August Spotlight: Is there a Hiring Drought?
We're hearing from many of our clients that it's increasingly difficult to find quality candidates for open positions. It's as if the winds have changed and instead of opening a mailbox to hundreds of resumes, as many did during the recession, there are now zero applicants. When hiring, it's easy to focus on things that you cannot control, like the economy, but this month we invite you to join us as we focus on what you can control.
Why Would Someone Want to Work For Your Company?
This week we have one simple question for you to consider when it comes to hiring: "What makes your company so special that candidates WANT to work for you?" You should always be able to answer this question, but in a candidate drought, it becomes even more important. You end up competing for candidates, which often leads to a salary or benefits war. In essence, your company becomes a commodity. There is no perceived difference between working for your company and company XYZ. The road to more qualified candidates starts with what you are offering.
- Salary and Benefits - Though you don't want to get into a war, the salary and benefits you are offering must be competitive. You don't have to be the highest paying company to attract top talent, but if you're not competitive, it will be hard to attract talent. To check the competitiveness of your salaries check out Salary.com or Glassdoor where you can see free reports from the employee's point of view or pay to see the employer's addition. Also look for the Wage Summary Report that is released by state or metro area through the Department of Labor.
- Perks - What else do you offer your employees? Tech companies have become famous or maybe even infamous for the amount of perks that they offer their employees. Perks such as daily lunches and even ping pong tables in the break room are often offered. As a small business, it might seem impossible to compete with this, but with a little creativity you can create great perks for your employees. There are companies such as Any Perks that allow small businesses to join and immediately offer perks to employees. Or you might get together with a few other small businesses in your area and see what you can put together as a group. Poll your employees to find out what they would like if there were no limits and work to see what's really feasible.
- Work Life Balance - Like you, your employees have an active life outside of work. They want the freedom to be able to attend their child's soccer game or take a long weekend. The flexibility of their schedule and the amount of PTO an employee has can be a huge attraction to a candidate. This obviously needs to be balanced with what the company needs. It's the norm in many companies to base PTO off seniority. That's fine in many cases, but if you're trying to land a candidate with a lot of experience, what are the chances they'll want to start at the end of the totem pole again? Be observant of what type of work/life balance is typically offered to the candidate that you are pursuing and make sure you know why your company stands apart from the rest.
- Culture and Environment - 40 hours a week is a long time to spend at a place you don't like or with people that you can't stand. The vast majority of your employees work to earn a paycheck, but it's also been proven time and time again that people will work for less and be more productive when working in an environment they enjoy. What makes your company stand out? Why would someone want to spend 40 hours a week with your staff? With your clients? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you attract the right candidate.
- Opportunity - Another factor candidates consider is their long term future. Is there a future to grow within the company? Will they be stuck in neutral or will their career be off to the races?
Don't stop with the elements that we've discussed. Take time to survey your current employees. Review those employees that left your company. Get to know why an employee would WANT to work for you, because until you are able to answer this question with clarity it's going to be difficult to attract the talent that you want. Don't forget to follow us next week as we look at the next step in recruiting.