Ways to Attract Talent in a Tight Market
Author : Steven De Nazareth
Updated : June 12th, 2019
The American unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% in October. This is the lowest level since 1969 and this translates to the lowest unemployment in half a century. Though this is great for job-seekers, it’s tough in a tight labor market for employers. This would mean that they would have to improve perks, policies, and pay to attract the best talent.
This presents employers with a need to get creative. This means that they have to make the right tweaks to ensure that new employees stay happy. This could include remote work options to diverse compensation plans. Employers will have to tailor-make employment packages to match their employees.
Employers have no choice but to follow the path that successful businesses use to stay competitive in tight labor markets, that is if they want to hire the best resources. They do not look at it as an obstacle but rather an opportunity to demonstrate their companies’ merits and entice soon-to-be employees.
Perks Are out of Fashion
While Startup cultures have fun fringe benefits like ping-pong tables, free pizza, and a beer tap, you should consider if it’s worth it at all. Surely, you should wonder if employees would choose to spend a Friday socializing and snacking. It turns out that employees would leave their current job for a competitor if it offered better flexibility and money, and not perks.
Not all adult workers enjoy arcade games or a gymnasium, some would rather leave early to pick up their kids and take longer vacations. This means that you should create strategies that would attract talented candidates to join your company.
It implies that this job market puts the power in the hands of the worker and businesses cannot simply dish out perks. To attract high-quality employees, you should be practical, provide competitive benefits with a long-term appeal. Here are 6 methods to attract the best of talent in a tight market.
1. Help Towards Student Debt and Housing
The student loan debt crisis is bad and getting worse. College graduates are finding jobs, but their wages aren’t going up. Those in the workforce are making payments late and falling into delinquency. This issue does not stop with just students as people older than 60 also have student loans and this has quadrupled over the last 10 years.
This terrible cycle can be broken if companies offer student loan support in addition to regular salary. There are providers of the 401(k) programs which offer employers student loan assistance. It’s a given that student loan assistance will help in a long way. Also in addition to this, you can consider offering a mortgage assistance program for housing. The best part is not only will employees enjoy a fast track way to home ownership, but it will also make them stay with the company longer.
2. Forward-thinking Travel Policies
It is found that 59% of candidates consider travel policies when they choose an employer. They take this into account more than just book a flight. The movement to make employee comfort a priority in business travel plans is what 79% of business travelers regard and this affects job satisfaction.
This is important for smart employers as they do not cram employees in the cheapest non-chain hotel closest to the airport. This means that they take care of the small things like storing and shipping business clothing. In a way, this will better the travel experience and make it go smoothly. Businesses should allow traveling employees to earn loyalty perks and points from hotels and airlines for personal redemption. Though these are small courtesies, it will go a long way in making a big difference to the workers.
3. Preparation Help for Retirement
Employees would feel more confident that there would be retirement savings to make it to retirement. It was found that 42% believed that they would need to use money from retirement for other expenses.
Employers should work with retirement plan providers and financial service companies to provide employees with resources and tools to plan for the future no matter what their salary grade is.
Through retirement literacy and investment-education options, enterprises can help workers make the most of their paychecks. You should not put the resources out there but let employees figure it out themselves. Get financial advisors to come to talk to employees every few months about their options.
Also, employers can invest in the workers’ futures and they will more likely to spend that future with the company that helped them. Even if employers find it hard to offer a 401(k) match, employees will still appreciate the savings plan.
Even though you introduce ping-pong tables and free alcohol, it’s still not what employees want. They are more interested in stability and flexibility than entertainment. Use practical benefits to attract top talent and retain the best workers.
4. Use Your Own Workforce
You can get the help of your workforce to find new talent. This can be in the form of a referral program. There are several organizations that have referral programs that use incentives. But this can work without incentives too. This is a great way to reach out to an audience which would be otherwise hard to connect with using the regular channels.
5. Be Critical, Not Picky
These requirements should be something that is actually needed. This means that you should be looking for specific skill sets and measure for those skill sets. You should understand the essential requirements of your position. So you should determine if the candidate needs a high school degree and if they need problem-solving abilities. You should look for basic competency model and assessing candidates for these skills. If you are removing candidates based on criteria that is not essential as compared to those skills that are really needed, then you’re missing out on the picture.
6. Be Efficient
You should be efficient when it comes to hiring. This means that you should have a cut off time to have a hire. Reduce time by using automated assessment as the first step of the application process. Then assess the candidates that meet the requirement and screen out the rest and have the right number of candidates to schedule interviews. You can streamline the process and weed out the individuals through an assessment and this frees out your interviewers to focus on the right people to do the job.
Employing Talent in a Tight Market Can Be Difficult
With the job climate skewing towards the perfect storm, there are bound to be problems. This would mean that there are unemployment, high job growth and skill gaps in the workforce. These strategies should be used across different industries to make them more efficient and effectively find, hire and retain quality candidates. This will make your organization succeed in a tight labor market.
The biggest part of this problem is due to the growth in the manufacturing sector in the U.S. When you start to look at the impact, you will understand that this hampers skills and creates a skill gap which makes it more difficult for talent to find jobs. So, how do we find the right individuals to meet our needs and those that have the right knowledge, skills, and abilities? This means that an organization has to rethink how they attract, hire and retain talent. Read more articles that are beneficial to employers.
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