The U.S. labor market is as tight as it’s been in recent memory, with the national unemployment rate falling to an 18-year low at the end of May. Regions known for high economic activity, including Houston, have even seen unemployment rates better than the national average. While this rate does not factor in underemployment or healthy workers who have given up finding a job, there is no question that low unemployment is a good thing for the U.S. economy and labor force. It does, however, make things more difficult for hiring managers.
Low unemployment translates into major competition for qualified candidates, and not all businesses are well-prepared to handle it. This leads many employers to take a close look at how well their recruiting and hiring practices are working. A few tweaks can improve an organization’s ability to compete for job candidates virtually overnight.
The pre-employment experts at KRESS devote much time and thought to the most effective and reliable ways to recruit premiere talent while maintaining perfect compliance with employment laws and regulations. Here are some of the top tips we recommend to our clients who find themselves in stiff competition for workers:
- Make sure wages and benefits are competitive.
Do you know what your competitors are offering job candidates? It can be hard to compete if you don’t. To get an idea of what other employers in your area are paying and the benefits they’re offering for the same types of jobs, read the listings on job websites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and other networks. Being aware of other employers’ compensation gives you an idea of the options open to your potential candidates.
- Streamline your hiring process with better communication.
Qualified candidates are in high demand, so if you take too much time in making hiring decisions, your top candidate may have already accepted another job. Don’t be careless when choosing which candidates to invite on board, but in this hiring climate, decisiveness is a must. When you find a good candidate, make communicate consistently throughout the process. Set the tone early by clearly outlining what to expect from the interview and hiring process, including your timeline. Make sure you stay connected with your candidates through every step of the way.
- Step up your outreach.
It’s no longer enough to post a job online and call it a day. Hiring managers must get creative and go where the job candidates are. If you’re hiring CDL drivers, for example, make a contact at a training program. If you’re recruiting creative types, try contacting a local marketing association. You might even offer your current employees incentives for referring new employees. In today’s employment environment, it’s important to think outside of the recruiting box and try some new approaches.
- Consider those who face barriers to employment.
In these times, you may need to cast as wide a net as possible to get the candidates you need. Are you overlooking some very qualified employees who face barriers to employment, such as people with disabilities, those with criminal backgrounds, or people who’ve experienced homelessness? Hiring people who face barriers to employment isn’t charity—it’s a business decision that can be good for your bottom line. In fact, the federal government may offer thousands of dollars in tax credits for every veteran, disabled person, and ex-offender that you hire. Partner with an alternative staffing firm or a local nonprofit organization that can help you connect with candidates you may have otherwise overlooked.
- Get social.
Build a talent network from which to recruit time and again. As more organizations leverage social media to promote their brands, they are finding that potential candidates develop an interest in them long before the recruitment process begins. Sites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram may be used to develop a fanbase comprising prospective hires, current employees, and clients. These networks can help spread the word when you’ve got a position to fill.
Once you’ve found a job candidate you like, KRESS can help ensure that they’re fit to work with you. Our pre-employment screening services help businesses in Houston and across the U.S.A. make the right hire every time. For a free consultation on the screening packages that suit your needs best, contact our pre-employment experts today at 888.636.3693.