3 Ways to Attract Talent in a Competitive Job Market

Key points about how to attract talent:

  • For many businesses, COVID-19 has made it difficult to find and hire new employees. 
  • Enticing job postings, benefits, and development opportunities can help you attract talent in a competitive job market.

If you’re finding it difficult to hire employees right now, you’re not alone. According to Bloomberg, 42% of small businesses have jobs they can’t fill. The number of people quitting their jobs is currently higher than average, too.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are choosing not to work. In some cases, they don’t want to risk getting sick or infecting the people around them. In other cases, they may be able to get by on unemployment insurance alone.

This situation has made the job market increasingly competitive. To attract new hires, some businesses have started using gimmicks like signing bonuses and free food. However, these recruiting tactics are unlikely to be effective long term. They don’t address the risks, challenges, and needs people have right now. 

If you’re struggling to hire, focusing on these three things can help you attract talent (and keep them!):

1. Employee Benefits & Compensation

A job provides a paycheck and opportunities for employees to contribute to their community, make friends, and fund their retirement. You may be able to leverage these benefits to appeal to people who have left the workforce. In many cases, though, they won’t be enough to entice someone to return. Before you can use benefits like friendship and skill-building to lure applicants, first address safety, flexibility, and pay.

Safety 

While vaccinations are proceeding at an encouraging rate, COVID-19 remains a serious threat. Many people are still worried about infecting friends and family who are unable or unwilling to get the vaccine. 

Because of these fears, some people aren’t going to work and you won’t be able to persuade them otherwise. Others, however, may decide to work if they feel confident that the job won’t put them or those they care about in danger.

If you’re looking to fill a position, be sure to communicate the safety measures you’re taking to minimize risks.

Flexibility

The pandemic has shown us that in-person education and childcare aren’t always reliable. Flexibility is a key benefit for parents (and employees who simply enjoy working remotely).

If you can provide flexibility—either through the initial scheduling of shifts or the ability to rearrange working hours on the fly—you’ll likely receive more applicants and have a lower turnover rate.

Pay

Some potential employees may be willing to work if they feel the pay is worth the risk and sufficient to cover the costs of transportation and childcare.

Of course, most businesses don’t relish the idea of paying employees higher-than-usual wages. However, competitive pay can be a good investment. When people are worried about bills, they tend to be less productive and make more mistakes. If you’re able to provide higher wages, you can reduce your employees’ stress, boost productivity, and increase business profitability.

2. Career Development Opportunities

You may not think that the position you’re looking to fill comes with an exciting career path or lifelong skills. But that’s not necessarily true. New employees can always learn skills that they’ll be able to apply in other positions.

Imagine, for a moment, a local deli that needs to hire a person to take orders at the register. The job market might consider this job “low skill,” but the deli owner doesn’t think of it that way. In fact, the owner provides skills training for more advanced positions in customer service or sales. 

During the first few days, the new hire will learn how to operate the register. But in between busy hours, they’ll also learn how to de-escalate tense situations, upsell, and perform other customer service and sales duties. Later on, the new hire might even learn some of the ins and outs of starting and running a small business.

This owner knows that high employee turnover is simply the nature of their business. Employees will, sooner or later, take their training and skills to other jobs. So they want to help their employees learn marketable skills they’ll use throughout their careers. If the deli gains a reputation of being a great place to work, it’ll be easier for them to attract talent in the future, too.

3. Attractive Job Postings & a Streamlined Hiring Process

If you’re having trouble attracting applicants, try taking another look at your job postings. If they’re complicated or misleading, you may be missing out on great hires. The most effective job postings are simple and easy to understand. They clearly state what they’re looking for in the role, tell an engaging story, and showcase company benefits with concrete examples. 

For instance, if you offer flexibility, writing, “We offer flexibility” in your job posting may not be enough. Explain what you mean in more detail. Maybe employees can choose from a range of shifts on a weekly basis or are able to complete their work at any time of day, so long as they meet their weekly deadlines. The more specific you can be about your benefits, the more attractive they may be to potential applicants.

Once you’ve reviewed your job postings, evaluate your hiring process. According to SHRM, 60% of applicants will stop filling out applications that are too lengthy or complex. Likewise, the longer you make a candidate wait for an offer, the greater the chance they’ll reject the offer.

If you streamline your hiring process, you’ll improve the applicant and candidate experience and ensure you aren’t missing out on quality talent.

Attract Talent with SentricHR

In a competitive job market, benefits, development opportunities, and a streamlined hiring process can set you apart from the competition. If you already have these things (and even if you don’t!), HR software can give you an extra edge.

HR software with recruiting and applicant tracking can make it easier to attract new talent and automate key hiring processes. With all-in-one systems like SentricHR, you can even manage employee goals and development alongside new hires and job postings.

To learn more about how SentricHR can help you attract talent, schedule a call with one of our product experts!

Blog content provided in part by Sentric’s online HR Support Center. For more information, please reach out to our sales team


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