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A Challenge or a Change? Hiring With A Lack of Candidates Will Remain a Constant for 2015!


With the New Year in progress, 2015 hiring will continue to remain a top priority as companies experience an upswing in business demands and pre-recession growth opportunities. Yet, the daunting task of hiring the “perfect “candidate for last year’s vacancy remains to be checked off.

The current outlook according to USA Today
Some economists are predicting the 2015 labor market will continue to strengthen. Last year experienced the strongest job growth since 1999, with record levels of 321,000 jobs added in November 2014, the most in two years. A recent CareerBuilder survey predicts 36 percent of employers will increase full-time staff this year. Compare this to last year when 24 percent of companies added to their payroll. Thus, making it more difficult to find quality employees.

This year is anticipated to have a three percent growth due to a stronger economy, lower gasoline prices, and an increased household income. All of these factors will have a positive impact on spending and overall confidence by businesses is expected to continue to grow. In addition, increases in wages will likely be necessary. Most business growth will be in the areas of healthcare, construction, and finance. Also, unemployment figures will continue to fall by midyear.

So, if you are reading this and asking yourself how does this affect my hiring plans? Well, it’s a fair question that will require some education and conversations starting with you to those involved in the decision and hiring process. Consider this as an opportunity to engage your department managers on new strategies to help fulfill those vacancies! They will appreciate you not only for educating them on what is happening, but also for asking for their input.

Adjusting may be worth consideration – working within our market conditions:
We all are looking to hire the” best” candidate. We have to consider a mindset shift. That means a change in what we are used to getting. Local unemployment rates of less than three percent means that finding a “perfect” candidate at this time is not a realistic expectation. Eliminate this frustration for yourself and for your current staff who are experiencing additional stress due to an increase in their workload. Consider hiring a 60 percent match versus finding the candidate with everything you need. With some time investment, adequate training, a mentor, and providing the necessary tools and resources, you may find yourself with a quality employee that was worth the investment. Remember that skills can be taught when working with your teams. Granted, hiring for the “best” or “perfect” candidate is ideal, however, the market conditions requires a change to the secondary… the cost of an unfilled position, potential for business loss, or the investment to train a candidate with potential.

Timing is everything when it is the candidate’s market:
Now more than ever, when it comes to entry-level positions candidates have a decision and a say in what they will accept. Don’t be fooled – candidates are not waiting around for us to take two or three weeks to conduct our interview process. If you interview someone that you think is a close potential, then you should act quickly. Waiting to see if there is a “better” potential candidate will result in the negative. A week later can mean a lost candidate! I encourage you to get everyone involved and suggest they keep a flexible schedule for conducting second interviews, if necessary. Your goal should be to accommodate and to be available to close the process as soon as possible. Candidates are meeting with other organizations, and they are aggressive in their search, expectations, and negotiations. When they get an offer they are satisfied with they are gone…sometimes within a day! To stay ahead, being flexible is key! While change is a necessary constant, it is inevitable to continue doing what worked three to five years ago. The same starting pay for all theory is becoming a determent to you. My suggestion is to consider a change in your hiring strategy and policies, especially if you want a specific candidate. Wages and benefits based on the level of the position should be more competitive than others in your industry. Comparing the cost of turnover to the additional expense of a higher wage makes sense in these times. If your concern is that a candidate will talk to others and disclose their wage, an easy solution is to have the new employee sign a confidentiality wage disclosure agreement.

What to expect:
With the growth of companies anticipating expansion and staff additions, it’s likely that candidates who quit looking a while ago will return to the employment search. While this brings a new candidate base, it’s up to you to look at how their previous work experience can offer transferable skills.

angie smathersAngie Smathers
Angie started in her career in the staffing industry with Celebrity Staff 16 years ago. As a Senior Account Manager Consultant, her passion continues to be evident. Angie enjoys and takes pride in forging long lasting client and candidate relationships. Her efforts to maintain these relationships and her competitive drive to establish new partnerships have positively impacted Celebrity Staff’s reputation as a market leader and earning her recognition of C&A Industries’ top honors as a five time President Club award recipient. Angie is a member of LHRMA, and served on the SHRM Conference Committee. Outside of work, she enjoys going on beach vacations, spending time with friends and family (including her 9-month old grandson), and boating at her family’s cabin in NE.

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  1. By Tom Hart

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