Recruiting candidates in 2019 is going to look a lot like 2018 – challenging, tight and competitive. You’ll battle your competitors for the best talent, and you’ll need to impress potential hires from the moment they know you have a job opening. It’s a tough time to be recruiting candidates, and although all industries are facing it, if you’re in a blue-collar industry, you have it even worse. A recent Associate General Contractors of Minnesota Construction Industry Assessment showed 90 percent of general contractors expect 2019 to be negatively impacted by their inability to find enough skilled workers. In short, we’re seeing labor shortages of epic proportions.

To keep your competitive recruitment edge sharp, make sure you have these recruiting strategies nailed down (which can all be centralized in a smart ATS like ours).

Before You Need to Hire

Company Culture

A thriving company culture should be an ongoing goal, so keeping a pulse on the feel of your workforce is just common sense. In our current employee-driven job market, a workplace that is positive, driven and enthusiastic can make a difference in swaying a candidate into accepting an offer. Do the legwork to make sure your company culture is cultivating happy employees, starting with:

  • Talk performance and development more than annually
  • Recognize and reward valued work
  • Get frequent feedback from employees (anonymous surveys with Core HR software is a game-changer)
  • Walk the walk when it comes to work-life balance and Employee Value Propositions


Time to Post the Job

Ready or not, you have jobs that need to be filled. It’s time to prepare your job listing and push it out to the world. A critical piece of great recruiting in 2019 is going to be delivering a notably good candidate experience. Make sure you’re hitting these marks:


Most Americans own a smartphone, and job hunters are increasingly using their phones not only to find jobs, but also to apply for them. According to Indeed, 78 percent of Millennials and 73 percent of Gen Xers look for jobs on their smartphones. That means your job postings and applications need to be:

  • Where people go on their phones (social media and job hunting apps)
  • Quick to fill out on a phone (55 percent of job seekers say a long application process contributes to a negative candidate experience, according to Advice Software)
  • Easy to get through the process
  • Not require accounts or passwords

Simple Posting, Everywhere It Should Be

An exceptional ATS isn’t just about the data coming in; it’s also about simplifying the posting process. To make your life easier, recruit candidates the easy way:

  • One-click job distribution that hits your choice of popular job sites, from Indeed and ZipRecruiter to more focused job boards, such as industry-specific or niche demographics like veterans
  • Social recruiting, though an extension of posting in the right places, has the added benefit of pulling in passive candidates. These highly valued potential applicants are well worth the targeting – they may already be killing it at their current job, but be open to a set up if they run across an opportunity on social media.

Your Employer Brand is on Display

One ATS pitfall we hear a lot is that the software confuses candidates because it looks different or has the ATS company’s name on it. Not ours. The BirdDogHR applicant tracking system is fully customizable to your brand – colors, copy, logos, video. There’s no confusion about where candidates are applying because the interface is all you, all the time.

Includes All Compliance Language

The BirdDogHR software team is dedicated to keeping compliance language updated, so you never have to think about it. Here’s a glance at what a smart HR ATS will do:

  • Collect appropriate applicant data and compile it in easy-to-digest reports
  • Report on all applicants considered
  • Keep records on all employee-related decisions
  • Affirmative Action programs, ready to be turned on when needed
  • 100 percent up to date, 100 percent of the time, with no effort on your end

Manage Your Applicants

“Candidate experience” is a bit of a catchphrase for HR right now. It’s simply a jargony way to talk about what potential employees go through when they apply for jobs.

Automate Communication

Your organization shouldn’t be a black hole. When someone applies, make sure your ATS sends an email to let them know their application was received. as the person’s candidacy progresses, keep them in the loop with automatic updates (you can customize these in our software).

Score & Screen

A robust ATS gives you scoring and screening questions, so you can quickly batch candidates to save time and evaluate based on qualifications. This is especially helpful if your company is required to report all considered applications.

Build for the Future

Having a deep bench of potential employees will ease your recruitment efforts. For next-level efficiency, your ATS should seamlessly store every applicant, so you can go back to past candidates when new positions open up. Added bonus: the BirdDogHR ATS allows you to set up labels inside the application, so past candidates are notified when relevant jobs open up.

Luckily, this competitive job market hits as smart HR rises in popularity across all industries. Mobile-friendly, tech-friendly, cloud-based, artificially intelligent – all this can be found in a robust Applicant Tracking System (ATS). You’re here at our blogs, so it’s not secret – the BirdDogHR applicant tracking software is just this. A great ATS is specially designed with candidates’ and your human-ness in mind to provide a seamless path from needing to post a job to onboarding.

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