While we started facing talent shortages even before Covid-19, the last two years have made it even more difficult to find candidates. Many professionals leave their jobs because they want to continue working remotely or in a hybrid setup, move to greener pastures with better perks and benefits, or simply gain a better work-life balance. The Great Resignation showed very clearly that priorities have changed. Hiring managers need to be more flexible, creative and open-minded in this candidate-driven market.
As I hear from fellow recruiters in other industries in the United States, Canada and Europe, it seems obvious to me that this is a global problem and not specific to a certain discipline. Here are some tips from a recruiter on how to stay ahead of the competition and hire the talent your business needs.
1. Offer remote work and other benefits.
In 2022, remote work is no longer a privilege – it should be an option for every employee. Yes, there are times when people need to be in the office, whether because of the nature of the job (e.g. being a dentist), if an employee is new to a position, or if there needs to be face-to-face collaboration time. But besides that, it shouldn’t be mandatory to spend five days in the office. If managers can’t trust their employees, it can be a sign that they’re not hiring the right people for the right jobs, or frankly, a poorly run company and weak leadership. In our experience, the majority of job seekers seek work-life balance in a hybrid setup (i.e. two to three days in the office and two to three days working from home) . Health benefits, personal and professional development opportunities, stress management and life coaching sessions are the most admired perks and perks. The days of beer pong, corner offices and paid passes seem over.
2. Consider finding a trusted recruiting partner.
Posting a job offer and waiting for candidates is a thing of the past. Professional recruiters are not only well-networked matchmakers, but also highly skilled storytellers who know the industry, your business, and the skills gap you face. They know how to engage with passive talent to get them interested in your business. When you decide to involve a recruiter, I recommend that you only hire one. It can express desperation if top talent receives multiple phone calls from agencies indicating that your company would be interested in speaking to them. In addition, good recruiters have a very strong relationship with their candidates. Your consultant will let you know if they are interviewing elsewhere.
3. Rethink compensation.
It is a candidate driven market. There is a war out there for the best of the best. While your company can provide all the perks candidates are looking for, you still need to compensate them well. Over the past two to three months, I’ve seen passive candidates start asking for salaries that are at least 20% to 30% higher than in 2021. I’m not saying hire someone who’s unmotivated money is a good idea, even if it’s a sales role. But talented people have many choices, and if you think your business name is enough to attract people below their market value, you’re wrong. Just think about it: if someone has a decent role, work-life balance and relatively good benefits, why would they give up everything in such a volatile world where everyone is just trying to get back to normal after the pandemic ?
4. Reevaluate your interview experience and turnaround times.
Hiring managers need to be aware that people have choices. There are many more open positions than job seekers. Companies need to ensure that they provide a smooth and efficient interview experience and that candidates can move through the process quickly – and I mean really quick. Before the pandemic and even just a year ago, it was acceptable to have multiple rounds, panel interviews, and a long period of decision-making afterwards. Candidates waited weeks, sometimes even a month or two, for a response, especially in the case of large companies. If an organization wants to stay competitive, it must be ready to pull the trigger almost immediately. Last week, our team tapped someone on the shoulder at 10 a.m., we interviewed the candidate at 12:30 p.m., and the hiring manager met the person at 2:30 p.m. On the way out, there was a phone call from another recruiting agency. on behalf of another hiring manager to speak virtually at 4:30 p.m. – and yes, they made an offer right there.
5. Employer branding is a constant exercise.
Top talent usually has at least two or more deals on the table these days. Please don’t take it personally when they decide to decline yours. See it as an opportunity to improve yourself. Always ask why they chose to go in a different direction and be humble enough to accept feedback. If your business is lucky today, it does not mean that your next offer will also be accepted. Try to build momentum and keep in mind: these candidates could be back in the game one day, and you want to be ready. Plus, they can recommend someone if they had a good experience.
There is a war for the best talents. To be competitive, hiring managers must accept that it is crucial to be flexible in order to be the first choice of top talent. What we tell our clients is that it is better to put yourself in the shoes of job seekers. These people have been working remotely for a few years now; they want sanity, flexibility, a living wage and a role they love.