Talent Shortage: It’s a Candidate’s Job Market

Talent Shortage: It’s a Candidate’s Job Market

Job candidates are in the driver’s seat as the unemployment rate continues to drop.

March 14, 2016

Job quit rates are the highest in seven years, notes a recent CUNA blog post, indicative of a strengthening economy as employees believe jobs are plentiful.

This trend bodes well for ambitious workers. But hiring companies are dealt a blow as recruitment efforts are challenged by low unemployment rates and roving staffers.

The tight talent market is expected to continue. According to a Manpower survey, “Unprecedented technological growth, constantly shifting demographics, increasing customer sophistication and the rise of individual choice has resulted in a new world of work.”

In 2015, 32% of employers struggled to fill vacancies. Jobs remained open due to a lack of applicants, the reason cited by above one-third of employers.

Survey data further reveals talent shortages are impactful. Effects include a reduced ability to serve clients, reductions in competitiveness/productivity, higher turnover and compensation costs, lower employee morale, and reduced innovation.

To combat the problem, 40% of hiring managers “are adopting new people practices.”

However, only 1 in 10 will investigate new sources of talent, provide more training to existing employees, or implement new work models.

What innovative recruitment methods exist for you to find success in hiring? How can technology help?

Do you know what motivates candidates to apply and accept or reject job offers?

‘With every job, you should have something to lose, something to gain, something to learn.’ –Kevin Spacey

The 2016 Job Market Is Looking Bright For Workers” notes Fortune, and employers need to react appropriately. Millennials, the next wave of entry-level workers, begin to make impact, comprising 20% of the workforce by 2019.

Nice perks for this group include tuition reimbursement, flextime, and unlimited vacation.

Social media influences employers as employees freely discuss what it is like to work where they do, and “the importance of building a great culture is only going to increase.”

Some companies respond with new job titles such as “director of culture and engagement” whose responsibility is to make work meaningful and fun.

Twenty-seven percent of hiring managers look for entry-level workers—an increase of nine percentage points over 2015 levels.

Further, 91% of employers hope to “improve the candidate experience” with simplified application processes.

“It is clear candidates are in the driver’s seat,” says organizational advisory firm Korn Ferry, and companies need to know eight trends shaping recruitment in 2016.

To meet talent requirements, companies should consider hiring new grads, realize promoting talent from within fosters retention, create a “candidate concierge experience” for the hiring process, use “smart data” to identify talent, and hire those whose personality traits allow for on-the-job training.

New methods for sourcing talent may become increasingly important as 17% of respondents to a DirectEmployers survey say they experienced a decline in applicant flow for 2015. Half noted the decrease was 10 to 20%.

Seventy-eight percent of participants attributed the cause of fewer applicants to low unemployment. Other reasons for smaller talent pools include a lengthy application process, insufficient compensation levels, and competitor hiring practices.

Still, 42% noted increases in job applicants because they used social media campaigns as part of the hiring process. Nearly half (47%) of those noting application upticks said LinkedIn “is their most effective social media outlet for high volume recruiting.”

Other good sources for sourcing talent include job fairs, online campaigns, job boards, and job syndication services.

‘All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.’ --Henry David Thoreau

What should hiring managers consider regarding innovative recruitment strategies?

“As technology continues to evolve, it plays an increasingly important role in the way companies approach the talent search and the hiring process,” notes Social media, big data, and other types of technology “give tremendous insight into individual job seekers” and become important screening devices for employers.

Data analytics grows increasingly sophisticated and will help businesses make good hiring choices.

Candidates use technology, too, and expect easy application processes and recruitment marketing devices like job portals and referral networks.

Also, be aware that your “employment brand” resonates with job seekers who will “be researching you as much as you’re researching them” so websites are important engagement tools.

Finally, don’t forget “passive candidates,” people who are not looking for new jobs. “Professionals expect employers to search for them and take their online branding and positioning very seriously.”

“You need to take advantage of the new tools and resources that allow you to move beyond the resume,” says a digital marketing expert.

ClearCompany echoes some of these trends in “10 Recruiting Dos and Don’ts Heading Into 2016.” Five “dos” for today’s recruiters:

1. Go mobile as 89% of job seekers think mobile devices are important tools in job hunting.

2. Grow content strategy because 78% of consumers think “organizations with custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.” Tell your story.

3. Invest in recruitment marketing automation and treat job candidates as you do clients.

4. Update search engine optimization strategies to include graphics and video.

5. Create a “stellar website” to be taken seriously.

‘Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.’ –Brian Tracy, entrepreneur

The goal is for good recruitment strategies to yield talented, happy employees who remain with the organization for the long term. It is advantageous to keep retention in mind as an objective and source staff accordingly.

Employee Retention Starts with Strategic Recruitment,” says Employee replacement is expensive, costing weeks’ worth of wages and lost productivity. To foster retention:

  • Identify growth opportunities. Let candidates know how you will help develop their careers.
  • Seek commitment and focus in candidates. How long do they remain with employers? How long have they worked in the field?
  • Build relationships during onboarding. Create mentors and allow new employees to meet colleagues.
  • Create cultural fit and hire employees who embrace the experiences you offer.

Filling open positions requires hiring managers to perform due diligence when choosing staff.

Likewise, prospective employees must carefully consider potential employers, and balance job circumstances against personal objectives.

Realize when planning your recruitment strategies that you might be able to accommodate some employee lifestyle preferences as you solicit candidates, craft job descriptions, create innovative benefits packages, nurture relationships, and match corporate culture with employee personality traits.

Even in a candidate’s job market, you can facilitate “win-win” situations.

LORA BRAY is an information research analyst for CUNA’s economics and statistics department. Follow her on Twitter via @Bray_Lora and visit the CUNA blogThe Research Roundup: Economic Perspectives.