How the Market has Changed

In recent years, the job market has been experiencing a steady shift. What used to be an employer advantage is becoming an employee advantage. As the unemployment rate continues to drop, companies are discovering that the pool of candidates is shrinking and finding quality talent is becoming more difficult. Optimizing recruiting strategies is becoming increasingly important during this change.

Now, there are less quality candidates to choose from, which is presenting a struggle for many organizations to successfully fill open positions. What used to be a buffet of eager and qualified applicants is looking more and more sparse. Companies are seeing less applications being submitted for jobs, they are seeing applicants ask more questions in regards of what their company can do for them, and it is taking longer for companies to fill positions.

What does this mean for recruiters and hiring managers?

Recruiting strategies, retention programs, and other policies are going to have to change and adapt to this shift if they really want to obtain and retain quality talent.

Consider the Applicants

As the market continues to shift in favor of the applicants, it’s important for organizations to consider what they are looking for. Today’s candidates are looking for more than just stability. Candidates can now afford to be pickier when accepting an offer. So, they are considering things like an attractive company culture and good benefits before accepting.

Companies everywhere are being forced to step up their game in order to attract and retain talent. More companies are offering new perks like the option for employees to work remote, better benefit packages, etc. The only thing that hasn’t quite caught up with this shift in the market is an appropriate increase in wages. Wages, according to Jeffrey Joerres, executive chairman of ManpowerGroup, a Milwaukee based staffing company, says that wage increases have not kept up with the inflation rates and he believes as the candidate pool continues to shrink, stubborn employers will be forced to increase wages to match inflation rates. “I can feel the inflection point coming,” he says.

How has the Candidate Pool Changed?

As the candidate pool continues to shrink, it changes potential job prospects from being active, to passive. What used to be a long line of people actively seeking jobs has turned into a candidate pool that is employed and not actively seeking new employment opportunities.

“When that power shifts and prospects and candidates raise their expectations, currently effective “active-job-seeker” recruiting approaches like career fairs, print ads, large job boards, walk-ins, and your dull corporate career site will simply stop producing quality hires,” says Dr. John Sullivan in his recent article Do Hiring Managers Know the Power has Shifted to the Candidate?

New and Improved Recruiting Strategies

The following things are more important than ever in order to attract quality talent and retain it:

Online Presence: Online presence is now a must-have for every company that is looking to successfully hire talent. Not only do you need to ensure that you have an attractive website and social media profiles, but you need to make sure that your profiles are actively posting content that is visually appealing, useful, and thoughtful. The use of eye-catching branding and visuals also makes your website and profiles more appealing to candidates that are checking your company out online.

Outside of websites and profiles that you control, online reviews can also make or break your company’s appeal to candidates. Online reviews can affect a potential hire’s decision to accept an offer. Maintaining a positive work environment will help keep employees happy and prevent negativity from being spread online after they’ve moved on to other prospects.

Marketing your Company and the Positions: Marketing your company partially ties back into having a strong and positive online presence. However, marketing individual positions can be challenging. Make sure, when posting an opening, that the job description is compelling and attractive. Including details in your description that reflect your company culture can also help filter candidates before they even submit an application.

Improved Candidate Research: As mentioned earlier, many of the “active-job-seeker” recruiting techniques are becoming less and less effective. It’s going to fall on recruiters and hiring managers to start doing research for potential candidates. Tools like LinkedIn and other social media profiles prove helpful when seeking out talented potential hires that might not be actively seeking employment.

Improved Resume Screening: Resume screening in the past has been ‘fast and furious’. Hiring managers would receive so many resumes that they didn’t have to effectively screen them all. According to Dr. Sullivan, current resume screening programs have an approximately 33% error rate and it is becoming more and more critical not to prematurely rule out qualified candidates.

Don’t Get Hung up on Tiny Details: This point ties right back into the improved screening. When considering your potential candidates, it’s important not get hung up on the fine details of a position, great talent can be easily passed over because of this. Finding a talented individual that meets 100% of the job criteria is nearly impossible in this shrinking candidate pool. If you have candidates that show potential but don’t meet every single bullet point on your job description, or are lacking just a little bit of the experience required, that doesn’t mean that aren’t going to make a suitable employee. In many cases, hiring for cultural fit is more important that finding a candidate with skills that are directly transferable from their previous job.

Talent Retention

You have successfully recruited your talent, now what?

Since companies are competing for qualified individuals and recruiters and hiring managers are switching to more passive-friendly recruiting techniques, employee retention is more important than ever. Other companies are undoubtedly going to try to sneak your talent right out from underneath you…it’s your companies job to make sure they don’t have a reason to want to leave you for a competitor.

Employees will leave for a variety of reasons; seeking a higher salary, better benefits, better culture, and so on. Your company should do the best it can to retain its quality talent. Make sure you are fostering a healthy and positive company culture and be fair with salary and benefits options.

How has Voyig adapted to the change?

Jessica Surber, managing partner at Voyig, says that as a company, Voyig has had to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to recruiting top talent for our clients. Being in the recruiting and talent development industry, it’s a top priority to make sure that we continue to find quality hires for our clients. We do that by actively seeking passive candidates on an array of social media outlets with attractive graphics and job descriptions. We get to know the company cultures of each of our clients and we phone screen every applicant not only to review their skills, but to review them for their cultural fit. This is how we provide our clients with a narrow list of quality candidates.

During phone screenings and interviews, we ask conceptual questions to figure out how an applicant learns and thinks. Critical thinking and problem solving abilities are key in choosing a suitable hire. Jessica says that she applies these same practices when hiring for her own company. Finding a candidate with the right ethics and problem solving skills is more important than finding a candidate whose skills are an identical match to the job. Hiring a cultural fit for your organization helps ensure employee longevity while in many cases, new skills can be taught.