Sometimes, competition can be a good thing. As actress Maureen McCormick said, “As soon as I hear the word ‘competition’ I get serious and start doing everything that I can do.” Because those who are successful understand the work it takes to be successful.
In early-career recruiting, similarly, you need to create an efficient hiring process to help your team win qualified candidates. But with top talent’s limited availability—10 days, according to ERE—how do you create a hiring process that pushes applicants through the funnel without exhausting all your team’s resources?
There’s one metric that you may not be paying attention to that can help: competition forecast. And measuring it can help you beat your rivals.
A competition forecast is when you gather intelligence on your competitor’s recruiting methods (both past and present). With this information, you predict other organizations’ current and future recruitment activities. This metric is especially designed, according to ERE, for companies that have limited resources.
You can create a recruiting competition forecast by monitoring other businesses’ social media channels and websites, and regularly checking job sourcing sites. For clarity, create a spreadsheet to track the following information:
Consider a competition forecast a cheat code: Because one way to beat the competition is to not have competition. And a competition forecast lets you achieve that while saving valuable resources in the process.
Keep in mind, we’re not advocating for early-career recruitment to start earlier and earlier. That creates an arms race, something that organizations like JP Morgan Chase & Co. wanted no part of. Not to mention it creates a lengthier—and costlier—hiring process.
Your team’s job sourcing effectiveness is another key element to gaining a competitive advantage. If you have a cost-effective way of attracting qualified candidates, then use it. You may find that some tactics your team uses are more effective than others.
Consider this: 79 percent of job seekers use social media to find employment. That’s a more effective job sourcing tool than sending your team to career fairs, which only 53 percent of Gen Z attend as part of their job search.
So if your recruiting competition forecast predicts that a lot of other organizations are going on campus, it’s cost-prohibitive for your team to do the same, especially if you have limited resources. In order to stand out to those that do attend career fairs, your team may have to spend too much money on informational packets, swag, and other giveaways to attract potential applicants. Instead, your team can use online tools and other digital methods to recruit qualified candidates more efficiently.
Neither of these recommendations matter if your team doesn’t still get good hires. Quality employees are what separates the wheat from the chaff. Because the top 5 percent of a company’s workforce can produce 26 percent of that company’s total output! Those employees are who your team wants.
When your team finds these kinds of employees, they should look for emerging patterns. Does most of your top talent share an entrepreneurial spirit? Then rinse and repeat—look for more qualified candidates with these traits.
In fact, it’s helpful to cross-reference quality-of-hire, your team’s sourcing, and what the competition forecast predicts. You may notice that top talent isn’t coming from where you think it is. Again, if your recruiting competition forecast says that your competitors are all on campus, yet some of your best employees all came from digital recruitment, then your team has a cost-effective path to stronger hires.
A competition forecast, ultimately, should help lower your company’s cost-per-hire. If your company’s doing on-campus recruiting, their cost-per-hire is $6,275 with personnel costs included, claims NACE. One way to reduce this by almost two-thirds— to $2,027—is to stay off campuses.
That’s not accounting for how a strong employer brand can reduce your team’s cost-per-hire by as much as 50 percent. Now imagine further decreasing an already-reduced cost-per-hire even more by utilizing a competition forecast!
It’s important that your team doesn’t increase its time-to-hire, considering the limited window your team has to hire qualified candidates. So the best way to effectively use a competition forecast is to find windows where your team can move quickly—and cost-effectively—to get top talent. The average time-to-hire from job posting to offer is 62 days, per NACE, but a competition forecast can help your team get it lower.
Competition can bring out the best in you. And using your company’s competition forecast can make these hiring metrics better than they’ve ever been.