As mentioned in one of our earlier posts, today’s recruiting market clearly is a “candidate-driven market”, which means candidates have options and companies need to position themselves as employers of choice in order to win over the best talent available.

With this in mind, we thought it would be valuable to present you with additional insight on this challenging development most companies are facing today. Today’s article, written by Account Director Melissa Coleman, outlines the current recruiting landscape in more depth and details what companies can do to ensure they get the best talent.

The Recruiting Landscape & Company Processes

What you have to keep in mind when recruiting in today’s market.

The current recruiting buzzword is “candidate driven market”. As recruiters, we have been watching the recruiting landscape shift to the point that we are now in a full blown candidate driven market. If you have been hiring, then you have seen this transition too. We find that most hiring managers on the front lines of recruiting recognize this and are working to change their hiring process to ensure better hires.  They have probably seen a few good candidates slip through their hands and recognize how difficult it can be to attract good candidates in today’s market.

What does candidate driven market really mean? It means that good candidates have choices. They may be currently employed and in good standing and they are not in a position where they HAVE to make a change. They may be actively looking whether they are employed or not and the opportunity has to be a great improvement in order for them to make a change. It’s not uncommon for candidates to have multiple offers. Even truly passive candidates are going to start looking around to see what’s out there, once their interest has been tweaked.

What can you do to ensure you get the best candidates and make the best hire? 

Tighten your recruiting process. Set a timeline and hold everyone to the process. Everyone is busy. Recruiting is one additional thing that falls on your plate. How much is having that position open costing the organization? The longer your process, the more time another company has to swoop in and woo (yes woo) your candidate. If you like someone, they can do the job and they are a cultural fit, then don’t waste time (your time) looking for more candidates. Chances are you are just going to lose the good candidate you have and not find anyone better or even not find any additional candidates at all if you have a really tough search. Speed is very important.

Loosen your requirements. Yes, you need someone that can do the job. Yes, you want someone that is a culture fit. It’s hard to get good candidates. Keep in mind that there is low unemployment plus a large percentage of the workforce that made a job change in the last 2 years and they are not open to exploring new companies at the moment.  Limiting your hiring pool to stringent requirements is only going to make your hiring more difficult and the company appear less attractive to candidates. Dig down to the core skills that candidates need and hire to those and not a long wish list.

Show the love. Gone are the days where employees are happy just to have a job. In order to hire and retain top talent, your opportunity has to be a good next step in their career progression. Today’s candidates are looking for career opportunities, future growth and benefits. Candidates are looking at the total package which includes base salary and total potential; benefits; and company culture. Forget the days when a company can make a lowball offer. Remember the candidate has other opportunities, so instead of negotiating, chances are the candidate will be insulted and just go elsewhere. Again, it’s also the total package. The benefits a company offers is a reflection of how the company views employees. Benefits aren’t just medical. It includes 401k match, tuition assistance, flextime, vacation days, bonus opportunity, and work/life balance. The benefits are as important as the salary. As much as you are concerned about the candidate fitting into your culture, candidates are just as concerned with your culture being a fit for them. In today’s market it is not uncommon for a candidate to be laid off and to get a new offer of employment at a higher rate than they were previously making. The market has changed and the employers that understand and react to the changes are the ones that are moving quickly and getting the best candidates that are available.