By Joyce Russell
It is no secret that we are experiencing a candidate-driven market. With the U.S. unemployment rate continuing to hover around 4% and many U.S. businesses feeling more optimistic and ready to hire than in recent times, both active and passive job seekers are being presented with more opportunities to engage with companies. While this is great news for employees, this landscape is presenting challenges for employers when it comes to attracting and securing top talent.
Chief among these challenges is navigating job seekers’ need for instant gratification. As employers across industries begin to ramp up hiring—whether it be for seasonal workers, soon-to-be graduates, or other professionals—it is essential they evaluate and potentially shift their hiring strategies so they can be both agile and competitive in the war for talent.
Here are three ways to survive a candidate driven market and ensure you recruit the best candidates for your organization:
1. Be transparent during the interview process
Interviews are no longer one-sided; the best candidates realize they are also interviewing you to determine if your workplace is one they can see themselves thriving in. So while it is important to use the interview process to get to know a candidate better, be prepared to address questions candidates will have about your culture, compensation and benefits packages, and opportunities for growth.
It is important to be transparent about your company’s culture and the demands of the open position throughout this process. If not, you run the risk of either not hiring the best fit candidate for your organization or going through the trouble (and expense) of hiring and onboarding a candidate who may soon resign.
Similarly, while you don’t need to discuss compensation at the first interview, if the amount you are comfortable offering is significantly below market value and not aligned with a candidate’s expectations—but is not realized until the third in-person interview—you’ve wasted both your time and the candidate’s time. Before you begin the interview process, do your homework on current compensation trends, determine the potential package you can offer, and know what your non-negotiables are.
Furthermore, be as transparent as possible about how long the process will take. Again, job seekers want answers, and they want them now. While you can’t necessarily promise that they will hear from you by a certain date, offering something as simple as “We hope to make a hire within the next three weeks,” can help set expectations and keep a candidate engaged after their interview.
2. Offer a personalized experience
While the traditional benefits you may offer employees, such as paid time off, medical insurance, or a 401(k) plan are important, don’t miss an opportunity to highlight any outside-of-the-box benefits you may offer candidates. According to Adecco’s 2018 U.S. Workforce Insights, one in three of today’s workers (34%) noted opportunities for professional development are of high importance.
To attract the best talent, it’s important to consider the individual candidate and where they are in their career and life. For example, working parents may appreciate flexible or remote work opportunities while professionals switching fields or millennial and Gen Z candidates looking to start a career may be enticed by formal mentorship opportunities.
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3. Act quickly when you want to make an offer
If you think you’ve found the perfect candidate, chances are you are not the only one with that thought. In today’s employment market, you must act quickly and decisively or risk losing the right candidate. If you wait too long, it’s very possible the candidate you’re engaged with will get scooped up for another position. To expedite the hiring process as much as possible, consider blocking out time on your calendar to tackle the tasks that come with the hiring process and set achievable goals, such as, “Follow up with all the candidates being considered by June 1.”
The most employable talent will not sit around waiting for your call. Today, candidates with the most in-demand skills and experience will likely receive multiple job offers to choose from. Employers who are prepared and able to make informed decisions quickly will have the best chance of landing the right team members for their business.
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