You may have read a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which detailed that the unemployment rate in the United States is at a historic low of 3.9%; the lowest rate since 2000. To give some perspective, unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2009. Additionally, April 2017 marked the 91st consecutive month of job gains, a national record. Statistics like these have added up to one of the most competitive job markets employers have seen in recent history. The result is a talent war; good candidates have become a hot yet scarce commodity.
In the recruiting world, the term “purple squirrel” is used to describe a candidate that is hard to find and recruit; the perfect candidate who possess just the right skill-set, education, and set of qualifications for the job opening. With unemployment at a record low, most employers are facing recruitment challenges across all levels of their organization. So the question for hiring managers becomes: How do we find and attract a purple squirrel in this competitive market?
Go where the talent goes
In the height of the Great Recession, employers could simply post openings to their website’s job board and receive bountiful applications from top-notch candidates. However, in this tight employment market that is simply not enough. Having a strong online presence is absolutely necessary, and utilizing all current, trending platforms should be a part of your recruiting strategy. Web platforms such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn should all be on the list for posting. Social media is also necessary to be relevant and easily accessible to candidates. Done the right way, using social media can be an easy way to reach wide audiences, promote your company culture, and attract a following of active and passive candidates. It is also essential to use networking, referrals, career fairs, and industry events to find fitting candidates.
Streamline your process for candidate ease
Having an easy to navigate process is essential to attract and keep talent in your hiring pipeline. How lengthy is your application process? Filling out endless pages of application material may cause a slow down for applicants or may turn them off from moving forward in general. Make it easy for candidates to apply to your roles and then get in touch with them quickly when they have applied. Streamlining this process will engage qualified, fitting candidates more quickly.
It will also be important to consider the interview process. If the process to get through interviews is too lengthy, having 4+ rounds for an administrative assistant position, for example, may be too long for top talent. Most applicants are exploring more than one option, and a long process may kick your company out of the running when competing with other offers. Don’t leave candidates waiting weeks after their interviews, or your perfect candidate will likely move onto another opportunity.
Become more accessible
Consider the job descriptions you are listing. Do you require an MBA for a reception role? Are you asking for a candidate to have 5+ years of experience for an entry-level position? Having reasonable expectations for your position’s requirements will make attracting a wide candidate pool more viable. By writing compelling job descriptions, and being reasonable in terms of what you require in a skill-set, you will make positions more accessible to talent looking to make a change in their career.
Put your best foot forward
Putting together attractive and competitive offers right out of the gate in the hiring process will ensure retention of talent opportunities for your organization. It is likely that your offer is not the only one candidates are considering. Ask yourself how you can make your company stand out as a desirable place to work. Throughout the hiring process, make sure that you highlight areas such as career growth, learning opportunities, benefits, organizational perks, parking, bonuses, community involvement, etc.
Consider the value of a staffing agency
There has never been a better time to start partnering with a good staffing and recruiting agency! By using an agency you will substantially expand your candidate network and market visibility. Speed and expertise are two valuable benefits of using an agency, and in a 3.9% unemployment market, those factors have become increasingly important in the hiring process. Because recruiters are constantly networking, interviewing, and pipelining candidates, they will be able to get you viable applicants within a short amount of time and foster a more concise hiring experience so that your hiring teams can make informed decisions. This advantage and partnership can cut your hiring process down substantially, sometimes to just a couple of days. Recruiters will present candidates that have already been thoroughly screened, matched, skills tested, reference checked, and culture matched, which will make a hiring decision more efficient yet still fully vetted. The candidate experience will also be a well-communicated and supported process, ensuring that each party will be excited and ready to start working together.
With the right approach, thoughtful strategy, effective communication and sense of urgency, finding the right person for your organization is possible in a tight labor market. If you are interested in partnering with a skilled recruiting agency, check out www.motusrecruiting.com/employers/ to learn more!