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How to Attract Applicants in A Competitive Job Market

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.

The Power of An Employee Referral

Many candidates underestimate the power of an employee referral when it comes to your job search. A referral is never a sure-fire way to a new job; however, they can improve your odds of a hiring manager or recruiter reviewing your application. A referral from a former colleague or professional connection is an endorsement for a particular position. Securing a referral will require more legwork, but in today’s job market, it is worth the extra effort.

Almost guarantees a resume read

When a former colleague, classmate, or a personal friend refers you to their employer, it almost guarantees that a hiring manager or recruiter will review your resume. When there are dozens or even hundreds of resumes to review for an open position, recruiters will almost always take a co-worker’s referral seriously. After all, if someone is willing to stick their neck out and recommend a candidate, putting their reputation on the line, a recruiter will likely take a look at your resume. If you receive a good referral, you can expect your resume to be put on top of the pile.

Employee referral programs are there for a reason

Employee referral programs exist for a reason – they typically produce better candidates. Many employers reward their staff for successful employee referrals to encourage good recommendations for candidates. We have an employee referral program at JSG to encourage our team to recommend new candidates! A good referral can save a company a ton of time in the hiring process, reduce costs associated with vacancies and recruiting efforts, and, ultimately, generate better candidates. So, if a company has a formal program for referrals, you, as the candidate, will likely get the benefit of the doubt, and a recruiter or hiring manager may spend a little more time reviewing your resume. It’s a win-win for everyone!

How to secure an employee referral

It will take some time and effort to secure an employee referral; it will also take some foresight. Securing a referral is much easier if you have a prospective employer in mind. You can then see if you have any connections that work (or have previously worked) there. It will also take some networking. It is challenging to secure a referral if you are not putting yourself out there. You must engage with your professional network on LinkedIn, reach out to new connections, and let your job search be known to the public. You must continue to network throughout your job search, so you are at the forefront of your connections’ minds when a new position opens up at their company.

Introducing… The JSG Employee Referral Program!

JSG Employee Referral Program

As you know, here at Johnson Service Group, we’re always looking to grow our teams with talented people, just like you. That’s why we are beyond excited to announce our Internal Employee Referral Bonus Program.

If you know someone who you think would be a good fit for our company, let us know! (human resumes only please!)

In order to be eligible for the referral bonus, you must be a JSG employee. All you have to do is email your candidate to our resident internal recruiting ninja, Nicole Shenberger (nshenberger@jsginc.com) with the subject line EMPLOYEE REFERRAL. Please include the candidate’s name, resume with contact information, desired JSG location, and position. If your friend/neighbor/previous coworker/person you met on the street is hired, you will receive a $500 bonus after they’ve been hired and onboard for 90 days.

We’ll be posting available jobs moving forward, however, referrals can always be made, even if their desired position isn’t advertised!

Have questions? Give Nicole a call! (630.590.6536)

Review our current internal job openings here, and please reach out to Nicole if you have someone you would like to refer!