How Employers Can Gain a Competitive Advantage in the War on Talent

October 02nd, 2019

Things look a little different for hiring managers than they did ten years ago.

Where once there were six unemployed people per job opening, now the number of job openings outnumber job seekers as unemployment rates plummet to near-record lows.

While we don’t want to ignore that it’s great that less and less willing workers are out of a job, the current market still presents a severe challenge for employers looking to add new talent.

If you listen to any podcasts, own a television, or do pretty much anything at all, you’re likely inundated with Zip Recruiter promo codes and soundbites from other services offering relief in today’s candidate-driven market. But how much of an advantage can it be if everyone else is using the same service?

What are other, more effective ways to get a competitive advantage in a market where so many hiring managers are knocking on the same door to fill a role?

We’ll highlight a few of the ways companies are adjusting their hiring strategies during this war for talent and why they make a difference:

Identify Your Culture (and then sell it)

When candidates are mulling multiple offers (which they often are these days) with similar pay, their sense of your organization’s culture can be the deciding factor in their accepting (or declining) your offer.

The feel that candidates develop for your company’s values, attitudes, personalities, and disposition is an incredibly important part of their decision-making process, especially for millennials.

At every stage of the candidate experience, from the actual job posting to an onsite interview, be sure to introduce and imprint a clear and accurate representation of your culture. This will help attract the right people who will align well with your staff and expectations as well as deter the ones who won’t.

But in order to sell your culture, you have to know what it is. If you haven’t already, spend time with your team identifying the personal and professional qualities your company values and define what culture uniquely means to you, or further define and reinforce what you already have established, so it's sure to register with the people who interface with your business.

Widen Your Search

In a tight labor market, you have to use a bigger net. Widen your search. Look outside the local markets to identify potentially disgruntled workers ready for a fresh start in a new place (they’re out there) and offer a relocation stipend to coax them along.

Broadening your search can yield immediate results as you expand your pool of available talent, and increasing the miles of your search radius isn’t the only way to accomplish this. Consider lowering traditional requirements and experience expectations for a certain role and then trust the hiring processes you’ve built to identify the potential in certain “underqualified” candidates who can step into the role and outperform their resume.

Pay More

It may be a tough pill to swallow, but the option to cut straight to the heart is always there: pay more. Offer more than what is typically offered for the role you’re trying to fill. Many companies are coming to terms with the fact that they have to pay a premium for the talent they desperately need as wage growth has been steadily climbing, hovering at or above 3% (the first time since before the recession).

But this approach extends beyond just compensation.

Robust perks and benefits packages have become a necessity in such a competitive market. Generous paid-time-off plans, ability to work from home, extended maternity and paternity leave, gym stipends, pet insurance and more are practically expected from job seekers today, especially among younger generations.

Be sure that your compensation and benefits packages are on par with (or better than) the competition.

Partner with a Staffing Agency

One of the fastest, most effective ways to overcome modern hiring challenges and gain a competitive advantage is to partner with a staffing firm to act as an extension of your talent acquisition team.

Recruiters save your business an incredible amount of time and energy as they are already deeply embedded into their respective industries and connected to vast pipelines of experienced professionals looking for work, and they understand the ins and outs of the hiring process to ensure you and the candidate are supplied with the best possible fit. The good ones get to know your unique company culture and needs and establish a fruitful relationship that extends far beyond the first placement and into future hiring needs.

Bear Staffing

Struggling to find (let alone acquire) the talent you need for your business to run effectively? Bear Staffing is here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn how our industry experience and deep network can help you to overcome any hiring challenge.