Death. Debilitating Illness. Retirement. Quitting. Your most knowledgeable employees are on the precipice of disappearing. Every day, 10,000 Boomers retire. Your youngest rising stars – 21-37-year-old millennials — now comprise the biggest part of the workforce. But they are far less likely to stick around than their predecessors. Odds are 66% will leave in less than two years.

It’s a workplace crisis.

How prepared are you to fill your inevitable next opening?

More and more, particularly small and mid-sized companies, are finding themselves vulnerable, caught unprepared to recruit top talent.   When employees step out, critical work goes undone. Current staff is already working overtime. There’s a limit to how much more they can do to cover. The busier you are the harder it is to make time to replace your mission-critical talent.

Today’s labor-constrained environment is hyper-competitive, making it more challenging than ever to attract and retain the right people to get the job done.

Will your company fail this recruiting checklist?

Review this checklist to see where you stand when it comes to competing for the talent you need in today’s tight labor marketplace.

  1. Mind your brand!

Every touchpoint you have with potential, current or past employees – not just customers — is part of your brand. What you do and how you do it in this connected age is vitally important. What’s the buzz on your company?

  • Have you checked Glassdoor, Yelp, Google and more?
  • Do prospects and employees share the love or sound a warning?
  • Compliments or complaints, how does your company respond? Is your most recent review… recent – within at least the last 12 months?
  1. Are You Irresistible?

You are not the only game in town. Top Talent Wants to Know WIFM (what’s in it for me). Selection is a two-way street. At a minimum – just to be on par — offer competitive benefits– pay, health care, vacation. Beyond that…

  • Have you effectively identified what “why you?” attributes are compelling enough for your desirable candidates choose your company above all others?
  1. Job Descriptions: Drop the Kitchen Sink Boilerplate Job Ad

  • Don’t subject your prospects three-page job descriptions requiring hours of needless keyword resume contortions in the hopes of surviving your automated tracking system (ATS). Save the three-page job description for internal use.
  • Cover the basics required for desired experience specific to the job at hand, opportunity for professional growth and explain how that job will contribute to the organization.
  • Not sure how to write a compelling job description? Read this.
  1. Application Process: Quick & Easy Does It

  • Can your applications be completed in a few minutes over a mobile phone?

That’s what today’s candidates expect. Waste their time and they’ll abandon you quicker than a full e-shopping cart too far away from payday. Besides, how many seconds does it take your ATS or even human reviewers to reject an applicant? And you expect them to take how much time to apply for your opening? Ask no more than what’s minimally necessary. Make resume uploads a snap. Make sure to follow that with a friendly auto-confirmation thank you.

  1. Hiring Process: Straightforward, Organized, Speedy

A disorganized, protracted hiring process will negate your best public relations efforts in other areas. Almost half of all candidates are still waiting to hear back from employers two months (or longer) after they’ve applied, according to a new survey of job hunters by nonprofit research firm Talent Board.

Streamlining your hiring process includes analyzing and addressing;

  • Hiring needs: Have you identified your new, temp and replacement hiring needs and a process?
  • Salary and benefits: Are they clear, competitive and transparently communicated?
  • Application process: Is the application and screening process streamlined?
  • Interview panel: Do they know how to interview? How will both hard and soft skills be assessed? Can the panel members answer questions about the company strategy and why yours is a great company to work for?
  • Decision process: Is there up-front alignment on what makes a candidate ideal? How will the decision be made? Who owns it? How can it be kept to as few steps and be completed as quickly as possible (before some other company snags your top candidate)?
  • Closing the loop: Who contacts those candidates not hired? What is the protocol around that?
  • Thank all your candidates for their time and consideration because it’s the right thing to do. Even you consider that a waste of time, remember that all points of the hiring process contribute to your brand, including how you say goodbye.