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May 09, 2017 | 5 min read
Unemployment Rate At Ten-Year Low = Increased Competition For Employers


Last Friday, the country was able to start their weekend with some good news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At 4.4%, the national unemployment rate had fallen to the lowest level seen in a decade!

After 79 straight months of job gains, this is a sign that the competition for talent will be stronger than ever before. “It’s the simple law of supply and demand,” says Glenn Bernstein, Chief Operating Officer of The Execu|Search Group’s Temporary division. “As employers add new jobs to the economy, the more difficult it will be to identify and attract high quality talent. With the stakes this high, companies will have to be innovative, competitive, flexible, and decisive when hiring.”

In other words, your company’s future success depends on your ability to adapt to today’s candidate-driven market.

So, where do you start?

Be flexible in your requirements:

When hiring, many organizations make the mistake of overlooking applicants who do not possess the specific experience and set of industry-specific skills they think are required of the position. However, this is not an efficient strategy in the face of a major candidate shortage, where an unfilled position can lead to lost profits and over-worked employees. Instead, keep an open mind about professionals who possess the personal attributes as well as transferable skills that will allow them to be successful in the role. By prioritizing a candidate’s potential, you will find that you are creating more loyal employees in the long run.

Make better, faster offers:

In today’s job market, you’ll often find your top candidate interviewing with multiple companies at once. This means taking too long to make an offer—or not giving the best offer up front—can lead you to miss out on a candidate who has a better experience elsewhere. To ensure these practices don’t negatively impact your ability to secure talent, extend salaries or pay rates that are competitive with market trends; reduce the number of interview rounds; make faster decisions; and ensure the title of the position reflects the candidate’s true worth.

Promote your company culture:

Having an attractive company identity has always been important to professionals, but today it can make or break a candidate’s decision to accept an offer. Give prospective hires a well-rounded view of what it is actually like to work for the organization by emphasizing how these elements contribute to the unique culture: opportunities for professional development; work-life balance; team collaboration; and access to leadership/management.

Understand the role:

To attract the most qualified candidates, it’s important to ensure all relevant parties have a full understanding of the role and what it entails. If the job description varies from person to person during the interview process, this can be a major red flag that there is no clear definition of the role. Without fully knowing what to expect, the candidate may fear that the job they originally applied to might turn out to be something completely different, and as a result, bow out of the process altogether.

Highlight the vision:

Similarly, all interviewers need to be able to speak to the company’s mission and how they envision the role or particular individual complementing it. Professionals in today’s market want to work for a purpose, so helping them understand how their unique skillset and contributions will fit into the big picture is a key—yet often overlooked—step in the interview process. To convey a united message about the vision of the role, all people involved in the interview process should debrief each other on: the business’ objectives and how they relate to the role; how this person would contribute to the company’s bottom line; the challenges the role will be addressing; and how the role will help the company make an impact.

Of course, this effort shouldn’t end once you successfully bring a top candidate on board! To keep your employees engaged with their work and happy to be a part of the organization, you need to prove you are invested in their success from day one. For strategies on how to do this, check out our eBook, Taking Control Of Turnover: 16 Tips For Building Loyalty & Motivation With New Hires.

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