The first in a two-part blog series on how to find and retain good employees in a tight labor market.
If you’ve been putting more effort, time and resources into recruiting new employees lately, you’re not alone. Across most industry sectors and job functions right now, companies are hard pressed to find qualified, willing workers to fill open job positions. And while the current “cooling off” of the red-hot economy may free up some labor resources, the numbers still paint a picture of a job market that’s largely working in favor of the job seeker right now.
In July, for example, companies added 528,000 jobs and the national unemployment rate fell to 3.5%—its lowest point since February 2020, according to the Washington Post. “The job market has more than recovered its pandemic losses, building confidence that a red-hot labor market can persevere, even as other parts of the economy sour,” it adds. “The momentum has afforded workers historic wage gains and more leverage at their jobs.”
Knowing that people are their most valuable resource, organizations are getting creative about how they recruit and hire good employees. And while the numbers may be stacked against hirers right now, with a bit of persistence and innovation, your company can stand out from the pack and start seeing better results. Here are six strategies that you can start using today:
- Review resumes daily. Don’t just let them stack up. Each day presents a new opportunity to find talented and capable professionals who would fit well into your organization. Indeed suggests setting up a “Resume Alert” so you’re notified about job seekers who match your criteria. “Then, set aside time in your schedule to review these new resumes,” the online job listing service advises. “The sooner you find out about qualified job seekers, the faster you can schedule an interview and kick off the hiring process.”
- Look internally first. Along with putting out feelers for qualified candidates outside your organization, consider if any current employees are looking for a change or promotion and might make a good fit. “Not only do you already know this person’s strengths and experience,’ Indeed points out, “but because they know the organization, they may not need as much training and background knowledge as a new hire.”
- Catch their eye with detailed job descriptions and accurate titles. According to Indeed, more than half of job seekers say the job description influences their interest in applying. Include a concise list of the required hard and soft skills, core responsibilities and the top benefits and perks of a job. Use specific job titles. “The less generic the title,” Indeed adds, “the more likely the job will catch the right job seeker’s attention.”
- Use social media to your advantage. Use platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Facebook to post job opportunities and even narrow searches to specific candidates who are actively seeking new employment opportunities. “When your company uses modern recruitment tools like social media to build a relationship with your target audience,” Paychex points out, “you are more likely to attract quality applicants and stay on top of hiring trends.”
- Expand your employee benefits package. Health and retirement benefits, as well as financial and mental health counseling services are a good way to support the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of your employees. According to Paychex’s 2022 Pulse of HR, organizations have increased the benefits they are offering by an average of 22%, compared to their pre-pandemic levels. Also consider rewards and recognition programs; robust learning and development opportunities; and other offerings that help employees feel more engaged with your company. “Consider conducting regular surveys to gauge which benefits are valued most by your employees,” Paychex advises, “to give your business a competitive edge.”
- Partner with area vocational schools, community colleges and universities. Universities commonly partner with businesses as part of their career services program. They regularly host events, such as career fairs, where companies set up booths and have talks and exhibits. “Contact local universities and colleges to set up a partnership with them to ensure that you have access to the best prospects entering the workplace,” Betterteam “Some universities even advertise in their college newspapers or websites.”