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Today’s Candidate Market

February 10, 2022

By Sheila Hoover, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Recruiters are feeling the effects of the pandemic and the current market for recruiting quality employees to your organization.  The constantly changing trends make it harder to recruit top talent, and right now it is definitely a candidate’s market.  In addition, there are trends all recruiters should be aware of as you are working harder than ever to source good candidates.

Talent shortages are the main problem facing employers.  With unemployment rates low, currently 5.6% in Michigan, much of the top talent are already employe. Passive candidates are who we traditionally prefer to recruit, and now more than ever we need to tap into our networks and reach out beyond those who apply for posted positions.  Post and pray will not work.  Utilizing various social media, attending conferences, cold calling, and referrals are a few ways recruiters can connect with new talent.

Due to the smaller candidate pool, there is more competition.  Candidates are asking for more.  More money, more benefits, more flexibility, etc.  Companies need to be able to sell themselves as an employer of choice to attract the talent.  Providing an outlined career path, training & development opportunities, flexible work schedules, and remote work options are at the top of candidates’ lists. Companies must alter their traditional models to attract candidates and keep up with their demands.

Candidate requests for higher salaries create another challenge for employers – internal equity.  Employers are finding themselves offering salaries outside of the compensation range for particular positions which can cause internal equity issues for employees who have been with the company for years.  Human resources will need to re-evaluate their compensation plans with the market and make the necessary adjustments.  This is also causing current employees to leave; they can make more money with a new company.  It is a vicious cycle.

The increased competition means employers must act quickly.  Ensure the position is fully approved and the interview process is structured and scheduled before you start recruiting.  Keep your interviews to the fewest possible and ensure regular communication with the candidate so they know you are still interested.  The market is moving quickly, and so are candidates.  If we don’t keep up, they will accept the offer from our competition.

Transparency is always an important factor in recruiting.  Candidates are interviewing employers just as much as employers are interviewing the candidate.  They can find information about your company in many places, including Glassdoor and LinkedIn.  As recruiters, we need to provide detail about our company, the position, and the employees they will work with to ensure the candidate fully understands the culture they will be working in.  Even the challenging issues should be discussed, so there are no surprises. In addition, employers must be clear about the expectations for the position and what the candidates’ expectations are as well.  A clear, transparent recruiting process provides a great candidate experience and hopefully helps retain new employees for the long term.

We are all in this together.  A bit of hard work, and we will get through it together as well.

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