Published Date: 01/06/2014
By Reneé Watkins
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that unemployment has dropped to 7.0 percent as of November 2013. This marks another decrease in unemployment, which has steadily declined over the last year. What effect will an improved economy and lower unemployment have on recruiting for top talent?
Many organizations maintain a steady recruiting effort, designed specifically to match their historical growth rate and rate of attrition. While it is expected these companies will continue along with their overall strategy, re-evaluation and periodic adjustments are necessary as talent pools grow and shrink across the economic landscape.
Some recruiting hurdles that may appear with an improving economy include:
- One of the basic laws of economics is how supply and demand affect price. A shortage of qualified applicants for specific positions will tend to drive compensation higher in order to successfully recruit these individuals in a competitive market. As the economy improves, be prepared to offer higher compensation and stronger benefits. Obtain buy-in now from upper management in order to position yourself to make a quick hiring decision.
- Lengthy recruiting and decision-making processes will cost many organizations the chance to land the most talented candidates. As competition increases for a smaller pool of job seekers, applicants will grow tired of waiting for next steps in the hiring process with their company of choice and accept a position with their second choice simply because the process moves more quickly. Avoid any bottlenecks in your processes and be prepared to make decisions. Communicate with top candidates to be sure they know where they are in the process and that you are still interested.
- Your competition may be offering attractive, non-compensation-related perks to candidates to sway their decision. Perks such as work-from-home, flexible schedules and expanded health coverage can sometimes be what separates one job opportunity from the next. Staying competitive requires flexibility in package offerings and open-minded management. Know the limitations of what you can and cannot offer a candidate up front in order to make quick decisions and put your best offer on the table early.
Today’s job seekers use many criteria that are intangible in nature to evaluate an organization. The speed with which your recruiting process moves along and the perception of a well-run organization is more important than ever, especially as candidates discover there are multiple opportunities they can choose from. Make sure at the beginning of each recruiting effort you are 100 percent ready to recruit and drive the process forward to closure.