The unemployment rate is currently sitting at a pandemic low of 6% and the U.S. economy added nearly 1 million jobs in March. The result is the candidate-saturated market is quickly transforming into a competitive one. So how can your hiring team attract qualified candidates that fit your company dynamic? Here are a few suggestions to source the best candidates in a competitive job market.
Refresh your employee benefits
One of the best ways to attract applicants in a competitive job market is to refresh your employee benefits. Is your company currently offering a traditional vacation and sick time policy? If so, it’s time to review and revise it to fit our current climate better. If you are still offering sick time and vacation time, you should start thinking about offering a paid time off (PTO) pool. Updating to a PTO policy will give your employees more flexibility and control of the time they earned, and it will let them utilize it as they need.
Flexibility is key
Last year, employers were forced to quickly shift their gears to remain operational. Companies that wouldn’t have even batted an eye at supporting remote work suddenly found themselves knee-deep in Zoom meetings. Thankfully, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. However, if your team wants to attract applicants in this competitive market, you must remain flexible. What if you find the perfect candidate, but they need the flexibility to work from home twice a week because their kids have virtual learning. Are you going to turn away this top-tier candidate because you want them working from the office 9-5 every day? When possible, offer flexibility that the best candidates have grown to love over the last year, and you will instantly see a boost in your applicant pool (and retention rates!).
Offer employee referrals
To encourage your current employees to get involved in the recruitment process, offer a referral program. Whether that’s a cash bonus, gift card, or some company swag, your employers are more likely to submit an employee referral if they have an incentive. Creating an employee referral program is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to receive qualified candidates that will fit your company’s culture. Typically, your employees won’t stick their necks out for just anyone. Plus, you can establish your referral program, so a bonus is only available for a successful hire. You can even place a time restriction on it. For example, employees only get a bonus if the referral is hired and stays on the team for at least 30 days.
If you think that offering a referral reward for an employee recommendation is expensive, keep in mind the average cost of a vacancy. Having a vacancy open for weeks or even months can be much more costly than a $200 Amazon gift card.
Partner with a recruiting firm
If you are serious about attracting applicants in a competitive job market, working with a professional is a wise decision. Recruiters that specialize in your industry are great resources to have on hand. We have pipelines of talented candidates that are ready to make a career transition. If you are ready to tackle this competitive market head-on, reach out to us today. At JSG, we have offices across North America that are ready to source the best candidates on the market.