As of July 2018, the unemployment rate in the US was 3.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate isn’t just lower than it was during the time of the recession, it’s lower than its ever been before. That can be great news for people looking for work, as there are now more open positions than job seekers.
It’s a slightly different story for business owners or hiring managers. Now, instead of dealing with a sea of qualified, or in some cases, over-qualified, applicants, you might find that there are slim pickings. Worse, you might interview an ideal candidate for the job, only to have them hired out from under you by a competitor. When the job market is tough for employers, there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of finding your dream hire.
Expand Your Search
When there are more job candidates than jobs, a company can afford to be a bit pickier when it comes to the requirements or skill sets it expects an employee to have. The situation is reversed when there are more jobs than candidates. You might have to loosen your requirements slightly. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it can lead you to a candidate who’s a good fit for the job who you might not have otherwise considered.
One way to expand your search is to attempt to recruit candidates who might not have the technical skills or knowledge needed for the job but who do have the interpersonal skills or attitude you’re looking for in an employee. You can usually train a person to use a computer program or help someone develop tech skills, but it’s more difficult to change a person’s attitude.
Another way to expand your search for the right candidate is to broaden your horizons when it comes to advertising the open position. Online job boards are a great option, but they shouldn’t be the only way you look for employees. You can ask your current team for referrals, post the opening on your company’s social media pages, or include a notice about open positions in the communications you send to your customers.
Focus on What Makes Your Company Great
When there are many candidates for one job, it’s common for people to focus on how they’re a good match for a business. The tables typically turn when there are many jobs for a single candidate. It’s a good idea to focus on what sets your company apart from other businesses that are hiring. You can highlight your company’s culture, the benefits you offer or what makes your current team happy to work for you.
Offer Competitive Salaries and Benefits
You’ll attract more qualified candidates if you’re offering a salary that’s commensurate with the amount of experience you expect from them and with the amount of commitment you expect. The same is true of benefits. You don’t want to be the only company hiring engineers that doesn’t offer health insurance, for example, nor do you want to offer salaries that are well below the market rate. Do some research to find out what the typical salaries in your area are for the type of position you’re hiring. You can look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics for salary data or at self-reported resources such as Glassdoor or Payscale.
Candidates don’t stay on the job market long when there’s fewer of them. While you might have been able to move more slowly when the market was better, in a tight job market, the sooner you make someone an offer, the better. Otherwise, you risk having that person get an offer from another company and choose that one rather than coming to work for you. If that happens, you need to start the search and interview process over again, which can add up in terms of time and money. If you do need more time to make a hiring decision, keep the candidates you’re interested in in-the-loop by giving them an update after a few days or a week.
New Direction Capital can help your business save time and money when looking to hire new employees. To learn more about our virtual CFO services, contact us today.