Imagine you’ve just parked your car at the end of the “street of your dreams,” in a town with perfect lawns, lovely trees, and an idyllic home waiting in every direction. Out front of nearly every house is a “for sale” sign, plus literature that proudly hypes the perks. But with so many options, you’re not in a hurry. In fact, rather than jumping at the first opportunity, you hop back in your car, and drive to check out a few other options.
If this analogy feels a little like the current hiring environment, you’re not alone. With the unemployment rate as low as it’s been in a decade, plus more than 200,000 new jobs added this past July, we’re officially in a period typically referred to as “full employment.” It’s great news for the nation’s economy. But for employers, it creates some interesting challenges.
In the current hiring environment, job candidates—whether out of work or employed—have more control than they’ve had in nearly a decade.
For workers who took their current job back in 2010 or so, they’re enjoying the chance to sniff around greener pastures. And for people new to the job market, or returning after some time out of the workforce, they can’t help but love the opportunities.
All of this job market confidence is also creating new levels of movement and workforce mobility.
As data from the Bureau of Labor points out, the “quit-rate” is also on the rise, meaning more employees are voluntarily leaving their current jobs for something new. While reasons vary, one very classic fact remains: a new job usually means more money. According to a recent Bloomberg article, “job hoppers” who switched jobs in July ’16 earned 4.3% more than they did the previous year. Meanwhile, people who stayed at their same job saw only a 3% salary bump. Conclusion: for the “employed-but-looking” candidate, greener pastures really can be greener.
This fact puts employers at yet another crossroads: worry about filling a position after it opens, or proactively prepare for the fact that employees are going to leave?
How to Recruit in a Candidate-Driven Environment
More than ever, employers must dedicate time to employee retention as a way to make sure their employees recognize opportunities within the company. In tandem with this step, here are three ways you can involve employees to help ensure that “job shoppers” see themselves making a home as part of your company.
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- Answer the “Why us?” Question for Candidates
Now’s the time for organizations to step back, look around, and ask, “Why would someone want to work here?” What’s your competitive edge? Is it your people, products and solutions? Is it your work environment, competitive wages and flexibility? How is “the thing” that your company brings to the table different and better than that of your competition?
You can get to the bottom of this big question by asking your employees. From your longest-tenured workers, find out what motivates and inspires them, and ask what they’d highlight if they were involved in hiring. From more recent hires, find out what first attracted them to the company, and ask how their initial attraction has played out during their employment. Scour through feedback that you or others have picked up during exit interviews. Even consider reaching out to past employees who parted on good terms. Find out what they have to share.
- Look at your Company’s Recruiting Message when Hiring
It’s true that “more money” is often part of a greener pasture job-hop, but it’s generally not the only reason people say yes to a new opportunity. Plus, plenty of potential applicants will be out of work, or returning to the workforce. Therefore, as opportunities abound from multiple directions, candidates are going to want to know how they’re the right fit for you, and why you’re the right fit for them.
As you track insights your current and past employees share, revisit the way your company communicates all the great things it offers your future hires. What truly differentiates you? Do certain employees have to travel for work? If so, how can you sell this as a perk for someone who loves seeing new places a few times a year. Does your product or brand have global appeal? From intangibles like culture and work/life balance, to more tangible considerations such as location and competitive salaries, be sure you include the key elements in your recruitment communication strategy.
- Keep at Your Hiring Message
The days of posting a job, then waiting for dozens of qualified candidates to simply roll in are on pause for now. And when you factor in the possibility that your current employees might be looking for something new, being proactive is the name of today’s game.
One way you can start connecting with the right talent sooner rather than later is to make sure your recruiting mechanism is clicked on even when there’s no current openings. And this starts with promoting your culture as a unique recruiting advantage.
In a market where even out-of-work candidates can be choosy, now’s the time to begin planting seeds in their minds. Share messages and updates on your website or social media feeds that speak of the perks of working for you. As candidates explore opportunities down the road, they’ll keep coming back to see what’s new, which will stay with them as they decide what’s next. And the more you involve and share insight from your current employees, you create new levels of synergy among your team.
myStaffingPro Applicant Tracking System Helps You Hire in a Candidate-Driven Market
The myStaffingPro applicant tracking system helps companies recruit effectively with candidate-friendly job applications and employer branding. Contact a sales representative today to find out more about how we help organizations hire.