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Be Responsive or Be Irrelevant!



Delayed responses mean lost talent.

Skilled tradesmen today are not sitting around waiting for your call.

According to construction labor statistics, for the first time in 2022 the demand for construction labor is outpacing supply for a full year.

It's only going to get worse over the next few years as construction companies are sitting on record backlogs that will need to get executed.

Our Travel Tradesmen Survey showed that 76% of workers expect to start work within 1 week of applying; this means that if you don't respond quickly enough, the best workers will go elsewhere!

Be Responsive or Be Irrelevant!

Responsiveness is low hanging fruit for recruiters. It's a key factor in attracting skilled tradesmen and it's in your control.

Responsiveness differentiates recruiters from competitors, helps companies land better candidates and builds a company's reputation as being worker friendly. These are all critical to recruiting the best talent!

Responsiveness is a simple concept that can be hard to implement. It's about how quickly you respond to inquiries and applications from potential candidates. Quick response times make your company stand out as an employer that cares about its employees' well-being and will go out of its way to make sure they're taken care of.

Responsiveness also increases the likelihood that candidates will apply with you in the future because they know they won't have to wait days or weeks before hearing back from someone at your company; instead, they'll get an answer right away!

Being responsive also improves candidate experience: if someone applies for a job with your organization and doesn't hear back within 24 hours (or even sooner), there's a chance she'll get discouraged and move on elsewhere--and then there goes another opportunity lost!

The Challenges of Being Responsive

This isn't easy, however.

As a recruiter, you have the responsibility of managing a large number of applications and sorting out qualified from unqualified candidates. You also need to ensure that your candidates have a positive experience throughout their application process.
This can be challenging when you're dealing with hundreds or even thousands of applications at once.

So, what can you do?

Responsiveness Starts with Your Job Ads

Responsiveness starts with your job ad. Part of your job ad's - job - is to attract the right candidates and repel the wrong candidates. Create clear, concise job ads that tell the candidates the information they're looking for.

Job ads on RoadDogJobs are created to do exactly that. We value pay transparency, hours per week and job duration as critical pieces of information. Being up front with these critical details helps your jobs to stand out to the right candidates.

Responsiveness Continues with your Application Process

We see the power of an easy application process every day. On RoadDogJobs companies ca have candidates apply through our site (using the information provided in the candidate profile) or companies can have applications routed to their internal ATS. Routing candidates to an ATS requires those candidates to fill out new information.

We've measured the percentage of candidates who abandon the applications process when they're routed to a company's internal ATS and it's a staggering 90%.

This 90% abandonment rate isn't unique to construction, the average for all industries is 92% according to Appcast.

Causing 90%+ of applicants to drop out of the process is not a responsive practice.

Best Practices for Being Responsive

Now that you've got applicants in your funnel, it's time to really kick it into gear. This is part of the process where companies can really shine.

There are three (3) ways to improve your applicant responsiveness - through automation, protocols, and outsourcing.

  • Automation. Set up automated processes to respond to applicant submissions and schedule screening calls.
  • Protocols. Set up screening questions in the application process. Designate a team to make early contact with applicants. Track metrics.
  • Outsourcing. Outsource initial screening calls to a third-party call center. Partner with training and assessment companies. Utilize third party onboarding companies.

How to Automate Your Post-Applicant Process

Set up email or text message templates that automatically respond to applicants. Ideally you have automations set up for candidates that pass your screening questions and templates for those who do not.

For the candidates that pass your screening questions the automation can (and should!) include the ability for candidates to automatically schedule their next step - whether that's a screening call or interview.

Most calendar programs today have the functionality to set up automated meeting scheduling.

For those who don't have this feature, tools like Calendly work well.

How to Set up Protocols for the Post-Applicant Process

Protocols are the basics of streamlining the process. This is about establishing standards that your in-house team - and applicants - can expect through the hiring process. These help to minimize missing out on

Some ways to use protocols to improve your recruiting processes are:

  • Establishing Timeblocks: Getting through the administrative work of dealing with lots of applicants can be difficult. A great method is to establish companywide blocks of time that are dedicated to screening, reviewing and processing applicants. An example of this would be establishing that on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to noon there are no meetings, just focused candidate response work.
  • Standardizing Screening Questions: Your company probably recruits similar jobs on a recurring basis. What are the most effective screening questions for those jobs? Review, update and revise consistently to find the right set.
  • Segregating Duties: Are some members of your team more suited to griding through screening calls than others? Of course, there are. The tasks involved with ushering candidates through the hiring process are varied. Different people are better suited for different parts of the process. Segregate duties to take advantage of this! Pro-tip: one way to make this happen is to match a people to jobs that they're most likely to succeed in.
  • Reviewing Performance. Teams that measure their performance are best positioned to improve. This means establishing metrics that you can track and update. How many screening calls did your team make this week? What percentage of applicants heard from you within 24 hours? Find the metrics that drive performance and then relentlessly focus on them.

How to Outsource Recruiting Processes

Not every company has enough people to get everything done. That's where outsourcing parts of your recruiting process can be a powerful option.

Here are some ways to get started.

  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing. Hire a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company or a virtual assistant (VA) to conduct pre-screening and initial interviews. Provide them with a clear set of guidelines and criteria to assess candidates. Schedule regular check-ins with the RPO company or the VA to discuss their findings, provide feedback, and ensure they're following the guidelines.
  • Skills Assessments and Testing. Find a skills assessment provider that offers tests relevant to your industry or specific job requirements. Collaborate with the provider to administer skills assessments and tests to candidates, either online or in-person. Evaluate the results to determine if the candidate is a good fit for the role.
  • Onboarding and Training. Contract a training and development company or consultant to create and deliver onboarding and training programs for new hires. Coordinate with the training provider to ensure the onboarding process aligns with company culture, expectations, and goals.

The goal of outsourcing is to create a more responsive, more efficient recruiting process. So, while offloading tasks will accomplish this, it's also important to track metrics and performance of your partners to ensure they're meeting your standards.

This includes knowing the best way to communicate with candidates, whether that's via email or phone. It also means knowing how long it should take to get from one step of the process to another so that you can set expectations accordingly. And finally, protocols include knowing what kind of information is needed at every step and making sure that your team has access to it as efficiently as possible.


So, what's the takeaway?

Responsiveness is a differentiator in recruiting skilled tradesmen. The benefits of improving your company's responsiveness will be attracting better candidates and building your company's reputation with skilled tradesmen - both of which set your company up for success!