The world is finally standing back up, but “normal” as we knew it is no longer in front of us. The landscape (personal and professional) has changed and most of us are navigating uncharted territory in some way, shape, or form. Life and business both look a little differently than they did prior to COVID. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It does mean we need to take a step back to reconsider what used to work in “normal” circumstances and how we adapt this going forward.
Impact on businesses
For businesses, finding, recruiting and retaining top talent require different strategic approaches than they did before COVID hit. There have always been evolving trends when it comes to attracting the best of the best, and there always will be. But this is exceptionally true in today’s market – a candidate driven one. Companies everywhere are facing new hurdles, and new strategies are critical. Here are some thoughts to consider as you maneuver recruiting today.
A candidate-driven market
The business world has faced employment whiplash over the past year, to say the least. Unemployment rates have dropped, risen, then dropped again. In 2020, after a historic low of 3.5% in February, the unemployment rate rose to 14.7% in April. Just six months later it dropped back down to 6.9% in October. The unemployment rate is hovering at around 6%, which is 8.6% lower than this time last year (BLS). Daniel Chait, CEO of Greenhouse – one of the fastest growing recruiting software providers – calls this new phase of recruiting the “Great Rehiring.” He projects that “it’s possible more people will re-enter the workforce in 2021 than in any single year on record.”
What does this mean for employers?
Right now, businesses find themselves in a candidate-driven market. This means that in general, candidates have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating what they want in a new position — salary, vacation time, scope of the role — the ball is essentially in their court more often than not, due to the high demand for their skill sets and expertise. If a company is seeking out certain people to hire (even passive candidates), chances are they are not the only one going after their ideal employee’s profile. It is very common for people who are interested in new jobs to be interviewing at multiple places simultaneously.
So as a hiring manager, how do you stay ahead of the game?
Don’t hang around. An efficient approach during the hiring process is crucial. The luxury of waiting until everyone is available to interview or slowly getting to the offer phase is no longer an option. Acting quickly and decisively and being agile throughout the entire interview process not only shows candidates that you are truly interested in them, but it also gives you a better chance of grabbing the best talent before other companies have a chance to.
Sell the opportunity. Remember that interviews are no longer one-sided. Candidates are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. Prior to interviewing, ask yourself these questions and be prepared to volunteer the answers even if you are not asked for them:
- Why are we a great employer? Think culture, company success, industry trends.
- Why should a candidate want to work for us instead of the company who may be offering $10K more than we are? Perhaps this includes advancement potential, a cutting-edge benefits package, a great wellbeing program or other non-monetary bonuses.
- Why would someone want to work under you, specifically? What makes you a great manager? Express how and why you lead the way you do. At the end of the day, you want someone who works well with your style, so this is a critical topic to cover if you are going to be directly managing the position you are conducting interviews for.
No offer phase shenanigans. When it comes time to make an offer, put your best foot forward. Sneaky negotiation tactics are too risky in this market and no one likes sneaky. You can quickly lose the game by trying to play too many at once.
Consider remote options. While the concept doesn’t make sense for everyone, a lot of people are starting to request remote or hybrid options as they explore new opportunities. Most of us experienced the process of figuring out how to make technology-based performance and collaboration happen during the last year. Now that the flexibility of working from home has been so widely introduced, a lot of people want to keep doing it. Never has the option to be remote or partially remote been such a deal breaker for candidates. As a business leader, virtual possibilities are important to consider when strategizing how you are going to attract top talent in today’s market. Which employees might you be able to make it work for? Is the cost of not allowing it greater than that of missing out on certain candidates?
Adapting to new “norms” has always been key to cutting edge success. Now we just need to be hyper-aware of the ones surrounding us today as we continue to push forward and enter this post-COVID journey. What’s your game plan?
FGP is here to help as companies navigate this unprecedented hiring market. Whether you need urgent staff members, innovative leaders, or help with designing a new organizational plan, our team is here to help. Contact us to learn more: https://www.fgp.com/contact-us/
*The unemployment rate measures the percentage of unemployed individuals in an economy among individuals currently in the labor force.