pumpkinAs a Market Leader in the recruiting world for over 11 years, I’ve experienced a true dichotomy of market conditions.  Just 7 or 8 years ago, finding and hiring good, talented people was a much different process.  We had to down-select from too many qualified people to get to a manageable shortlist of possible individuals for interviews.  However, it really hasn’t been that way for at least a year, probably more.  We now have the opposite problem.  Have you tried to hire someone lately? It’s SPOOKY out there!

The most recent US Department of Labor numbers from September 2017 reveal the following scary truth: the unemployment rate for those with Bachelor’s degrees dropped again to 2.3%.  Without getting into all the details here, this number represents practically FULL employment for those individuals with a 4-year college degree.  Obviously, there are exceptions and these numbers are not perfect, but as a general observation, this candidate market is super tight for companies looking to hire.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a wizard’s wand to wave and fix this complex problem.  However, there may be a few things you can do as a hiring manager or as an organization to quickly mitigate the issue:

  • Make sure you have an ACTIVE college recruiting and talent acquisition program. My most forward-thinking clients are working aggressively at the fresh graduate level to build a pipeline of talent in succession-planning style.  If you don’t have one, build one.This can also apply to networking, in general.  Use Job Fairs, local events and other networking groups to build a network of people you MAY need to hire in the future.  Use social media to expand networks and gather followers for the FUTURE.  Too many times, we are turning to Social Media when we NEED someone… bad idea.  Build a future pipeline.
  • Use the “Three-Quarter Rule” to make hiring decisions. List your 4 most critical requirements and seriously consider solid people with 3 of the 4.  In a market like this you have to be willing to invest some time in training and developing people moving from a different industry or specialty.  Think about putting more value on softer skills such as the ability for someone to learn quickly and apply what they learn; you can use carefully crafted questions and references to uncover this information.
  • Stream-line your offer process. I recently worked with a manager that lost their position due to a lay-off.  Within 3 days, they had 7 interviews (some by phone) and 2 offers.  That is how fast it can move.  What I liked about my client’s interview and offer process was that all the decision-makers were involved in ONE on-site interview and they made the decision in 24 hours.  I was able to help craft a competitive offer and deliver it within 24 hours of the interview.  It took less than 72 hours to move from FIRST presentation to OFFER acceptance.  Admittedly, that was unusually fast, but you have to stream-line this process if you want to actually compete for talent.  Being blunt, you don’t really have the luxury of thinking it over or holding out for someone better (the elusive “perfect” person; that’s right I said it, and they don’t exist).  Find someone good and move. Period. I wrote a more detailed article about how to streamline your offer process and you can check it out by clicking HERE

If you can quickly implement these ideas, you may be able to move your hiring process from SPOOKY to SMOOTH.  Don’t’ be frightened by the market, instead create strategies to work within it.  Hopefully, you can use these to improve your business, revenue and profit.

About the author: Eric Murphy
Market Manager, Engineering and Manufacturing Services at Xcentri

A Senior Recruiter for over 11 years, Eric consults with market leaders in the greater Charlotte and upstate area to find and deliver individuals in the engineering and manufacturing space.


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