Talent is more difficult than ever to find. In fact, after surveying 42,300 employers in 43 countries in October, ManpowerGroup’s 2016/2017 Talent Shortage Survey found that 46 percent of participating U.S. employers were having difficulty filling jobs -- an all-time high since 2007.
That's bad news. But, what if part of the problem is the fault of employers themselves? What if they're unknowingly sabotaging their own efforts?
Actually, there are many subtle ways recruiters are limit their talent pools. Here are four ways businesses can stop creating their own talent shortage:
1. Remove gendered keywords.
Organizations aren’t doing this on purpose, but many are turning away quality candidates because their job post words are gender specific. Gendered wording means terms associated with feminine or masculine stereotypes. And this error is important: A September ZipRecruiter survey found that job listings with gender-neutral wording receive 42 percent more responses.
Create welcoming job posts for your own organization by deleting gender-specific words. Qualified male applicants may walk away when seeing "feminine" words they associate with a nurturing style. Try replacing "support," "supportive" and "understanding" with "team-focused," "courteous" and "customer-oriented."
Similarly, qualified female applicants may walk away due to traditionally masculine words like "leader," aggressive" and "ambitious" because they feel their personalities don’t match these words. Instead, try "exceptional," "go-getting" and "motivated."
When reviewing job posts, consider which words describe the type of candidate the company is seeking by highlighting specific requirements the candidate will need in order to perform well in this position.
2. Stop judging social media.
Social media has the power to make or break a candidate. Jobvite’s July Recruiter Nation Survey of 1,600 recruiting and human resources professionals found that an overwhelming 72 percent of recruiters participating viewed typos on social media as negative.
While it’s true that job-seekers should be cautious about what they put on social media, recruiters may be limiting themselves by being offended by social media spelling errors. Disqualifying a candidate due to a typo on Facebook or Twitter will limit the talent pool immensely -- even a highly qualified applicant might miss a comma when posting a not-so-serious photo of her beloved dog.
Instead, consider what each candidate has to offer. If there are any errors on the application, resume and cover letter, yet the person seems qualified and competent in every aspect except for social media grammar errors, it may be time to give him or her a second chance.
3. Don’t exclude candidates who have taken time off.
Every year, organizations are offering more and more employee benefits -- especially family-based perks. According to the May release of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and its Employee Benefits Survey 2016 of 577 respondents, 37 percent of companies now cover paid maternal leave.
However, some recruiters look at a gap in employment on a resume and automatically eliminate the candidate.
Remaining knowledgeable and relevant in a position is possible -- even after time off. Some of these applicants may even be a top choice because time out of the office can be restorative. So, considering candidates' previous career successes creates a better picture of their qualifying factors.
If the job requires specific education or training, see if everything is up to date, thanks to a previous job. Candidates who have been off for a while but took educational courses on their own time also are definitely worth a close look.
4. Build a presence on many networks.
Repeatedly resorting to the same job board or social network as a home for your recruitment ad will limit the number of eyes that job posts receive. Scan through each job board and social network to decide which ones best fit the demographics the company is seeking.
Related: 7 Tips to Improve Recruitment
As more talent begins to funnel into the organization’s pipeline, consider using an enterprise social network, like Hollaroo, to keep track of this talent in a branded environment where candidates can pull in other qualified applicants easily through referrals. The more people who are placed in this talent funnel, the less time it takes to find qualified candidates.