for Workforce Success” says Kelly Cone, president. Adding third party reviews and providing visibility into who you are and how your process works, conveys your firm’s confidence in your work, legitimizes your firm to skeptical seekers, and ensures they get the message: We can help you achieve your goals!

Monster has been a pioneer in online recruiting since 1994

Many of our staffing clients have turned to us for candidate experience and employer branding help. If you would like more information on the resources available or a complimentary audit of your career site, contact me at alison.goldman@monster.com.

Alison Goldman is team lead and strategic account manager at Monster. This article was previously published in the American Staffing Association’s “Staffing Success” magazine in December 2022.

4 Ways to Translate Veteran Skills Into Your Job Openings

Veterans are an asset to any company. Employers consider them strong performers and they come to jobs with a broad range of experience and skills that make them extremely valuable to the organization.

“Ex-military personnel are known to be people with a strong work ethic, dedication to perfection, and the ability to cope with high-pressure situations,” says Roger Broussard, CEO and founder of airline pilot site Pilot School Hero. “Veterans are an employer’s dream in many ways.”

But veterans’ experiences are unique, and don’t always fit neatly into traditional skills boxes. “Hiring managers can have difficulties filling gaps between the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the positions and the resumes provided by applicants,” says Ameé Quiricono, founder of talent consulting firm Activity Girl.

If you’re looking to add more veterans to your team, these strategies can help you understand veteran skills and matching them to your needs.

Train Your Recruiters

A company’s recruiters are in the best position to understand the potential of a veteran employee and to help them find their best fit at the company. How can you help your hiring managers do this? One solution is to have them go through the Veterans at Work Certificate program from the SHRM.

“It gives you some tools and resources as an employer to work through employing veterans that transition from military life to civilian life,” says Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, N.Y. “It also gives you tools for veteran spouses.”

A bonus: You’ll get continuing education credit for getting the certificate.

“As a veteran who participates in outreach and works with veterans, I have seen a lot of programs, but this one is my favorite,” says Lisa Ducharme, a retired Air Force Veteran and instructor of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans at the University of Connecticut School of Business. “This program is specifically designed to equip individuals with the actionable knowledge and tools needed to attract, hire, and retain veterans and members of the military community in the workplace.”

Use a Skills Translator

There are tools available that can help you make a direct connection between what a veteran has done and how that expertise translates to corporate skills. Military.com, for instance, offers the Reverse Military Skills Translator (R-MST), which can help companies cross-reference their needs with every military occupation that’s existed over the last 25 years.

Recruiters can use the R-MST in two ways:

  • by searching for a military occupation specialty and getting a list of jobs that are possible matches, or
  • by searching for job titles and finding military occupations that match up.

Recruiters can also use a tool like the R-MST to build job ads, by searching for the job title and noting which military specialties might be a good fit for the role. This will not only increase veteran engagement, but will also indicate that you’re looking to hire veterans in general.

Connect with Veteran Organizations

“There is a wealth of programs that now help veterans transition out of the military,” says Sam Alaimo, co-founder and chief revenue officer at AI tech firm ZeroEyes. “Identify these and express your interest in supporting the organization and offer to become a mentor to transitioning veterans.”

You can also reach out to veteran-specific organizations and resources, such as transition assistance programs or veteran job fairs.

Veterans within your organization can help with your hiring process. “Seek counsel from your internal DEI team,” says Kyle DeVenezia, a management consultant at MorganFranklin and a Special Forces veteran. “They’ve got first-hand experience that can help your hiring team connect veterans to your jobs.”

Explore Softer Skills

In many ways, a traditional application process may leave out soft skills that would make a veteran a standout at your company.

“Soft traits like discipline, initiative, the ability to control one’s own ego, and, above all, placing the team and the mission above oneself, are worth their weight in gold in the private sector,” Alaimo says. “Business leaders are constantly searching for — and failing to find — leaders who truly embody these traits.”

The more your application and interview process can emphasize and encourage the discussion of soft skills, the better your chances of being able to capture and understand what a veteran brings to the table.

“Veterans’ skills are far more than the job they held in the military,” Ducharme says. “Many veterans have management and leadership skills, can pivot, are great team players, etc. Many times during our military careers, we are doing more than just what our job is.”

Is your hiring process inclusive of people with disabilities?

Inclusive hiring is a great goal. Research shows that the majority of job seekers want to work for a company that values diversity and inclusion. And more than a third of HR leaders say DEI is in their top five priorities this year.

But as recently as 2019, only 13% of companies had hit the Department of Labor’s target of 7% disability representation, according to the National Organization on Disability. Building a workforce that includes people with disabilities requires looking at how you hire.

“The hiring process is one of the most critical stages of your company’s commitment to disability inclusion,” says Kimberley Tyler-Smith of online resume site Resume Worded. “This is where you bring in candidates who will make up the core of your team, and it’s also where you can start to build a culture of inclusivity.”

Here’s how to get started:

Widen Your Pool

Look outside your usual sources for job candidates, and try some spaces that focus on inclusion, like Inclusion Inc., Ability Jobs, Getting Hired and We Connect the Dots. Consider an organization like NSITE, a nonprofit that works to place blind and low-vision candidates in high-paying roles.

“Partner with schools and organizations that serve people with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions, such as the Autism Society of America, National Down Syndrome Society, and United Cerebral Palsy,” says Linda Shaffer, chief people and operations officer at Checkr.

Revamp Your Resume Process

Studies show that unconscious bias affects the way people make hiring decisions, with markers as basic as names leading to different outcomes. The music industry realized this decades ago and now often has musicians audition from behind a screen.

“I make sure to blind screen all resumes using a recruitment software that removes names and other personal information,” says Anthony Quint, CEO and founder of media company Get On Stream.

One thing that’s crucial to removing bias is to decide what qualities you’re seeking for a role before you look at candidates. Understanding what you want — technical skills, a certain number of years of experience, etc. — can help you make goal-based decisions.

Make Your Company Accessible

There are a variety of ways to make your company (online and in person) an accessible workplace, which both makes it possible for people with disabilities to work there and signals that you take accessibility seriously. For example, if you’re using video chat to conduct interviews with deaf or hard-of-hearing candidates, consider hiring someone who can help facilitate better two-way communication between the interviewer and the candidate.

“Ensure that your website is accessible to people with disabilities by using alt text for images, closed captioning for videos, and clear and concise language,” Shaffer says. Make online applications accessible and provide a hotline or page where candidates can seek assistance if they need it.

Showcasing workplace accessibility is also important. “This includes privacy chambers, installing ramps, removing floor bumps, removing any triggers (loud noises or strobe lighting), and making other changes to have all types of people comfortable to work in the office,” says Simon Brisk, CEO of digital marketing firm Click Intelligence.

Review Your Job Requirements

The language you use in your job advertisements can include or exclude various groups of people.

“People living with disabilities are commonly excluded from job descriptions,” says Adrienne Couch, human resources analyst with business site LLC.services. “Go through your job descriptions and add special accommodations that will be appealing and attractive to neurodiverse candidates or people living with disabilities.”

Inclusive recruitment language is an art form — you may not realize that some phrases you’re using exclude certain groups of people. And it can be helpful to note in the job posting that your company strives to create a diverse workplace.

Consider Flexible Interview Options

The traditional hiring process can be hard for candidates with disabilities who might prefer a different interview format. “Consider switching interview options and letting candidates who qualify choose an interview mode they are comfortable with,” Couch says.

Consider, too, providing candidates a chance to highlight their skills by performing tasks or otherwise showing you how they’d work on the job, versus a traditional interview format. “Judging them based on how they perform during interviews could give a false impression,” Couch says.

Walk the Walk

If you’re committed to inclusive hiring, it helps to show job seekers that you’re serious about your goals.

“One way to do this is by hiring people with disabilities or neurodiverse job seekers into leadership roles within your organization,” Tyler-Smith says. “This gives potential applicants an idea of what it’s like working at your company, while also allowing them to get a sense of what they could accomplish in their own careers if they joined your organization.”

A Win for Everyone

Research proves that a diverse workforce reduces turnover, boosts morale, and improves your company’s bottom line. In the end, hiring people with disabilities is a win for everyone.

How to Create a Veteran-Friendly Company Culture

You know there are many benefits of hiring veterans. But according to Monster data, fewer than half (46%) of veterans said they felt accepted at a new company right away. Are you doing enough to create a veteran-friendly culture and ensure your veterans and military workers feel welcome and supported?

William Davidson, Command Sergeant Major (CSM Ret.) and Senior Director of Veteran Outreach at Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program dedicated to veterans, service members, and their families, spoke to us about the importance of building a veteran-friendly culture. “When it comes to veterans, recognizing the service and sacrifice of these individuals to serve our country is essential,” he says. “The veteran community appreciates a workplace environment that strives to show how their service and sacrifice are valued. Creating a welcoming environment will attract veterans to the workplace and allow other staff to learn about military culture.”

When it comes to creating a veteran-friendly company culture, Monster’s Veteran Hiring Guide outlines the top five ways leading companies are supporting veteran talent:

  1. Partnerships with veteran and military family organizations 
  2. Paid time off for military duty for Guard members and reservists
  3. Employee resource group for veterans and families 
  4. Veteran mentorship program 
  5. Skills translators/civilian job equivalents 

Below, we spoke with several experts to provide insight into how these tactics can help employers better support their veteran and military employees and effectively create a veteran-friendly company culture.

Partner with Veteran and Military Family Organizations

Any company can say they have a “veteran-friendly culture,” but for veterans to truly feel valued and supported is something that starts from the top down. Putting your corporate sponsorship or volunteer efforts toward organizations that support veterans and military families can be a great way to show veteran employees and candidates that you’re walking the walk—not just talking the talk.

Fiserv, a global financial technology company, sponsors several military organizations, including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, Our Community Salutes, Wreaths Across America, and more. By partnering with these types of organizations, Vivian Greentree, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Global Corporate Citizenship at Fiserv, says, “A lot of our military engagement strategies come down to good HR practices that benefit all employees because they are meeting people where they are, resourcing them properly, and providing an environment where everyone can say, ‘I am a valued member of a winning team doing meaningful work in an environment of trust.'”

Even civilian workers, Greentree says, can benefit from Fiserv’s military sponsorships and activities. “We offer opportunities for all our associates and military-supporter partners to be involved in our military programming, opening communication and fostering increased interaction and camaraderie,” she says. “Volunteering with our military community partners offers our non-military associates opportunities to experience the Esprit de Corps and the connectedness our military associates share.”

Offer Paid Time Off and Flexible Hours

Monster’s Future of Work survey found that flexibility is most important to workers today, and Ryan Eden, Veteran Employment Manager at PRISM, Inc., a technical and professional services firm, says this can be especially appealing to military spouses who may have children or other family members to care for. “We really understand that military spouses are best suited for jobs that allow flexible hours, remote work, and paid time off due to the volatility of their spouse’s military obligations,” he says. “Flexibility is necessary for a military spouse to sustain both a job and family successfully.”

Reservists, too, can benefit from flexible hours and paid time off to recoup after assignments. For instance, Monster offers active reserve duty employees a “buffer” week of PTO between an active-duty assignment and when they return to work. 

At PRISM, Eden says they work closely with one of their reservist employees, who typically has very intense weekend drills that can make it difficult for him to return to the office the next day. “We’ve offered him a lot of flexibility after his weekend drills to work from home to help him regroup and recover,” Eden says. “And if he has to serve out a mission, we discuss a return to allow for flexibility if needed, so he can engage in and really come back ‘fresh’ into the civilian job.”

Provide Employee Resource Groups and Mentorship Programs

When it comes to company culture, Gary Patton, Vice President of Veterans and Military Affairs at CACI, a winner on Monster’s Best Companies for Veterans list, says it’s essential to create a sense of belonging. Employee resource groups and mentorship programs can give veterans a sense of belonging and camaraderie and help them assimilate into civilian life more easily.

Patton says, “We have a Veteran Transition mentoring program, where we take old hands, who are veterans within the company, and they’re able to pair off with recently separated veteran new hires, not as a supervisor but more as a mentor or coach who they can go to with problems, concerns, and questions to help get their feet on the ground. I think it’s a good program to help our veterans make that sometimes difficult and challenging transition from the military to the civilian workforce.”

CACI’s veteran employee resource group (VERG), which is open to all employees, regardless of veteran status, is another way this best-in-class company helps create a culture of inclusion. With activities ranging from laying wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every Veterans Day to washing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.., Patton says, “These are the types of things we do as part of the VERG that promote a sense of belonging within our culture.”

Translate Military Skills for Civilian Jobs

Translating military skills and placing veterans in the right jobs is crucial to helping them feel accepted and supported right from the start. “It’s important for employers to understand how to translate military skills because finding the right fit for veterans is important,” says Sarah Blansett, Vice President of Military.com. “Some translation will happen as a part of a veterans transition process and by tapping into tools that can help them understand the civilian workplace, like our Veteran Employment Project. Yet, the other side is the employer who needs to have insight into how their open positions relate to veterans’ skill sets.”

Monster and Military.com offer a comprehensive suite of tools that employers can use to find and hire veterans, including a Military Skills Translator, Reverse Military Skills Translator, and Veteran Talent Portals. “We also have products that equip and educate the job-seeking veteran in the hopes that if we train both sides, we can facilitate a better fit for the employers and the veterans,” Blansett says. “Employers can expand their paid military time off policies for Guard and reserve members, support veteran and military spouse employee resource groups, and find and train recruiters who are veterans or military spouses to make their workplace more veteran and military spouse friendly.”

More Veteran Retention Strategies

Whether you’re just learning how to develop a veteran-friendly company culture or it’s been a priority for years, staying on top of effective recruitment and retention strategies for veterans is essential. Get started by signing up for Monster Hiring Solutions’ expert advice and information on the latest hiring trends.

Corner Office Q&A: Claire Barnes

Claire Barnes became global head of HR at Monster in 2020, right when everything we knew about the world of work began to change. Faced with a completely remote global workforce, work from home challenges, the Great Resignation and strategizing return-to-work amid ever-changing coronavirus variants hasn’t been easy. We sat down to talk with Claire about her HR journey,  her path to the c-suite, and how she feels companies should support women in the workforce in a post-pandemic world.

How did you get your start in HR?

I think it’s fair to say I fell into HR, at least a little bit. I studied English literature because it was something I was passionate about, but when I finished, I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do, which I’m sure other college graduates experience too, so I went into contingency work.

I temped in different workplaces and ended up working in an HR department. I found that it was something that really made me feel good about what I was doing on a day-to-day basis. I think it was really the connection with people and connecting people to the business goal. Just having that ability to make somebody feel good about coming to work and being able to get the best from someone really triggered something in me and made me believe that that was something I wanted to invest more in, so I began a master’s in human resource management and I got my first job in HR. Luckily, since then, I have had the benefit of having some wonderful managers who have probably seen my potential before I’ve necessarily seen it myself.

Who helped take you to the next steps, and how did they support you?

The first person who stands out would be John, who was my first HR director when I started my career in HR. I worked for a company called Pro Metric, and I joined as an HR assistant.  We’d just won a huge contract in the UK, so it was like working in a startup environment and I was very much thrown in at the deep end. I was learning as I was working but what I found working for John was that I always felt supported. I always knew he had my back and he would ask me to do things that wouldn’t necessarily have had the confidence to do but which he could see I had the ability to do so. He definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. Within six months of being there, I was running large-scale, recruitment for a big customer service organization. And I was pretty young, but he totally believed I could do it and I did and I progressed well from there.

The other person who stands out is a woman named Sarah, who was my manager when I was at Thompson Reuters. She was my manager at pivotal time because I had my daughter then. She was somebody who strongly pushed for women’s rights. She always pushed to have a seat at the table. In fact, I would say she was probably the closest to our CEO out of the leadership team for quite a long period of time. But she also pushed for others, including me.

When I came back from maternity leave, I was able to work four days a week, and I was a VP in HR. None of our team had done that before. There’s a question about whether or not you can balance that, but for me it was so important to have that time with my daughter when she was young and she fully supported me and I think that opened the door for others to do the same.

If you take a side compensation, the most common reason why people stay or leave a job is because of their manager and the experience they have working with their manager. I feel it every day in my own career.

As of February of this year, 1.1 million U.S. women had still not returned to the workforce, What do you think companies need to do to help bring women back and then support them once they’re there?

We have to learn from what’s changed in the last two years. First and foremost, I think it has to become a priority for the business. As an HR leader at Monster, it’s a priority for us as an organization. It’s not just an HR goal. Obviously, our HR goals are important, but it’s a business priority because we know the value that diversity brings in an organization. We know the impact that has on results and profitability.

But it’s also because we want people to come into the into the office or virtual office and feel as though they can be themselves. When I think about what employers can do to bring back or to encourage women into the workforce, I think there are a few different things they should be looking at. First of all, women still remain the primary caregiver in many different situations, whether it’s childcare, eldercare, spousal care, they’re still the primary caregiver.

So when you think about that as an organization, I do think it’s really important to consider what level of flexibility can you offer to your workforce and not just what’s on paper, but what actually do you demonstrate as a business. If you offer work from home, make that a norm versus something which women feel they have to ask for. Really think about your policies and how they show up in the business. If you can’t do flexibility from a work-from-home perspective, think about shift patterns, compressed hours, working weeks, part-time working, what other options are available.

Also, if possible, review your benefits to see what benefits are available to help support women. One of the things that we offer at Monster is backup care. We know that women are the primary caregiver and that means if their child is sick or if their parent is sick and they are no longer able to rely on the care of someone who is either a teacher or carer, then that will directly come back to the woman. So, what can you do?

Last but by no means least is role modeling. It is so important to be able to see yourself in an organization, so think about how your organization is structured. Do you have enough women in leadership? Do you have enough female role models? Is that reflected in your promotional materials? Is it reflected on your website or your job descriptions? You know, sometimes we have an unconscious bias in our job descriptions based on the words we use. You need to really think about all of those different factors and really making a conscious effort to make the environment as inclusive as possible.

Labor force participation rates for women of color are even lower than for white women. What can employers do to close that gap?

We’re working through this at Monster. We don’t have all the answers, but for me, the most important place to start is by asking women of color in your organization. So to begin with, if you have a business or employee resource group, talk to that group. Ask what do you think we could do better? And what do you think is preventing women of color from applying for roles at this company?

I think the other thing to do is really to consider your hiring sources. So if you are finding that you’re getting the same profile of candidates each time, are you using diverse enough hiring sources? Could you be connecting with colleges or  through a different means? So really think about pushing your hiring sources and setting goals for your organization. You need to be pushing your teams to be bringing more diversity to the table, and I know it’s tough because we are in this incredibly talent-scarce market, but it’s really important to today’s candidates that you have an inclusive and diverse workforce. We see that in the research that we’re doing at Monster.

What advice would you give to a woman who’s hoping to advance in her career right now?

My first piece of advice would be to take a step back and think about your career like a job. Plan it. What are you good at? Ask other people, what do you think I’m good at? What are my strengths? What are the areas I could develop?  Then think about what you’re passionate about. Once you have done that, engage your manager and openly talk to them. Say, I want to move on, I want to progress. I want to do something different. This is what I think I’m good at. This is what we’ve talked about. What do you think?

We talk a lot about women supporting women, but we need allies, right? Allies of men and women.  Many men have been influential in my life and continue to be, and so I think it’s also about building that network of allies and mentors around you who can really help develop your confidence.

One of the things which I think a lot of women suffer from and I know that I’ve suffered from in my own life is impostor syndrome. We know that women are less likely to apply for a job unless they satisfy 100% of the criteria on the job description. Men are much more likely just to dive right in and say “I can do that.”

You need people around you who are going to give you that push and that confidence, so that when you’re not sure, you have that support network. Don’t try and look at job titles or think “I must be this by the time I’m 30 or 40 or 50” or whatever. Think about it as what you’re good at, what you enjoy, and how to create a plan around that. Work directly with your manager and build a support network around you because you often don’t see what other people see in terms of what your strengths are.

Explore how you can support women in the workforce

If you’re in a position to hire more women or support your current female employees, learn more tips and strategies to support women in the workforce.

Corner Office Q&A: Mark Rowe

Mark Rowe is Vice President of Talent Acquisition at WellStar Healthcare System in Atlanta, where he recently returned after 10 years at Kaiser Permanente. Having spent a majority of his career in healthcare, we wanted to learn not only about his career trajectory, but also what the last two years have been like for him on the front lines of healthcare hiring and retention. He shared his thoughts on pandemic-induced healthcare shortages, the importance of DEI, wellness, and becoming a boomerang hire.

First of all, tell us about your journey into talent acquisition.

It’s not a new story, that I sort of fell into it. I think that happens to a lot of us. But

I was lucky enough to find a position in the staffing industry back when I first came out of school, and even luckier that that staffing organization was really committed to training and had great leaders. After a few years, I was recruited to start a division hiring IT professionals. I didn’t know anything about IT, but after a couple weeks of training, I learned a lot and

started placing COBOL programmers and RPG programmers, and then grew that business from there.

What made you transition from IT to Healthcare?

I think, like a lot of people that were around on September 11, 2001, I took stock of what the future was going to be. I felt like healthcare was an opportunity that would be stable and also an opportunity to have a little passion for the work that I do. I don’t think I realized how much I would like it when I got into it. I really took everything I learned from the staffing experience I had, from understanding that you need to have a good process, to the fact that you need good data to drive your work and your decisions, and obviously have a method to your madness. When I got into healthcare in 2001, none of that really existed within talent acquisition.

Now you’re a boomerang hire at Wellstar. What’s that like?

I’m coming up on my 90th day this time around, so I’m a boomerang for the first time in my career. It’s a little surreal, but it’s great. I initially worked for a pretty good-sized health system in South Carolina and then move to Wellstar in 2005. I was there for about four years. Then I spent 10-plus years at Kaiser Permanente in talent acquisition. Just recently I had the opportunity to become the VP of talent acquisition for Wellstar. A lot has changed, but also a lot is still the same at Wellstar. It’s been really exciting drinking from a firehose a bit for the first 90 days, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not sure I would go somewhere if everything was just perfect, and you were going in and just basically running operations. I like to come in and figure out ways to improve. So it’s been exciting.

How have the impact of COVID-19, then Omicron, and the pandemic-induced talent shortages impacted your work?

When I answer questions like this, I always try to be really careful with my words and adjectives, because at the end of the day, we are in talent acquisition. We weren’t in the units and we weren’t taking care of patients. I’m wary of hyperbole because I’m so close to the hospitals and the nurses that were truly unbelievable.

For us in TA, it was intense and there was a period there where no one really knew what was going to happen. Right about March 2020, so many people just said, whoa…stop. No hiring. We can’t do anything when we don’t know what’s going to happen.

At such a large organization like Kaiser, we had so many people in the pipeline ready to be hired across the organization. That was a full two to three months of just non-stop really digging in and evaluating positions and determining whether we should move forward with them or not.

After that, there was that little bit of a lull where everyone was trying to say, “We might be OK here,” and then everything went haywire with the resignations and the spikes, and then the variants and the surges. Most organizations saw an enormous spike in the number of positions because we’d come so far inward during the initial three months and reduced open positions to pretty much zero. We weren’t hiring anybody. But then, without notice, it just exploded. And most TA leaders were caught without enough recruiters.

Now, the market has changed so much that it’s much harder to find recruiters.  Across the TA industry, it’s been like this since basically mid-2020 through the fall of 2021.

What do you think has been the biggest impact on talent that you’ve seen as a result of the last two years?

I would say it’s fatigue. Honestly, across the board, people are really running out of that energy that we’ve all tried to sustain because it’s just been relentless. Whether that’s nurses who are fatigued or recruitment teams who you know just really need to take care of their well-being. It’s very difficult because as a leader, you bring everybody together at an all-hands meeting and I want to genuinely make sure people are taking care of themselves, but I also understand the demands that are coming at them. But I really do think we have to focus on our well-being in this situation.

What have the Great Resignation and staffing shortages looked like from your point of view?

We’ve seen a reduction in our number of applications for requisition by a minimum of 50%, and in many, many areas where it’s much higher than that.

Where are the areas where you see the biggest shortages?

Nursing is probably as bad as anything, but then there are other clinical areas like respiratory therapy where you generally would have a decent applicant flow and really do not now. In the past, we never had a situation where we didn’t have enough candidates for food and nutrition, environmental services, and housekeeping, and now we have very few applicants…and that’s been challenging. I think to some extent, there’s always a little bit of a narrative that we needed to just work faster and increase our throughput. I think this is a topic that should be near and dear to a lot of TA leaders’ hearts. I’ve been really leaning on data to try to flip that conversation, because Wellstar is no different than most organizations right now. We’re seeing a pretty high level of turnover than in past markets and times.

How are TA leaders approaching these shortages differently today than in the past?

When you had a spike, either in volume and or turnover, in most times they would look to talent acquisition and say, “We need to open the faucet big time because we’re losing people” or “We’ve got this spike and we need more people.” In the past we could do that. You could throw some resources at it, move your resources around a little bit if you wanted to and you could fill that funnel a little more and turn the faucet back down when you catch up.

The market is not that way now. The faucet’s open, and if there were 200 nurses out there, trust me, we’d be interviewing them and hiring them, and so would all of our competitors. But there are not 200 nurses out there. So many times, it takes being really, really transparent with your data to show leaders exactly what the here-and-now is, even if it doesn’t make the team look good. In other words, I’m sure there are pockets where we’re not moving them along quickly enough. That’s fine. That’s on us will we’ll fix that so it doesn’t happen again. But if you’re not being transparent, then you’re not shining the light on potentially what the real problem is, and I think that can be a mistake.

Sometimes we don’t want to share all that behind-the-curtain stuff with our hiring leaders because we’re worried about what they’re going to say or think. I find that being transparent and showing the good, bad, and the ugly, actually helps shine a light on the real problems. Then, you can partner together to solve for it.

I find that when hiring leaders start realizing how few candidates there are, they are willing to understand that, and understand that we’re also focusing on the strategy piece. Of course, on the front end we will work hard to get our fair share of candidates, but understanding that the market is different is critical. There’s a shift in thinking to “I could make a bigger difference if I lose less people” and I think that’s an important transition.

It sounds like TA leaders are juggling a combination of retention, upskilling, and taking risks.

That is what we’re all living in right now and trying to figure out. I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s a little like the wild, wild, west right now. Everyone is trying to do what they have to do to either keep or find the talent they need. It will be interesting if this really is the fifth and final surge, but I certainly don’t think that anything is going to go back to the way it was.

When do you think things will get back to normal?

I think even if volumes come down, it’s going to take a few years at the very least for things to get even close to what they were pre-pandemic. So I do hope that some good things come out of this, like evaluating talent in a different way compared to how we’ve always done it. Experience and education have always been how we grade and value positions, so hiring leaders write job descriptions that require at least a certain number of years of experience so they can attract the talent. It’s this never-ending cycle, when in reality those years of experience may not be what really matters.

How do you think companies should evaluate talent differently?

There may be a coding program or an app that’s only been around for a couple months and it could be incredibly valuable for the role that you’re recruiting for. But if our systems grade positions based on years of experience, that makes it tough to necessarily attract the right person who may have that skill set for that particular application or coding method.

You mentioned the need to nurture the talent you have as well as recruit new talent. Is this a new focus for TA?

We’re spending a lot of time evaluating the balance between what do we do for our current team members to make sure we keep them and support them, and then we’re working hard on the front end to still be aggressive and get our fair share of the talent coming in.

So many times, HR leaders can be too siloed and we’re all so busy that we don’t necessarily integrate ourselves very well. I can tell you that at Wellstar, the leaders of those functions, whether it be TA, learning, or total rewards, we’re together. We’re HR business partners who work together every single week, almost every day. We really share exactly what we’re doing to make sure that we’re connected better. And you know our strategies makes sense downstream or upstream.

Looking to the future, what is a major focus for you right now?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion. Everyone knows how important that is, but I think that that’s going to be critical now and into the future. We have an incredible leader at Wellstar who is going to be building that out even more than what we’ve had in the past. And if you look at our people strategy, DEI is one of the most important things.

Within that, you’re going to be seeing, especially in early career talent, systems that allow us to hire for talent and train for skill as opposed to what I described.  I’m very excited about that because I think that’s another one of the things that’s going to come out of this pandemic.

Finally, what lessons have you learned over these last few years?

I honestly think well-being.  For me personally, I was traveling every couple of weeks before March of 2020 and then all of a sudden it stopped. All of a sudden, I was in a basement working from home, long hours for periods of time, not even getting outside. That was nothing compared to what people went through who were either caregivers or people who got sick.

I can’t imagine this isn’t going to be a period of our lives where we all look back and say, you know, perhaps my perspective changed a little bit. And I tell my teams all the time, guys, it’s just recruitment. Let’s not treat it like it’s life and death. What we do may be complicated, but it’s not hard if that makes sense. I get that there’s navigation that has to happen. But at the end of the day, we’ve got to take care of ourselves.

I’m excited to think ahead when hopefully the surges are over, and we can settle into whatever the new norm is and we can thrive. We’ve got to put the joy and the fun back into talent acquisition. We all got into it because at one point it was fun, and we got joy out of it. I don’t know that I can say it’s been fun the last couple of years for a lot of us, but I know that it can be again. So finding that joy is one of my biggest goals.

Monster CEO Scott Gutz: Competition for Talent Will Increase in 2022

As CEO of a global company whose mission is to match candidates with jobs – and doing so in a time of unprecedented labor shortages and record-breaking quit rates – I can say firsthand that the world of hiring is facing some steep challenges. I say this not just from the perspective of an industry insider, but as someone who also leads a global workforce that has had to pivot, adjust, and adapt.

We’re turning the corner on a year that wasn’t as “post-pandemic” as we’d hoped, and in a world still very much at the mercy of pandemic-related interruptions. The new year will likely see employers and candidates continuing to grapple with hiring hurdles and lingering uncertainty.  Amid this turbulence, the one thing I can say with confidence is that competition for talent will be fiercer than it has been in years as employers scramble to fill the roles left vacant in 2021.

In Monster’s 2022 Future of Work Report (FOW), recruiters around the globe told us that “increased competition” was a leading challenge they expect to face over the next three years, topped only by finding candidates who have the right skills.

With that in mind, here’s what I see as the three converging factors that are impacting most organizations today:

  1. Simply put, there are fewer candidates looking for jobs. In the U.S., we know that the labor participation rate is down, and there are a number of reasons for this, but fewer candidates obviously makes it more difficult for hiring managers to fill the more than 11 million open roles (as of October 2021). As such, companies are spending more and trying new recruiting approaches. We see that in many areas, but one clear example is staffing and recruitment. The staffing industry has exploded in the last year, and I expect it will continue to grow in 2022. What’s also notable is the expansion in the permanent placement sector, which demonstrates the real challenges companies are having finding candidates for permanent full-time work.
  2. The great resignation is expected to continue. As people opt for career changes or exit the workforce all together, I don’t see this changing quickly, and certainly not in the first quarter of 2022. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of quits in November was 4.5 million—a BLS series high. What’s more, a Harvard Business Review study found that mid-career employees between 30 and 45 years are the group resigning most. We’re losing a critical segment of workers just as they should be moving into or expanding their leadership and management roles, setting up a difficult succession plan for many C-suites.
  3. There’s no clear path to return-to-work for many companies. There are still major concerns from a macro health perspective because of all the COVID-related stops and starts. From Delta to Omicron, from announcements about going back to work to the delay of those announcements, there have been changes in employee and employer perspectives on when is the right time to go back to an in-person work environment. Add to that the unclear future of U.S. government-mandated vaccines in the workplace, employers have been reluctant – and in some cases unable – to bring workers back to an in-person office setting. Ultimately, it creates uncertainty and a sense of unreliability. A recent Monster poll revealed that a majority (53%) of workers are not confident in their employer’s ability to create a safe work environment.

All of this adds up to an infinitely more competitive marketplace. As we look ahead and reflect on the findings from our Future of Work Report, these are some strategies we’ll be sharing with our customers at Monster as they face a fiercely competitive hiring landscape.

 Understand What Candidates Are Looking For

Candidate priorities are shifting away from flexibility and towards higher pay and career satisfaction, according to the FOW Report. Interestingly, 42% of respondents listed meaningful work as one of the most important factors driving career choice– above flexible work schedules. Also on the rise is a desire for skills training and career development.

With 27% of candidates saying they are seeking caring work environments, employers have an opportunity to reach potential hires by emphasizing workplace culture.

At Monster, for example, we’ve been making a big push with our own workforce along those lines, while also amplifying what it’s like to work here to our prospective talent.

Be Ready To Compete

Given the fact that 26% of candidates expressed low confidence in finding the right job fit, while one quarter of respondents said they are skeptical of employer promises, companies that build authentic, employee-first cultures can stand out from the competition.

The tools and tactics employers can use to remain competitive run the gamut from increasing wages and benefits to offering starting bonuses. Yet, it’s critical to actively engage with qualified candidates. The Future of Work Report found that about a quarter of employers are increasing job ads to stay competitive. But that’s just one tactic – you’ve got to strive to make a strong first impression with candidates no matter what that touchpoint might look like, and demonstrate why your company is a great place to work.

Listen

Having open communications with your employees can help shape everything from your DEIA policies to understanding your workforce’s needs in terms of flexible work options or mental health and wellness support. Not only can that improve retention but can also strengthen your employer brand and reputation for future hires.

At Monster, for example, we hold regular “Ask Me Anything” sessions, where senior executives – myself included – invite employees to discuss anything on their mind. We also conduct regular sentiment surveys of our employees. As a result, our leadership team has improved Monster’s culture to not only attract new talent but to retain quality employees. I highly recommend finding ways to gather perspective and feedback from your organization to figure out the things you’re doing well and the things that you can improve upon.

Broaden Your Search

The future of a successful candidate search depends on two factors: location and diversity.

This next generation of workers is going to be very open to working for companies that aren’t based anywhere near where they live, hence why 21% of employers said they are expanding their location search to remain competitive in hiring. Success for many employers may be dependent on adopting a distributed workforce.

In addition, you’ll want to get on board with recruiting candidates from new or unexpected sources, and consider candidates who may not have all of the skills or experience on your wish list.  A clear majority (67%) of Gen Z recruiters told us they are increasing outreach to outside organizations with diverse talent pipelines and 70% of all recruiters said they’d be open to hiring candidates with transferable skills who they can train.

Nearly a third of U.S. recruiters actively recruit military veterans and spouses and make use of tools such as Military.com’s skills translator to convert military credentials and experience into in-demand skills for civilian jobs.

Embrace New Strategies–And A New Generation Of Recruiters

Gen Z and Millennial recruiters–who make up a majority of today’s active recruiters– are the future. According to our survey, this cohort of digital natives embrace texting, and are also more likely to leverage a broader set of tools including job board matches, email campaigns, social ads, and more. In fact, 61% of Gen Z recruiters think virtual recruiting is better than in-person (vs 26% of millennials and 6% of Boomers.)

If you’re not creating the right mechanisms to interact with this generation–one that has grown up with social media platforms and mobile devices–they will dismiss you very quickly in the process.

Despite Challenges Ahead, There’s Room For Optimism

When you stop and think about what we’ve learned and how far we’ve come in the past two years, and what it’s taught us about our values, it’s truly amazing. We’ve not only made leaps and bounds when it comes to hybrid and remote work capabilities, but we’ve collectively created more awareness around supporting the health and wellness of our greatest assets – our employees. I am confident that moving forward, we can achieve a better balance between life in the office and life at home.

Though there will no doubt be some struggles in 2022 ­– most notably the stiff competition for sourcing talent – there are endless opportunities for this next generation of recruiters and job seekers to make the best employment matches possible. Being open to trying new approaches and keeping a finger on the pulse of what candidates and employees care about can ensure that your workplace not only attracts the right people but fosters an environment that allows them to do their best work.

To review the full 2022 Future of Work Report, you can download it here.