January 27th, 2022

How to Hire In a Competitive Job Market

Just about every company is looking to hire throughout this year. Multiple job openings are usually a sign of business growth. But with the national quit rate at its highest and turnover increasing—it’s not all good news. 

Companies looking to hire this year will need to have a competitive hiring plan in place to be successful. 

Hiring plans are the strategic process a business takes to increase headcount or staff. Instead of just going out and hiring when you lose someone, a hiring plan factors in the company’s financials and creates an approach to fill and track all roles.

Create a Hiring Plan 

A hiring plan is important to avoid over-promising on roles, recruiting for positions that don’t have leadership’s buy-in, and to account for long-term staffing success. A hiring plan starts with a need. Besides the obvious indicator that you’ve lost an employee and need to replace their role, it might be time to increase your staff if your: 

  • Employee workflow is increasing: Employees have communicated that they have too much to do, are stressed, or overtime hours have increased. 
  • There are new opportunities for business growth: Your business is having to decline new work because you’re too busy and you’re unable to pursue new opportunities without additional personnel. 

Even if you think it’s time to grow your team, you might not be able to. Before moving forward with hiring, businesses should assess their financial ability to hire. Then, follow these steps: 

  1. Gather data (such as employee turnover, current headcount, staffing costs, etc.) and conduct an audit to identify hiring needs and skills gaps. 
  2. Determine whether you need to adjust workflow rather than hire—this may happen when your employees seem busy, but profit isn’t changing, signifying your teams may not be as efficient as they can be. In this case, it may be better to invest in training or adjust your processes rather than hire new people.  
  3. Identify gaps in your staff, then develop a recruitment calendar and a means for tracking new hires. Depending on your existing staff, consider promoting from within. 
  4. Identify resources to help execute the hiring plan. Recruiters or external HR support are available to make hiring and onboarding new employees easier. 

Having a plan is necessary to successfully hire new employees. But in this job market, it’s not the only thing you’ll need to be competitive. Businesses should consider other strategies or tactics to improve their recruiting efforts. 

3 Strategies to Combat a Competitive Job Market

To ensure your hiring plan is successful this year, you might have to get a bit more creative when it comes to your recruiting efforts. Any strategy that can help you get more targeted and efficient in your hiring process will help combat the current competitive job market. There are a variety of ways to do this, but here are three options you can implement right away. 

1. Write Better Job Descriptions 

Job descriptions are usually the first step in the recruitment process and where candidates become aware of your company. As a result, they’re critical to get right. But over the past few years, Jobvite reports less than 10% of career site visitors click and apply after reading a job description. 

While some of this is due to the job application process itself, shrinking attention spans also make it challenging to capture applicants’ eyes. Ultimately, a good job description has everything to do with getting candidates to apply, so review these tips to write better job descriptions. 

2. Consider the Timing 

Just because you have open positions today, doesn’t mean the talent you want is available. Hiring requires patience. Timing your hiring strategy isn’t always possible, but if you can, it increases your chances of finding candidates ready for a job offer. 

Not hiring at the appropriate time could lead to reduced employee morale, customer service could suffer, and ultimately a lack of business growth. Start with the most critical hiring needs you have or the roles that can take longer to fill. Then ask yourself these questions as you consider the timing of a hire: 

  • Is it the right time for you? You should be ready to accept applications, review resumes, and start interviewing before posting a job. Decision-makers involved with hiring should have weighed in and are available to start the hiring process. And you should be able to financially make an offer and provide a start date. If you’re not able to do one or more of these things—reconsider the timing. One way to ruin your relationship with a prospective employee is to drag them along in the hiring process then tell them it’s delayed. 
  • Is it the right time for them? Timing an offer when a candidate is most interested is tricky. But you can ask questions in the interview process to get at this. How long they’ve been looking, and how they feel about the role and current position are questions that can help you evaluate their interest. It’ll come down to feeling them out more than anything, but ask pointed questions that indicate their readiness. 
  • Is it the right time of year? Different times of the year may provide more candidates than others, depending on your industry and type of role. For example, timing a hiring surge for entry-level positions in the spring when high school or college graduates are graduating can increase your pool of candidates. Alternatively, be wary of times when applicants may be busy. Spring break, summer vacation, and winter holidays aren’t a time people want to interview. 
  • Is your process too fast or too slow? The timing of when you start the hiring process is important, but so is the timing of the process itself. If you move too fast, speed can sacrifice the quality of your candidates. You want to move quickly but allow for time to get enough applicants, get to know them, and follow up on references. On the other hand—too slow and your candidates will get other offers. If you require a lengthy hiring process such as multiple IQ tests or four or more interviews—your candidates may not only get other offers but withdraw their application entirely. Asking for some investment from prospective employees is important, but asking for too much can push them away. 

3. Try Networking to Hire 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that 85 percent of jobs are filled by networking. That’s because networking can result in better quality candidates, faster hiring, and reduced turnover.  

Networking to hire doesn’t have to be hard. If you aren’t familiar with how to network to hire, here are some steps you can take to get started. 

The strategies above, combined with a hiring plan, won’t make hiring automatic, but they will make it easier and more efficient in the current job market. With these steps, you’ll be hiring and onboarding new team members in no time. 

How Obsidian HR Can Help 

When businesses are looking to grow, many of them turn to recruiting agencies for support. But recruiters can charge 15-20% of a position’s annual salary to fill. And after helping fill the role, agencies move on while you’re left with the task of onboarding them. 

Obsidian HR is a full-service HR partner that can help hire and onboard your new team members. We also offer support to pay, manage, and protect your people from payroll to benefits to workers’ compensation. Our online platform and services make it easy to take care of: 

  • Applicant Tracking
  • New Hire Paperwork & Initial Onboarding
  • Employee Handbooks
  • HR Policies, Procedures, & Compliance
  • Benefit Plan Offerings & Administration

Reach out to us today to learn more! And if you’re looking for more information on how to hire better, review our best practices for interviewing.

Download Our Guide: Best Practices for Interviewing

Download this guide to learn best practices for interviewing and seven simple steps to improve your hiring process.

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