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Navigating today’s tough hiring climate

Monday, 16 May, 2022

Today’s hiring market is intense for businesses looking to fill jobs. The most recent JOLTS report by The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the number of open positions is more than double the number of unemployed people. Having few candidates in the market means that businesses are recruiting people who are currently employed, which adds a layer of complication to the hiring process. 

But if convincing someone to leave their current role for a new position wasn’t hard enough, there are compounding factors happening at many workplaces. Many high-level managers hold out for dream candidates and meander through the few resumes that cross their desk. In the process, they’re missing out on professionals who could meet their needs and serve their business well. By the time they decide to reach out to a qualified lead, that person has multiple offers on the table. The cycle continues – roles sit open longer, hiring managers field exponentially more candidates to fill a single role, and the number of interviews required to land an employee skyrockets. These compounding factors make the challenging role of a hiring manager at a small or midsize business even more difficult. 

So, what do you do if you find yourself pressed for time with desks to fill? Here are five actionable tips to better navigate this dynamic, fast-paced hiring market. 

1. Evaluate each job

Consider the function of the position for which you’re hiring and see if there is any flexibility you can offer a potential candidate. Flexible working environments, like those that are hybrid or offer remote options, are increasingly important to job seekers. Additionally, evaluate your compensation package and see if you are paying a competitive wage. Many big box retailers start wages at $15 an hour. You might have to increase your pay to compete.

2. Broaden your horizons

Reimagine your experience and qualification requirements. Take a look at the job itself and outline what skills are required to complete the job successfully. Relevant candidates may have learned those skills in other industries or roles that you might currently be excluding. Similarly, consider adjusting your education requirements. Some roles require advanced degrees and specialty training while others can be done successfully with several years of professional experience.

3. Move faster with candidates

One of the easiest ways to lose out on a candidate is to drag your feet. Interested candidates could already be far along in the interview process somewhere else by the time you start extending an invitation to interview. It is imperative to act quickly once you receive a qualified resume.

4. Standardize the hiring process

Small and midsize businesses sometimes lose candidates to larger companies because they don’t have a standardized hiring process in place. This can slow progress and require unnecessary oversight. Before you begin hiring in earnest, ensure your hiring manager has authority to make decisions quickly and knows how to properly conduct an interview. If they are well-versed in your hiring processes, what you’re seeking in a candidate and how to offer appropriate compensation packages, you’re much more likely to fill your open roles.

5. Get serious about hiring

Do you really need the position filled or are you looking for the perfect candidate for a far-off need? There are some hiring seasons that provide opportunities to backfill positions or hire in advance of a professional’s retirement – this market is not one of them. If you’re not serious about filling a role immediately, it might be time to reconsider posting a position.

 A job posting is a lot like buying a house – if it is priced right and the photos are beautiful, the house will go quickly. Providing a competitive package, evaluating your requirements, strengthening and expediting your process and getting serious about competing for candidates will help you find success in this busy hiring market. If all of this sounds daunting to you, we understand. My team at ProTech Services Group can help you think through your hiring process and implement strategies to get your business fully staffed and ready to roll!

The Greater Memphis Chamber occasionally runs blog posts submitted by its members. To submit a blog post, email Chamber Director of Communications Ryan Poe here.