16 Aug 8 Ways to Find New Employees in a Tight Labor Market
Let’s face it: as great as a booming economy and low unemployment rates are, it puts employers in a bit of a bind. Your business is growing, so you need more people to support your growth, but the tight labor market makes that difficult to do.
It’s a job hunter’s market, so employers must be ready to make their case for why their company really is the best place to work. Instead of prospective employees trying to sell themselves and their skills, a tight labor market flips the game on its head, so companies are the ones selling themselves to potential employees. Even when you think you’ve finally landed the perfect employee – their resume is good, background check is clear, references are great, the price is right, and they start on Monday – you can lose a prospect at the last second to a better offer.
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The warehouse and distribution sector is no stranger to this phenomenon.
So, how do we find the right candidates, convert them to employees, and make them stick in such a tight labor market? Here are 8 ways to grow your employee base as your company continues to grow:
Lets start high level. If you limit where your jobs are posted, you will limit who sees your job postings. Increase your chances of finding good talent by getting your name out in as many places as possible.
Be choosy with how you list your jobs. Make sure the title reflects the position and makes it sound desirable. Be detailed in your title to narrow the pool down to the right candidates. Consider using adjectives that reflect the workflow. For example, instead of just “Dispatcher,” if the role is high pressure and fast paced, list the title as “High Volume Dispatcher.” This clues candidates in right away to the type of job it really is.
Don’t leave anything out. Take your time when creating job descriptions to be sure it well-reflects the job. Candidates want to know what their job will be like. When given the choice between a job with a vague description and one that clearly defines the role, most candidates will apply for the well-defined role over the limited one.
Update your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles first and foremost. Paint yourself as the booming, professional, and attractive company you are. Don’t let social media be the thing that brings you down because it doesn’t accurately reflect your company. Take the time to make sure social profiles are active, professional, and fun. Use them to appeal to the type of candidate you want to attract. That doesn’t mean you’re posting repeatedly about job opportunities. Instead, it means you’ve created a presence that is desirable through thought-leading articles, eye-catching images, and references to other well-known attractive entities such as well-known business journals.
Not only are job fairs a good place to find your next employee, they are also a good place to get your name out there. One of the biggest benefits of job fairs is gaining top of mind awareness among your ideal candidates. When you attend a job fair, plenty of people slide past and pick up your flyer. Even more people see your name listed as an employer at the fair. Your name is mentioned, and the word gets out. And the more you attend in your area, the more people will come to recognize your name. It’s all about name recognition. When someone is prepared to look for a new job, you want them to think of your name, and job fairs are a great way to get your name out there.
This takes more work than any of the other recruiting methods, but it also has the biggest payout. Find the colleges and universities in your area and set up a meeting with their career success team. Colleges’ success is measured on the employability of the students they graduate, so a partnership is a win-win. Set up an internship through the school or a registered apprenticeship program through the department of labor. Have your open positions posted on the college’s career opportunities page or even on bulletin boards around campus. Make your name known, and make sure the colleges and universities know the type of candidate you’re looking for so they can make the right recommendations are the right time.
Make your benefits known from the get-go. List them on your job postings and job descriptions. Offer 401K with matching, a wellness program, or tuition reimbursement? Make it known. Highlight your company’s culture everywhere you put your name out there. Find the things that set you apart as an employer and accentuate them as you search for the right candidates.
When all else fails, it may come down to a game of who pays more. Be ready to foot the bill to bring the right talent to your company. Ultimately, it can be more costly to let a good candidate slip through your fingers than it can be to pay them slightly more than your planned to. With that said, know your limits. Find the reasonable ceiling and stick with it. If you’re not already in the practice of it, learn to negotiate like a pro. Hiring a new employee is a business transaction in many ways, and with a tight labor market, it’s a game where you may have to put more in on the front end to win big in the long run.
It all comes down to putting your company out there and putting your best foot forward. In this tight labor market, it’s the companies that set themselves apart, have name recognition, and, ultimately, put their money where their mouth is that will end up with the top candidates.
And beyond hiring, it becomes about keeping your employees. When the employment world is competitive, other opportunities will come along. Be the employer that takes a vested interested in employees, who listens to them, who trains them for the next level, who allows necessary leaves, who provides flexible schedules, and who encourages work-life balance. Create an environment where employees want to work, and you will not just attract top talent, you’ll also keep them.
Interested in reading more on the topic? Check out this informative article from the Indeed Blog.