A Whole New World of Hiring: It’s a Candidate’s Market

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A whole new world.

A new, essential point of view.

Candidates tell us no.

Or they want to go.

Or say we’re only dreaming.

Sadly, the new world Aladdin sang of is much different than the hiring world we’re experiencing right now. I’ve been in the recruiting and staffing industry for almost six years now. I started at Godshall in 2012 when the economy was still recovering from the recession. Recruiters would make an offer, and candidates would jump at any opportunity they could get. Even a recent HR graduate from Anderson University like myself was ecstatic to be offered a temporary receptionist role! Today, it’s a different story. Recently, we had a candidate who was presented with three job offers and turned down all three. Why? Because it’s a candidate’s market. They are in control. If they want more, they’re fighting for more. They know the ball is in their court.

So what do you do to adapt to this new world? Here are a few tips:

  1. Compensation needs to stay competitive. A cashier associate at a fast food restaurant should not make more than an administrative assistant with a four-year degree. Yet many companies are making offers where that is the case. Sure, the administrative job offers a better long-term career path, but candidates today don’t see it that way. A competitive salary shows you value your employees and what they have to offer.
  2. Don’t drag the interview process out. We live in a fast-paced society. We want and expect things now. The hiring process is no different. Candidates are over having a first interview on a Monday, not hearing from the client until Friday, and setting a second interview for the following Friday. Just typing that last sentence was too drawn out for me! Keep it simple, quick, and efficient. We understand there are some circumstances you can’t control. For example, if you know the hiring manager is going to be out of town, stay engaged with the candidate throughout the process. Let them know they are a top contender and share anything you can offer on why they should wait out for your position.
  3. Stop looking for THE ONE. You’re never going to be able to find the absolute perfect candidate for the role because there isn’t one. Every person is different, so every skillset is different. Just because Sally only has five years of accounts payable experience versus the required seven doesn’t mean you need to immediately write her off. She could bring other valuable skills to the table that the previous employee didn’t have. Instead of seeking 100 percent of the skillset, try to find a more reasonable amount. Figure out the needs of the job versus the wants and focus on those.
  4. Be open to the “job hoppers.” As a millennial, I personally have many friends who would fit in the hopper category. But I know they’re talented, hardworking, and loyal. They just had some extenuating circumstances they couldn’t control: husband was relocated; the company closed; the job didn’t turn out to be what it was presented as; the environment was hostile, etc. So next time you see a resume with four job changes in the past eight years, take the time to ask the reasons for those changes before you dismiss it.
  5. Be flexible. Many candidates searching for a new job are currently employed. That means they only have time to interview during lunch if you’re close or after work. Be mindful of their time if they’re on a lunch break and make sure to offer times outside a normal 8-to-5 schedule. Otherwise, you may be losing valuable talent.
  6. Remember, you’re being interviewed, too. With the options that employees have today, companies need to make sure they are attracting and “wooing” these candidates while screening them at the same time. Share all perks the company offers with the candidate. If I have two job offers from one company offering a competitive compensation package, great benefits, free gym membership, and half days on Fridays, while the other just hands me an offer letter, which do you think I would accept? Sell the candidates on your company.

These may not be all the changes companies need to make, but they will highly improve your chance of recruiting talented candidates. It’s time we embraced this tight candidate’s market and do what needs to be done. Are you ready?

By: Shawn Kinard

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