For this week’s Workplace Intelligence Newsletter, I interviewed Raj Mukherjee, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Employer at Indeed, the leading global hiring platform with more than 300 million job seekers each month. In his role, Raj is responsible for shaping product and go-to-market priorities for millions of employers around the world, from small businesses to enterprise organizations, to help them match and connect with talent to hire with speed and simplicity. Raj was previously Indeed’s GM of SMB and oversaw product growth in the SMB segment and in international markets. Prior to joining Indeed, Raj was Senior Vice President of Product at GoDaddy and responsible for helping their 14 million customers build successful businesses online. He has significant experience with customers of all sizes and led multiple successful acquisitions for the company.
In our conversation, we discussed the current state of the job market, why the hiring process is inefficient, and the role technology plays to improve it. We also explored Indeed’s new employer data, as well as recommendations for employers looking to hire better talent, faster. Read on for Raj’s insights about this important topic.
How has the current economic climate, the aging population, less migration, changing worker preferences, and emerging technology impacted the hiring landscape?
What we’re seeing is unprecedented. All of these barriers that you mention are making it a uniquely difficult time to find and hire quality talent. To put it bluntly, there are more jobs available than there are workers to fill them.
The stakes have never been higher. Less talent available means that companies are spending a lot of money sourcing talent. Believe it or not, companies are shelling out an average of $4,129 per hire in the U.S. That’s a lot of money, especially for small and mid-sized businesses. Additionally, businesses are simultaneously looking to tighten budgets due to economic uncertainty. According to recent data, over half (57%) of U.S. employers report experiencing financial loss as a result of open job roles, and 64% report higher turnover because of open/unfilled job roles, which only worsens the situation.
Why is today’s hiring process inefficient, leaving companies struggling to try to find qualified candidates, and what can be done to improve it?
The hiring process is inefficient because it has struggled to keep up with the demands and needs of both the employer and job seeker. If you think about it, every other industry has leaned into recommendations; what to order for dinner, what apartment you might like to rent, and what show to watch next. But HR and talent acquisition has struggled to provide quality recommendations for employers who are hiring or to job seekers who are searching for their next role.
According to a recent Indeed survey, over half (52%) of employers report that today’s hiring process is inefficient. Many U.S. businesses are planning to hire in the next year, yet employers say their top three barriers to hiring are the time it takes to hire, poor quality of candidates, and competition from other companies.
So what can be done about this?
The future of hiring is about instantly matching employers with the right people for their open jobs. At Indeed, we have been hard at work doing exactly that. While we are perhaps most known for starting off as a jobs site, we continue to evolve to a leading matching and hiring platform focused on connecting employers with quality talent faster. This was a significant moment not only for Indeed, but also the overall industry. We’re already seeing phenomenal results; on Indeed, more than 20 people are hired every minute – up more than double from three years ago.
In addition to the need for better matching technology, there are a few other things employers can do to cast a wider net for quality talent. Here’s what I would suggest:
- Limit your requirements to the most essential: Only include the preferred skills and qualifications (no more than five) for each job posting. Too long of a list often leads to fewer candidates, who self-eliminate after seeing too many requirements in a job description and thinking they don’t qualify.
- Focus on quality over quantity: Focus on measuring the quality of applicants’ accomplishments and skills, not the quantity of time they’ve spent on the job.
- Prioritizing skills over degrees: Rather than making arbitrary degree requirements, vet your candidates based on the skills, capabilities, and talent they bring to the table. A skills-based hiring approach can help remove barriers for candidates that might not have access to traditional degrees, and widen your talent pool so you can find the best match.
What role does technology have in helping both employers get quality candidates hired, faster, while providing a better overall candidate experience?
New technology, believe it or not, will help humanize the hiring process. It will allow job seekers to interview with employers in days instead of weeks or months. Our matching algorithms are based on preferences, meaning employers set the types of skills and experiences they want in job candidates. In turn, they’ll quickly get matched to job seekers with those qualifications. Employers can then reach out directly to these quality candidates and ask to interview with them, all on our platform. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.
Based on your recent survey data, what are small businesses' expectations of an online job site, how are they different from larger companies, and how has this information factored into Indeed’s model/offering?
More than anything, SMBs want a fast, cost-efficient hiring platform. Small business owners wear many hats–they are simultaneously managing the day-to-day operations, leading a team of employees, and interacting with customers. Hiring sometimes gets deprioritized in the shuffle.
Our recent survey data shows that about 4 in 5 (78%) U.S. SMB employers report they believe they should only pay when they receive a quality candidate from an online job site, and a majority (52%) of U.S. SMB employers selected pay for results as the top pricing model, because it can help them find quality candidates in days instead of weeks or months. They want a site that can quickly connect them to candidates who match the specific needs for their open roles, and they want to only be charged for the applications that they feel best meet those requirements.
This is different from larger companies who often have large recruitment teams with more resources and time to search for candidates. These teams will interview candidates and assess them over time.
Smaller companies often do not have this luxury, which is what we’re aiming to solve here at Indeed with our Pay Per Application option.
What are your top three recommendations for a business owner who wants to use technology to hire top talent faster, but doesn’t know where to start?
When using technology to hire faster, here is what I would recommend:
- Find the technology that can match you with the right talent: Make sure that the site you’re using asks you specific questions about what you’re looking for in an applicant. The site should be getting preferences from job seekers as well so that they are able to analyze the data on both sides and use it to connect you to the right talent for the job.
- Establish your budget: Determine your hiring needs and how much you’re willing to pay in advance. On Indeed, you can set an application limit when you reach your maximum spend, or pause ads at any time.
- Focus on skills and experiences vs degree requirements: This will help you filter for quality and in some cases help you cast a wider net when searching for applicants. For example, a cashier at a retail store could meet all of the requirements needed for an open role as a bank teller.
For those who are just getting started, I would recommend going to www.indeed.com/employers/ so that they can find a pricing option that makes the most sense to them.
Thanks for reading — be sure to join the conversation on LinkedIn and let me know your thoughts on this topic!