Unemployment is at an all-time low. With end-of-summer statistics coming in around 4% for Florida, 4.7% for Georgia and New York, and 4.8% for Chicago—this is great news for job creation and our economy. The jobs are there and companies are hiring. This means the employment market is tightening and wage competition is increasing. The likelihood that previously stable employees will have recruiters after them offering choices is high. It’s not just about a job anymore, employees feel they can afford to be pickier and expect more from their employer. People are less likely to “grin and bear it” when they have options. Make sure your company, and your hiring strategy are well positioned to succeed in an environment where job seekers are no longer a surplus. Update your pre-recession hiring practices with these 3 tips:
1. Ramp up recruiting efforts to make sure you have a pipeline of qualified applicants
Networking is important whether you’re hiring or not. The hardest time to network and recruit potential candidates is when you’re short-handed and have an urgent need to hire. Don’t wait until you’re in a tricky situation to start looking. When you meet someone with great skills, get their contact information. Neither of you may be in the market right then, but things can change quickly.
2. Move fast and close candidates quickly so you don’t lose them to a competitor
A long hiring process is going to be your worst enemy. Once someone is in active job search mode, they’ll be open to any great opportunity. If another company has a faster process you’ll lose out. Don’t let a busy schedule cause you to drag out scheduling interviews or connecting with colleagues to make decisions.
3. Pay Competitively
Know the industry average for your jobs and whether your salaries are above or below. If they’re below, you need to be prepared to compensate in other ways in order to attract applicants. If another company has better benefits, a richer commission plan, or more PTO, it’s an easy decision for most job seekers.
For most of us, The Great Recession is still very fresh in our minds. We all remember what it was like to have to lay off great people. During that time, we got used to a slow hiring process (often with periods on a hiring freeze) and became accustomed to having a rich pipeline of qualified candidates ready to work for below market value. But times have changed!