With a projected 85% of Americans being fully vaccinated by August 2021, all eyes are now on what happens post-pandemic. Consumer patterns shifted due to the pandemic, supply chain leaders faced significant challenges like transporting available inventory to areas away from quarantine zones, updating customers about delays, and reconfiguring supply chains to build resilience. As more Americans receive the vaccine, supply chain leaders, especially hiring managers, can now add one more thing to their plate — preparing for the influx of applicants who will be ready to get back to work.
Hiring was a huge letdown in April, and millions of Americans are looking for work. Beyond sifting through applicants, companies want to ensure they are providing candidates with the best experience possible so they don’t lose out on high quality hires. Here’s what companies should focus on now to avoid being blindsided by the oncoming wave of applicants.
Review Current Processes
Take an inventory of the current talent acquisition processes within the organization. What does it take for a candidate to learn about an open job and then traverse the entire candidate experience to be hired? Your company should strive for a quick and efficient application process that operates just as well via mobile devices as it does on desktops. This is especially important given Appcast research demonstrates that mobile applications have now surpassed desktop applications as the most common channel for applicants.
The time is now to conduct this audit and make any changes, as the last thing hiring managers want to worry about is a sudden change in procedure right in the middle of a hiring spree.
Within an HR team there are myriad tasks that there are simply too many tasks required of too few HR professionals. Traditional HR workflow is heavy on legacy processes and outdated technical solutions for tasks from talent acquisition to expense reporting. Moving these processes to innovative software solutions can soften the blow for HR teams already dealing with a larger pandemic-induced workload.
Automate and Streamline
The most immediate way you can reduce the load on HR leaders is to equip them with automated tools that speed up the hiring process. HR technology has come leaps and bounds over the last five years, and any company that relies on high-volume hiring to fulfill crucial jobs ought to have their talent attraction pipeline automated.
Two key components of that pipeline are the applicant tracking system (ATS) and the pre-hire assessment. The ATS moves candidates through the pipeline and prompts the HR team to take action when the applicant stalls too long in between steps. The pre-hire assessment offers valuable data about the candidate and how they will fit into the specific role for which they’re being hired, but overlong assessments with dozens of questions in block text can be a serious deterrent. Research from Indeed suggests that text-based pre-hire assessments with more than 20 questions can cause up to 40% of applicants to languish and abandon their application altogether. Consider streamlining the application and assessment to deliver the best candidate experience — a visual-based personality assessment that can be completed quickly will keep the process quick and efficient. This also allows fit data to be collected at the top of your hiring funnel, speeding up your selection process with little to no candidate drop-off.
The application process should yield valuable insights with a fast turnaround for both the applicant and hiring manager, allowing both parties to prioritize the best candidates and jobs for them.
Identify the Ideal Candidate
Prior to the pandemic, companies hiring at volume experienced a tight labor market, forcing many to onboard new employees that were not an ideal fit for vacancies in their organization. At the macroeconomic level, our recovery is partially reliant on hiring back the right people in the right places.
Transportation, warehousing and logistics employees turnover at a high annual rate irrespective of the pandemic — 26.5% of supply chain industry employees quit their jobs in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Amid an uncertain economic future in 2020, the number rose to 26.8%. Hiring, training and onboarding a new employee can be an expensive undertaking, and employee turnover threatens margins. The best way to reduce turnover is to ensure that the hiring process is identifying the right candidates.
To identify the right candidate for the job, start with the qualities that successful employees already exhibit, acknowledging that what defines success may be different now than pre-pandemic. There is an element of unconscious bias in all subjective methods of screening, such as interviews and resume reviews.Leveraging tools like a pre-hire personality assessment can map those qualities to measures that will be predictive of job performance and overall fit for the role, helping hiring managers make more objective decisions, while reducing your turnover.
Despite record hiring by some major players in warehousing and logistics over the past year, there is still more to come. The pandemic has changed the way that people live, shop, and communicate, with the demand for delivery and special logistics services not diminishing any time soon. An influx of applicants is on the way, but a serious audit of your recruiting and hiring technology will prepare supply chain executives and their HR teams to handle the wave.
Dan Sines is cofounder and CEO of Traitify, a talent assessment software company.