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    How to Effectively Respond to Candidates’ Final Interview Questions

    The seismic shift during the last two years has turned the labor market on its head. Today, there is a near record of ~11.2 million jobs available, with almost two job openings for every unemployed American. And with the constantly shifting landscape, companies continue to face high employee turnover and difficulty acquiring quality talent to fill open roles. Sixty-nine percent of recruiters believe attracting and hiring talent will be difficult for the remainder of the year, per the latest data from Employ Inc.’s latest Quarterly Insights Report.
    To overcome this challenge, it’s key to determine whether the role aligns with the expectations and preferences of job seekers. One of the best ways to find out is during the interview process. By opening the interview floor to questions from a job candidate, you have the opportunity to better understand what is important to them and make authentic connections in a highly competitive hiring environment. In the past six months, 72% of recruiters have encountered candidates who have, at one time, received multiple offers at the same time.
    “What motivates you [Recruiter or Hiring Manager] to stay on the team at your organization?”
    Job seekers know what they are looking for in their next position and want to be satisfied with their future employment. In fact, new research shows that 32% of workers would quit a job without having another one lined up if they don’t feel content or fulfilled with their job. Answering this question truthfully will help the candidate determine whether or not your organization is a good culture fit. Especially since 21% of job seekers cited poor company culture as the top reason for leaving a job in the last 12 months. Another thing to consider is welcoming the candidate to ask that same question to others. The different perspectives of your hiring team can help the candidate really understand the organization and how it might align with their values.
    “What has the company implemented to help drive improvement in the organization?”
    While this question is broad, your answer can help your organization stand out. Tie this answer to the initiatives implemented to build your company culture or improve the well-being of employees, such as mental health benefits, strong work-life balance, and flexible work arrangements, among others. Per Employ data, poor company culture is one of the top reasons employers switch jobs. You might also pull an example from how the organization was faced with a challenge, made a change, and was ultimately able to overcome that obstacle. In addition to a strong culture, reinforcing how your team solves problems collaboratively can really help improve the candidate’s understanding of why they would want to join your team.
    “How has the organization been performing against goals this year?”
    Job seekers want to know whether an organization is setting and achieving its goals. This is especially important for roles where reaching individual goals correlates with salaries, as compensation continues to be a driving factor in today’s hiring climate. Per Employ’s latest data, 42% of recruiters found making adjustments to compensation and total rewards to be the most helpful strategy in overcoming the tight labor market. That’s why it’s crucial to leave interviewees with a clear understanding of compensation, how attainable the goals are, and whether the organization has successfully achieved them.
    “What is [Hiring Manager’s] leadership style?”
    Misalignment on leadership styles can cause significant workplace issues and future career paths. That’s why job seekers need to understand their potential manager’s leadership style and for you to know how candidates like to receive direction and feedback. Answering this question with transparency is critical. Otherwise, you risk hiring a new employee who may not mesh well with the team. Employ data found that nearly one-third of workers who left their job after 90 days claim unsatisfactory company leadership as the primary rationale for departing.
    “Do you have any concerns about recommending me for this position?”
    If you have concerns about gaps in skills or experience, take the time to explain why those are important to the position and allow them to respond. The candidate’s response to the feedback can also signal how well they handle critical feedback and if they’re willing to grow in the areas they’re lacking. Pay attention to what experiences they highlight to help reduce your potential concerns. The conversation surrounding this question could ultimately make, or break, your decision to move forward with a candidate or their decision to accept the job.
    Overcome Hiring Challenges with the Right Technology
    Before an interview even takes place, sourcing the right talent for open roles is crucial. However, our data reveals the biggest challenge for over half of recruiters is finding and hiring quality candidates, while 62% said improving quality-of-hire is their top priority. In today’s tight labor market, recruiters must adapt their tactics and processes to identify the best possible candidates, which can be accomplished by investing in intelligent talent acquisition technologies to meet hiring goals.
    When determining the best solution for the needs of your talent acquisition (TA) team, ensure the technology has extensive experience in delivering recruiting results within your specific industry and business size. Identify solutions that go beyond applicant tracking and integrate a wide range of capabilities to support your hiring goals, including recruiting AI and automation, employee referral tools, analytics, and more. With these solutions, organizations will have everything needed to identify the best candidates for every job opening and the opportunity to dig even deeper during the interview process.
    Corey Berkey serves as Senior Vice President, People & Talent, at Employ Inc. 
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    How to Amplify Your DEI Initiatives in 2022

    Talent acquisition teams are no stranger to the importance of creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) workplace for all employees. According to the newly-released 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 38% of workers would turn down a job offer if the company lacked diversity in its workforce or had no clear goals for improving diversity in hiring. Below are ways companies can amplify DEI initiatives in 2022.
    Take Meaningful First Steps
    Many talent teams are dedicating considerable time and resources to DEI, including increasing investing budget resources to expand their efforts. In fact, 68% of recruiters reported that they believe improving DEI in their organization will be a top priority in the next year.
    Teams can take small steps by measuring key recruiting metrics in the process and continuing to analyze areas of improvement as changes are made. Here’s how:

    Understand the current workforce: This is a crucial step to help measure diversity of representation among an existing employee base. Evaluate the demographics across the organization, and within departments.
    Create a more diverse candidate pool: You’ve got to start somewhere, and there are several free tools and resources that can help you make sure you, and your company, are putting your best foot forward. Make small improvements to be more inclusive in recruiting practices by using free tools to help write more inclusive job descriptions and attract a wider variety of candidates.
    Develop inclusive content: Use existing social media channels and the company’s career website to tell employee stories within the organization. By leveraging this original content, your team can further convey how employees of differing backgrounds, ethnicities, races, genders, and abilities feel a sense of belonging. This is also a great medium to share current efforts and commitments for improving DEI. Think like a marketer – track the data related to interactions with your posts, understand what messages perform well, and determine what messages your audience wants to hear more about.

    Align Hiring Teams on Candidate Requirements
    Hiring team members can get stuck on the notion of the “ideal candidate.” This mindset can limit the diversity of talent pools by having too many requirements listed when they may not all be necessary. In today’s competitive labor market, this will cost your organization time, which inevitably will cost you top candidates.
    Grow a Diverse Talent Pipeline
    Today’s labor market is incredibly tight, and candidates expect a culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. Avoid limiting the talent pool by requiring specific skills and experience that are not dealbreakers. Build programs to attract, engage, and hire historically marginalized communities through strategic audience planning and develop programs to make everyone feel welcome.
    Talent teams must work hard to expand their talent networks and source diverse candidates, which can be done in the following ways:

    Interact on social media: Keep in touch with potential applicants, passive talent, and past candidates on social media. Share what’s going on in the company, tell employee stories, answer questions, post job openings, and give info on referral programs to the network.
    Attend recruiting events: Virtual and in-person recruiting events can be great places to help you build your talent network. Focus on hiring events that bring together a niche audience that is centered around diversity. These events are a great way to connect with job seekers and broadcast the message that the company is hiring.
    Work with local organizations: Find local diversity groups and work with them to source candidates for open positions. Building a relationship with these organizations can help long-term network growth.

    Leverage tools needed to enhance DEI initiatives
    Automation and AI tools can help further supplement DEI initiatives, streamline hiring  processes, and eliminate manual tasks in the following ways:

    Automated intelligent sourcing: Sourcing candidates can be the most time-consuming process in recruiting. Automated intelligent sourcing can help find candidates that fit open roles and invite them to apply. It can also reach top candidates while keeping the pool diverse.
    AI candidate skill-matching: Skill matching automatically screens applicants for role requirements, which is helpful for specialized roles that benefit from diverse candidates, such as engineers, healthcare workers, or machine operators. Integrating automated skill-matching tools with applicant tracking systems (ATS) eliminates the strain of managing multiple candidate databases in different places and helps find qualified talent more quickly. Leveraging technology to screen for skills can also help reduce bias in your hiring processes.

    Start Investing in DEI Today
    The time to prioritize DEI is now. In today’s challenging labor market, those who prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion will find more qualified candidates, which can turn into new hires. Talent teams can improve the diversity of their candidate slates by taking charge and applying the right strategies throughout the hiring process, including sourcing, relationship management, workforce planning, and audience planning.
    The investment in DEI goes far beyond cash – employers can invest time in telling the organization’s story, setting expectations, and aligning teams, which often yields the highest return on investment. It’s critical to lead DEI initiatives with empathy, compassion, and dedication, and to be relentless in driving change.
    By: Corey Berkey, Senior Vice President, People & Talent, Employ Inc. 
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