Trust us, it’s not you, it’s the job market; and it’s definitely the opposite problem the Colorado was experiencing pre-pandemic. It’s gone from an employer’s market to a candidate’s in the last year. You’re lucky right now to get a few candidates to apply to a job ad and half of those don’t match what you’re looking for – so what’s the deal?
There are many factors that impact the candidate market and we’re experience unique times none-the-less, but there are a few that we’ve noticed that are really causing an upset to the current applicant pool:
The Pandemic has made candidates afraid of change.
Before COVID hit, there wasn’t a fear that a new employer could up and close their doors after just a few months. But I think we can all agree that 2020 has changed our perspectives on a lot of things – maybe most notably: the work force. So if an employee was lucky enough to keep their job through the pandemic, they not only feel a loyalty to their employer, but they are a lot less likely to jump ship from a stable position into the unknown. Employees are much more weary of big changes lately unless the change is undeniably going to benefit them.
You’re going up against unemployment benefits.
For higher-level positions maybe this isn’t as big of a factor, but if you are looking for an entry- to mid-level paying position, you may be feeling the impact of newly instated unemployment benefits. For those currently unemployed in Colorado, they receive an extra $300 a month with the assistance of the newly passed American Rescue Plan put in place by President Joe Biden. That alone gives most employees around at least $17.50 per hour with benefit options. As most of us know, there has also been another round of stimulus checks going out. For unemployed candidates, unless the PERFECT job comes around that can beat what they are making at home, they’re choosing to wait it out.
For more on the American Rescue Plan:
The American Rescue Plan: What it means for children and families
It’s all about culture, advancement, and benefits.
Nowadays, a candidate is most likely currently employed and just passively looking for a new opportunity. What does that mean for employers? It means you have to make your offer not just appealing, but appealing enough to leave an already “good thing” in an employee’s eye. Most candidates are usually putting their feelers out there to find better benefits, better company culture, or more opportunities to advance their career. If you’re not exceeding their current position in one of those categories, chances are they won’t make the move.
So, now we know what’s going on. How do we combat it?
There is no silver bullet. There isn’t a magic job posting that will get the position filled. It’s going to take a lot more effort than it may have in 2019. Passively searching and posting a few ads just isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to need not only take on a more “head hunter” approach, but you’re going to have to explore multiple new recruiting avenues. Out-of-state searches, connecting with candidates locally through multiple platforms, it’s going to take more effort to get the right hire.
Make sure you can bring benefits they currently DON’T have to the table.
In this competitive of a market, remember that to get quality candidates, you need to present quality benefits to working for your company. Will you offer training into a new role? Are you just a short commute from them with free parking and work from home perks? Can you offer them relocation assistance? Make sure you’re giving a candidate a reason to make the move.
Maybe it’s time to pass on the hiring duties to an agency?
If you don’t have time to take on all that (we know, it’s a lot) that’s where a recruiting firm can take the burden. You, as just ONE HR Manager for an entire company, may have way more on your plate than recruiting. Instead, maybe delegating your recruiting efforts to an entire team could be the route to go. With an agency recruiting for your needs, you will have multiple recruiters sourcing tirelessly to find you the right fit. This minimizes the guesswork and time it takes to interview and vet potential candidates – getting you the right candidate much faster and more efficiently.
Either way, remember the job market is ever-changing. Next year could have you own your toes again! Always keep up to date on latest trends and be sure you’re not falling behind when hiring new employees. Don’t forget there are always new ways to engage with candidates – control what you can control!