How to Attract Talent in Today’s Job Market

Tom Gilman, Managing Partner & CEO

With the local unemployment rate hovering around 4%, employers are finding it more challenging than it has been in years to recruit and attract talent. Since we don’t anticipate the state of the job market changing anytime soon, we encourage our clients to assume this is the new normal and adjust their hiring processes.

If you’re recruiting top talent, successful organizations now have to:
   

  • Focus on required skills – The key to any successful search is effectively defining the job profile before you begin. Think about the specific duties the employee will be responsible for and then focus on the abilities a candidate must have versus those that would be nice to have.
  • Move faster – With increased competition, it’s important to move quickly when you find a strong candidate. Always be on the lookout for top talent and be open to hiring an employee who would be a strong fit even if you don’t have an obvious opening.
  • Think more about compensation structure – Make sure you’re priced for the market so your first offer to a candidate is a strong one and consider additional compensation tools like bonuses, commissions, or long-term incentives. You’ll also want to evaluate the salaries of current employees and ensure pay scales align with the market.
  • Improve the candidate experience (and your employer brand) – Most individuals have high expectations of an organization’s customer service and disgruntled candidates will most certainly share their frustration with others. Ensure every part of the candidate’s journey from the initial job posting to the final offer is clear, respectful, and personal. Respond to emails promptly, keep the candidate updated on progress, and communicate by phone or email rather than with automated messages.
  • Get everyone involved – It’s not just HR’s job to recruit; it should be part of everyone’s responsibility. Consider referral bonuses and getting a cross section of employees to help sell your culture and your organization’s advantages.
  • Utilize social media – Job aggregators like Indeed are still a go-to source for job searches, but more companies than ever are utilizing social media to reach potential candidates where they already spend time. In addition to showcasing open positions, social media is a great way to promote your company’s brand and culture so potential employees get a sense of who you are before they even walk in your door. 

Because top talent is becoming harder to find, organizations have to look beyond recruiting practices to maintain a strong workforce. Some of the best companies in the region are now focusing on improved employee retention activities, many of them designed to improve employee engagement, including enhanced professional development, structured coaching, more flexible work environments, and increased benefits.