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Making the right hire for your organisation is one of HR’s most challenging and crucial roles.

Amid the ongoing impact of the pandemic, your company could be literally spoiled for choice with the blizzard of applications bombarding your inbox. But this can actually make the hiring process trickier and more time-consuming – not easier.

Poring over CVs chews up time that a busy HR professional can seldom spare. More than half (52%) of talent acquisition specialists confessed that the hardest part of recruitment is sourcing the right candidate from a large applicant pool.

And due to the large volume of replies, a recruiter will typically scan a resume for about seven seconds before making a decision on whether to proceed further – according to a eye-tracking research by Ladders Inc.

The situation will likely to be exacerbated with global unemployment expected to reach levels last seen during the GFC. It’s widely tipped that Hong Kong’s unemployment rate will rise to its highest level in more than a decade when the next round of figures are released, as COVID-19 also takes its toll on the job market.

Organisation is key
But how do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

According to specialist recruitment firm Selby Jennings, in its report Turning the tide: How to make the right hire in a candidate-flooded market, “Be clear and aligned on three requirements that are absolutely essential for your ideal candidate. That could include a specific degree or qualification, or type of project experience, or even how their resume has been laid out for clarity.”

The report continued: “Request applicants include a particular word or phrase in their cover letter. We recommend asking, 'If you really want to impress us, include the word apples in your cover letter'.”

An  unconventional approach maybe, but it could unearth the candidates who are truly paying attention and are willing to make a little extra effort.

“Be strict and do not compromise – applying strict criteria will help you filter down the qualified and those genuinely interested in joining your company,” the report added.

Sell your company’s employer value proposition
Not to be confused with your employer brand – although inextricably linked – your EVP is an extremely worthwhile investment in terms of making sure that CVs of the right calibre are arriving on your desk in the first place.

“A well-crafted employer value proposition will act as a magnet for top talent. Spend time creating a story that reflects your company’s history, values and mission, and why the best in the industry want to work with you. This will serve you well in good times as well as bad,” stated the report.

It’s also a good idea to choose optimism and empowerment as a lynch pin of your organisation’s EVP  – especially in the uncertain times we are currently going through.