Want to Improve Your Recruiting Outcomes? End Outdated Hiring Practices.

Want to Improve Your Recruiting Outcomes? End Outdated Hiring Practices.

Employers tried various new approaches to attract talent in 2022, but hiring headwinds remain strong in 2023. To achieve better outcomes in 2023, organizations should audit their candidate screening processes and put an end to outdated practices that may turn job seekers away.

With the number of job openings in the U.S. still hovering around 11 million, companies can no longer afford long and complicated screenings for every job. Yes, organizations absolutely must vet candidates through proper screening and hiring protocols. But many employers create unnecessary barriers that slow the interview process and alienate perfectly qualified candidates.

Candidates are tired of excessive assessments and complicated job portals. And when they make it past the application phase, they grow weary of unnecessary screenings—like multiple interviews or prior employment verifications. These steps can feel redundant to them, slow down the time-to-hire, and put organizations at risk of losing candidates.

Removing barriers and improving efficiency

At Kelly, we help clients improve their screening processes and we counsel them on how to eliminate barriers that screen out perfectly qualified candidates. Some of those barriers include:

  • Blanket bans on job seekers with criminal records
  • Outdated substance testing requirements
  • Unnecessary educational requirements
  • Lengthy onboarding processes

These steps can make talent attraction difficult, and they can keep companies from considering certain talent groups entirely.

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Tapping into the "Hidden Workforce"

Organizations can attract more talent by focusing on workers that have historically found it difficult to get hired. Researchers call these job seekers the hidden or silent workforce, which includes those with criminal records, those on the autism spectrum, veterans without a four-year degree, and opportunity youth who grew up in poverty. Providing opportunities for the silent workforce is not only good for business, but also the right thing to do.

Doing good is good for business.

Consider this, our research tells us that 83% of Americans agree that employers should do more to remove barriers that prevent job seekers from being hired or promoted. And three in four Americans say they are more likely to seek employment or do business with companies committed to breaking down barriers to work. At Kelly, we help employers do just that.

We’re partnering with clients who are waiving high school diploma requirements as part of our GED Academy. The program provides companies access to more talent by offering contract employment to job seekers while they complete their GEDs. The program provides training and support to underrepresented talent, and positively impacts clients. In one case, we increased the talent pool by 14%, reduced turnover for talent without high school completion by 17% and developed stronger partnerships within the community.

In other instances, we’re helping clients recruit formerly overlooked talent by relaxing policies around criminal history. Most still conduct individualized screenings of candidates’ criminal background records to evaluate whether the criminal conduct is related to a specific position. With those clients who have stricter policies in place, we engage in conversations and encourage them to update their processes.

A good example of this is when one of our manufacturing clients faced severe staffing challenges. We joined forces to recruit individuals with non-violent criminal backgrounds who were eager to work. This approach expanded the available talent pool, improved retention, and drove profitability. The approach was so successful that we turned the pilot program into a comprehensive offering called Kelly 33. Candidates placed through this program are consistently among the highest performing and most reliable workers, and many transition to full-time, permanent roles with our clients.

"Quiet hiring" and the race to find great talent fast

Lately, amidst growing economic uncertainty, we’ve seen more organizations opt not to add to their full-time headcount. A scenario recently coined “quiet hiring,” these organizations are instead identifying internal resources, such as employees who can take on more responsibilities, as well as looking externally at temporary contractors to fill skills gaps. For those searching for the right talent quickly, competition is steep, and many hiring managers lose strong contenders in drawn-out screening processes. To help companies access contingent talent faster, Kelly is launching a new app that streamlines the hiring process for both job seekers and hiring managers.

We see progress happening on many fronts, but America’s talent shortage continues. This year, organizations should eliminate their outdated screening practices. By making the process easier for job seekers overall and removing barriers that keep certain groups from even being considered for work at all, companies can improve their ability to identify, recruit, and retain top talent.


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