By Steve Margalit, FPC Recruitment Training Consultant
Jobs, jobs, jobs,
frequently a top story in the news, and more specifically on the first Friday of every month when the Department of Labor releases its jobs report and we anxiously await their findings. From the unemployment rate, currently at its lowest levels since 2000, to the number of jobs created which has had gains for over 90 consecutive months. We use this information as a barometer for the direction and state of the economy. One thing is for sure, the job market is strong and the race for top talent has become extremely competitive. If you’re currently hiring and have had trouble filling your open jobs, here are some things you may need to address…
The ability to create a narrative about your company has changed significantly over the past decade. Social media has been a game changer for many companies in providing a vehicle for them to tell their story. Is it that you don’t have a good story to tell, or that you don’t tell your story well? Most strong candidates do their homework prior to considering new employment opportunities, and nobody wants to work for a second rate or uninspiring organization. If you’re struggling to find the candidates you desire, now more than ever before you can take action to change your company’s public perception, more commonly known as your employment brand. Not every company can have the popularity of a Google, Facebook or Apple, but that is not required to attract top talent. Clean up or establish your social profile.
Your Process is Broken
Have you scripted the timeline and procedures of your hiring process? If the answer is no, you are falling behind your competitors who have. Your first step is creating a plan. It starts with establishing clear requirements and goals for the prospective candidates. It’s important that these goals are communicated with all participants of the hiring team to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The next step is setting aside the time to interview, and be sure to utilize all of the technology available today to speed up this process i.e. phone interviews, Skype or FaceTime, and panel interviews to keep momentum going. Provide timely feedback to keep your top candidates engaged and aware of the timeline for decisions. Lastly, be decisive. Decision making is not always easy, and often companies wait too long for the ‘perfect’ candidate who may not exist. Having a replicable process will put you in the best position to make good decisions.
Partner (Don’t Compete) With Your Executive Recruiter
With unemployment at 20 year lows, the competition for top talent has never been more fierce. If you are relying solely on job board posts, you are likely only attracting a small slice of the pie – active candidates. In most cases, active candidates are considering multiple opportunities which means you are in competition for their services. By partnering – not competing – with an industry specialized Executive Recruiter you can really tap into the network of top talent who are in regular communication about new and exciting opportunities. Many of these candidates are passively open to exploring new opportunities, but rarely apply on their own. Another advantage of partnering with an Executive Recruiter is speaking only with fully vetted candidates who are on target for the open position. This will save you lots of time and allow you to focus your efforts on growing your business.
Continuing with the theme of low unemployment in today’s economy, it stands to reason that highly skilled candidates have options. In most cases they aren’t being forced to make a change, and they won’t if the package isn’t competitive. Proactively, you should join industry associations, get to know your competitors, learn from the questions you ask your candidates, and speak to your Executive Recruiter. This information will be invaluable in scaling the pay structure, perks and benefits you offer. You get what you pay for, and happy new employees are productive new employees that stick around and make an impact. The cost of restarting your search plus the cost of the vacancy are much higher than the few dollars it will cost you make your offers more attractive. As great as you believe your opportunity to be, if your compensation and benefits package are below market expectations, you are unlikely to attract the candidates you desire.
We are currently in the midst of one of the most competitive job markets in the history of our economy. If you are struggling to build and retain the team you would like, it’s time to make some changes. Be smart and measured in your approach. Let us know how we can help.
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