In October, the unemployment rate reached a 49-year low of 3.7 percent. This is great news for job candidates: With less competition for positions, candidates can afford to be pickier about roles and culture and to ask for better benefits.
But what about employers? “Failure to attract and retain top talent” is now the top issue on the minds of CEOs, edging out competition or the disruptive nature of technology, according to The Conference Board’s C-Suite Challenge 2018 survey.
It’s difficult to hire talent in a competitive market because top candidates will receive multiple offers. Employers are clambering over one another to attract the best talent, which means that speed and directness are important throughout the recruiting, hiring, and retaining processes.
This economic upturn is an ideal time to rethink your recruiting and retention processes. In a full-employment economy, it’s more important than ever to be open to new ideas, new people, and new opportunities. Talent exists across demographics, so remove obstacles to finding it. Here are five ways to ensure your recruiting process works in a competitive job market:
- Widen your recruiting net. Do you always advertise in the same places and get the same types of candidates? Broaden your search to reach different people. Keep in mind that unemployment rates in places such as Silicon Valley might be close to zero, but large swaths of the country — like California’s neighbor Nevada — are still struggling with high percentages of unemployed workers. Reach out to those areas to mine for talent.
- Manage your brand. Maintain an updated, mobile-friendly website that conveys your company’s values and culture. Make sure your brand’s social media channels are active and highlight the people who work there. After all, 94 percent of job seekers look more closely at companies that actively manage their online brands. Don’t wait until you have jobs to fill; think of the company as always recruiting.
- Have IT and HR collaborate on recruiting processes. IT leaders have to build the infrastructure for recruiting and retention, so involve them from the beginning. There must be effective collaboration to support hiring and retention while achieving company goals. Plus, candidates who are juggling offers will appreciate the smooth process and extra attention that’s likely to result.
- Prioritize HR for better retention company-wide. Build a top-notch HR department that is cutting-edge, resourceful, fearless, and trustworthy. This will go a long way toward retaining employees, which is critical in a competitive market. Pay attention to employee engagement and the company culture. Find HR people with the required experience who are innovative, know how to assess transferable skills, willing to challenge the status quo, and not afraid to speak up. Move business people into rotational assignments in HR to foster collaboration between the functional groups.
- Emphasize and encourage learning and development. Create a performance evaluation process that helps employees thrive and discovers who is ready for promotion. If this program is successful, use it as a selling point when interviewing potential candidates. Top candidates want opportunities for advancement, so show them that the company is committed to developing and promoting from within.
In a full-employment economy, it’s more important than ever to be open to new ideas, new people, and new opportunities. Even while ensuring that your hiring process is leading to optimal candidates, it’s more important than ever to hang on to employees. If your company appeals to both candidates and current employees, you’ll have a competitive edge and a more productive organization.