How To Recruit Talent In a Tight Labor Market

Sometimes, finding quality candidates for a job is harder than it should be. Take now for example. Unemployment benefits are going back to their normal levels, so you would think that means more people are looking for jobs. Yet some companies are still struggling to recruit talent in a tight labor market.

Have you run into this problem? Do you have more job openings than quality candidates? Are you beginning to wonder if all of the good ones are already taken?

Just because the labor market is tight, doesn’t mean you have to fill your positions with people who aren’t up to the job. There are still ways to find the perfect candidate.  Here are some tips for finding the talent you are looking for, even when it feels impossible.

1. Market your brand

Your brand is a big part of how people know who you are. The talent you need is looking for more than just a job, they are looking to work for a company they can be proud of. They are attracted to your values, so make sure they stand out loud and clear.

You may have heard of the term “employee value proposition”, or EVP, in relation to recruiting. In layman’s terms, this is what you offer to potential employees in return for their skills and experience. This can include things like benefits, financial rewards, growth opportunities. It also includes your company culture. What do you value? What kind of work environment will they find themselves in? Can they see themselves being happy here in the longterm, or would they be better off looking elsewhere?

Your EVP should not be a mystery. By showing prospective employees what they have to gain by working with you, you move yourself up on their list of prospective workplaces. Don’t be shy about the compensation and benefits you offer. Make it clear what working for you looks like both from a financial and a practical standpoint. Your company culture and work practices may end up being what wins people over.

Not only does this increase your likelihood of landing the perfect candidate, it also helps boost your brand. Let the world see what you are made of and see just how many quality people come calling.

2.  Be specific with your job description

If you are looking for a job, there is not much more annoying than a wishy-washy job description. Your ideal candidate may very well pass you by if they can’t tell what you want.

Make sure the purpose and expectations for the job are clearly laid out. What skills do they need to have? What will their duties be? While you are at it, be sure and review the minimum job requirements. Don’t miss out on a great prospective hire who doesn’t have the exact credentials. Skills can be learned. Attitude and work ethic? Not so much.

You need to include your EVP as well. Show them why working at your company is a great career opportunity. This is not a one-sided thing. Everyone should benefit.

3. Update and streamline your hiring process

If you are not already using social media and other technology as part of your process, you may want to reconsider. There is an app for everything, including recruiting and interviewing. Use them. Not only does this make your job as a recruiter easier, it also improves your candidates’ experience.

You can use social media to get your brand out there, post job openings and search for and research candidates. It can also be a way to show them what it is really like to work at your company. What is a great way to do that? Videos.

Videos are an excellent, and sometimes underrated, marketing tool. You may be thinking “well, that is a lot of time and money to throw at something”, but never fear. The videos don’t have to be top of the line professional quality to have an impact. So long as they are visually appealing with decent audio, you are good to go. You may want to have nicer quality for certain videos, but even then, it doesn’t have to break the bank. The biggest thing to remember is

Remember what you want to emulate about your company and embrace content over form. Be authentic. Don’t be rehearsed.

4. Build relationships with prospective hires

It’s not enough to assess the qualifications of a potential new hire. Take the time to really get to know them. Stay in touch with top candidates and referrals. This will show that you care about them as individuals, beyond what they can offer to your company.  Technology makes this easy through text chats, voice calls, and video calls on multiple different platforms. All it takes is reaching out and showing genuine interest.

That is how you build a talent pipeline.

You may not be able to hire these individuals now, but there may come a day when you can. Having that preexisting relationship will make it that much easier to bring them onto the team. And the personal touch of calling or meeting up with top talent will leave them smiling when they think of your company. This will help bolster your brand when you are ready to hire.

5. Look at the skills, not the age.

People are more than the experience they put on the page. Depending on the open positions you are recruiting for, it helps to keep an open mind. Some candidates may not appear to be an obvious fit at first but are quick learners, team players and hard workers with transferable skills that are not immediately obvious on paper. Try giving them a chance. They may just surprise you.

That does not just apply to recruiting younger workers. It goes for veterans as well (both military and industry). While most people refer to this as the gig economy, older generations are full of people who spent most if not all of their career with a single company. They are very loyal to their employers. Yes, they may need some help with their technical skills, but they come with leadership skills that only come from experience. That is something you cannot teach.

Sometimes, when an employee leaves your company on good terms, they decide to come back. This usually happens because your company has grown and/or added new advancement paths that particular person is interested in. This is a great recruitment opportunity. They know what your company is all about. They know what is expected of them. They may even still know some of the people they will be working with. That means a smoother hiring process, less onboarding, and a lower cost per hire. Everybody wins.

6. Don’t neglect what you have.

When looking to hire new employees, make sure you are not neglecting the ones you have. Your employees are your biggest brand advocates, especially when it comes to word-of-mouth. People can tell a lot about your company by how your employees talk about their job. If they are happy working for you, your customers can feel it, and the employee’s friends/family will hear all about it. The same goes for if they are discontent.

This is just one of many reasons that you should be investing in your employees. Spend time developing relationships with them. Give them access to training and career advancement. Make sure they have room to grow and flourish as they wish. This will do wonders not only for your brand, but also for the success and growth of your business. They also help attract other amazing individuals that you want on your team.

Take care of your employees and they will take care of you, regardless of how tight the labor market is.

Need help finding candidates in a tight labor market? Contact us today.

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