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5 Moves Smart Leaders Make When Hiring in a Tight Labor Market

The Betts Team
July 6, 2018

This year marked a milestone in the employment world when it was announced that there are now officially more open jobs than there are people to fill them. What that means from a hiring manager’s perspective is that it’s becoming much more difficult to locate, recruit and retain talented workers. Couple this with the fact that some fields – such as sales – have a higher-than-average turnover rate, and you’ve got quite the conundrum on your hands.

The good news is, while it’s certainly challenging, with the right strategy, recruiting successfully in a tight labor market is entirely possible. The following tips should help you overcome the hurdles in your hiring path and improve your chances of beating the odds.

Think outside the job board box.

Obviously job boards serve a purpose, and you might have great luck locating the perfect candidate via  this channel, but by limiting your recruiting efforts to job boards alone, you are also limiting your reach and access. Not only are these boards saturated, but they’re filled only with candidates who are actively seeking new positions. Using other methods, such as social media, networking and referrals, will enable you to tap into passive candidates as well. Likewise, working with a recruiting firm will provide you with access to a larger pool of candidates who are already vetted, saving you time and effort.

Be flexible with your requirements.

If you’re searching a person to fit for the perfect job description – the one person who aligns with every single item on your skills and qualifications list – you’re going to face a challenge in finding the right fit. In a tight labor market like we’re currently in, these perfect candidates are in extremely high demand, which makes them harder to recruit and even more difficult to retain. Instead, consider rethinking your requirements, or partner with a seasoned recruiter to help customize the search to better meet your requirements.

Focus on improving your company.

These days, in order to attract top talent, you must find a way to stand out from the sea of other companies and job offers. This may require you to take a step back, evaluate what you currently bring to the table and make appropriate changes. Identify what makes your company unique and why it is such a great place to work, such as culture, community involvement, opportunities for growth, etc. If there are areas where improvements can be made, do so. Likewise, if your offer isn’t particularly attractive, you may need to make some tweaks or add something to sweeten the pot a little.

Build a talent pipeline.

Generally speaking, the higher the level of position you’re trying to fill, the smaller the pool of talent. Shifting your approach from external to internal can make a world of difference in your hiring success. Start building a pool of talent from within your company by evaluating which of your current employees might be suitable for training and advancement. As you promote from within, your open positions will change to lower level ones, making them easier to fill. For instance, it’s much easier to fill a sales ops position than a sales manager one.

Improve the candidate experience.

What is your hiring process like from the candidate’s perspective? With more open positions than there are available people, your prospects have a lot of options. If your process is too complex, confusing or riddled with delays, chances are you’ll lose your top candidates to someone else. Take some time to evaluate your current process and streamline wherever possible. Make sure communication is top notch and timely. Use technology to your advantage. The better the experience, the more likely you’ll be to land the prospective employees you’re after.

Hiring in today’s saturated market is much more challenging than it was even just a few years ago. By being strategic about your approach, changing your perspective and improving on what you have to offer, you’ll be able to fill your open positions faster and with candidates that truly add value to your team.

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