5 Things for Employers to Consider in Today’s Labor Market

Written by Market Street Talent | October 1, 2021

Today’s labor market is more competitive than ever, with many companies in search and need of top talent! We’ve seen an incredible uptick in hiring over the past 18 months. Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of job openings increased to a 10.9 million and quit rates increased to 2.7%. What that means for your hiring process, is that you need to step up your game if you want to attract and land highly qualified employees.

How do you do that? Well, it could be a myriad of things. But overall, there needs to be compensation to accommodate the needs of today’s labor market. If your company is not willing to bend in some of the areas below, you may be challenged to get the right talent in place. Your pool becomes very limited when candidates can find those accommodations elsewhere. So, if you are having a hard time finding the right-fit candidates for your openings, continue reading to consider some ways to remain attractive in today’s highly competitive market.

1. Remote

The big debate: do you need to be physically in the office to be collaborative, productive, and successful? There’s not really a right answer here; it depends! But, in cases where a job can be performed fully remotely, we recommend providing some flexibility. The bottom line is, other employers are! This means you could be losing out on some rock-star candidates who are enticed by the opportunities that remote work life offers.

In the past, it was much rarer to offer work-from-home options. However, things have changed, and we’ve all adapted. Many people have preferred the balance that working from home can bring. Of course, on the flip side, some people love and prefer to work in an office environment, which is great too! That’s why we would recommend having some flexibility in this area. Whether that means it’s the employee’s choice to either work from home or the office, requiring a limited amount of office time (example: 2-3 days) per week, or somewhere in the middle. Providing options and flexibility to your employees may help you bring on additional talented team members.

2. Interview Process

In our line of work, as a staffing agency, we have seen this scenario played out so many times: an employee gets screened (highly interested), a week later, that candidate gets a second-round interview with one team member (still interested), someone is on vacation but in two weeks candidate attends an additional interview with more team members (somewhat interested), this person was not able to join the last meeting, so you will need to meet with them now (less interested), okay now we think we’d like to make this candidate an offer (off the market)!

It can be very difficult to keep a timely and efficient schedule when it comes to the interview process, but it can make or break keeping a candidate’s interest. Again, there are so many options out there right now, and if you’re not making this candidate’s time a priority, someone else will.

Streamlining your interview process so that it is organized and as concise as possible (while still determining all the necessary questions and involving the necessary people) can significantly impact your candidate’s availability and their first impression of your company.

3. Salary

Market rate has sky-rocketed, and to be competitive in terms of earnings, you must pay top dollar! Again, this is just one piece of the puzzle, but to some talented candidates, it’s a big one. If you are asking well below what the market is telling you the job goes for, prepare to be disappointed.

Also, what you paid the predecessor may not cut it anymore. It’s best to see what the market rate is going for and try to remain as competitive as possible in that space. If you’re unable to budge on salary due to budget, timing, etc., some of the other areas highlighted here may need to make up for that insufficiency.

4. Benefits

There is a lot of work you can do in a benefits package to outweigh things like salary. Here are a few examples:

  • 401K Match
  • Unlimited or increased PTO
  • Contribution to health insurance
  • Half-day summer Fridays
  • Flexible work hours
  • Volunteer time off

All the above contribute to the overall contentment of employees. Another benefit that people may consider is having a meaningful mission statement and the associated values that your company represents. Having a purposeful mission can be influential in candidates determining their fit into your organization and can inspire them to come on board (as some people like to work in a mission-driven environment).

Of course, a hiring manager may have less control over some of these things. However, these and/or other incentives may be already offered at your place of work, and you just haven’t illuminated them in your outreach. People love to know about these perks as they can contribute to one’s overall compensation package.

5. Job Descriptions

It can be hard to articulate all the help needed into a clean job description. But too often, we see job descriptions that are really asking for two or more different positions. Of course, at some companies (particularly smaller ones), the expectation may be that you’ll be wearing a few different hats. However, when it comes to more senior-level positions, it is important to consider that a lot of that entry or junior-level groundwork they did when they were at earlier stages of their career is no longer something they’re interested in pursuing.

Many people are looking to grow and advance in their careers, taking on new responsibilities and shifting their focus from the tasks and items they associate with in earlier stages of their work. When pulling together job descriptions and responsibilities, this is important to consider and be cognizant of.

In Closing: Finding the Right Candidate for the Job Takes Patience and Perseverance

Of course, if you know what you want and it does not have the above worked in and you have the luxury to wait it out to find your unicorn, then go for it! When that person comes along, that will likely be a hire match made in heaven for those things to align, and in turn, you will have a successful new employee. But, if you're fighting the clock on deadlines, dangerously under-resourced, and needing to get a quality hire onboarded yesterday, these are some great things to consider for attracting them.

In closing, highlighting some of the above perks, benefits, and opportunities can capture a candidate's attention and interest. Today's market is highly competitive, and companies are responsible for "selling themselves" to stand out from the competition and keep the candidates engaged.

I hope you enjoyed this read, if you have other ideas or comments about finding top candidates and landing them at your company, please share with me at mtoohey@marketstreettalent.com. And of course, if you need help finding the right IT candidate for your open tech position, we're here to help