I have seen a lot of companies over the last several years struggle to fill certain positions. Most of these positions tend to be either Information Technology or Engineering related. With the unemployment rate nearing what the government refers to a “full employment”, it is understandable why filling certain jobs has become a real challenge.
Rather than sit back and hope that the perfect candidate falls into your lap, companies need to look at their sourcing and recruiting methods and processes and determine what needs to change.
1. Are we too strict with our job requirements?
I see this as the main culprit to not filling jobs. Many companies have job descriptions that have requirements that are way too restrictive. Rather than have 7 or 8 MUST have requirements that must be satisfied, re-look at the requirements to see if any of the MUST haves can be converted to NICE TO HAVE. With a certain amount of training, you could get new hires to the level that you seek.
2. Can we be more flexible with the role?
Many companies today still do not offer employees some work from home flexibility or the ability to perform a role remotely. There is very little cost or downside to offering this flexibility and not having it, puts your company at a major disadvantage to those companies who do offer such flexibility. Offering this option will also great increase the pool of potential candidates for your roles.
3. Are our salaries competitive?
Because of the slow economic conditions over the last 8 or so years, companies have offered current employees very minimal annual raises. When they get to the point of hiring again, they are quite shocked to see what certain hard-to-fill roles command in today’s market. These companies struggle to come up with competitive offers because of concerns with internal equity. In order to attract star candidates, companies are going to have to make very compelling offers or risk losing the candidates to another companies.
4. Are our benefits competitive?
While base salary and bonus potential seem to be the key components in any job offer, having a competitive benefits package is a close second in priority. Having a benefits package that is both comprehensive and priced well are very important to landing star candidates. One area where I see companies struggle is offering competitive vacation or PTO levels to experienced candidates. It is not realistic to expect an experienced candidate to drop from 3 or 4 weeks vacation back to 2 years vacation. Companies need to make these candidates “whole” in order to be competitive in today’s employment market.
5. Is our interview process too cumbersome?
In a softer job market, companies could take their time with the hiring process. This would include multiple phone or onsite interviews as well as extended time between these interviews. Ina a soft job market, candidates do not have many options and, thus, are compelled to wait. As the job market heats up, the opportunities for candidates increases, and therefore, companies must speed up the timing of their hiring process in order to capture the star candidates. Remember, everyone is looking to hire stars, and stars don’t stay on the market very long!
Hopefully, these points will help your company make the changes necessary to improve your hiring rate and fill more jobs.