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Recruiting and Retaining Talent in 2019: The Grind

Recruiters report that is has not been this difficult to recruit talent since the go-go days of the 1990s Internet Market Boom; What does this mean for capturing talent today in 2019 Recruiting is hard work at any time, though it is much more difficult when everyone already has a job.

Recruiting in 2019 is especially difficult with low unemployment, rising wages, tax law changes that make some geographies less desirable, and a general climate that favors the 'employee' and their terms. A recent Article in Investors Business Daily (IBD) talked about the current times; More candidates ghosting.... going through the process and then just disappearing like a ghost, not completing, going silent, just burning up company resources for a phantom employee. More candidates saying that they are willing to take a new position but demanding better terms, playing one offer against another, sometimes to keep their current job and boost their pay and benefits.

More candidates creating demands for better pay, benefits, work conditions, etc. It is definitely a seller's market for labor.

One survey that I read said that 77% of employees would be open to looking at another position right now? What? This will mean disaster for your company if your best talent leaves you.

So in this environment, what are you doing to find, screen, and book top talent? Here are some things we are doing ourselves or advising our clients to do:

  1. Improving your company/client reputation is a must; if you have bad scores on Glassdoor or Yelp, you are doomed. We are finding 2/3rds of candidates that initially express interest in a position will drop out when they read the poor reviews.

  2. Improving your website appeal to attract the type of employees you want to attract. If you have a clunky old website that speaks of yesterdays technology this will not be attractive to top candidates.

  3. Improve your health benefits. Candidates that say they will not leave for more pay, would leave for a better health benefits package. As health insurance gets increasingly expensive, this can be a competitive advantage for your company.

  4. Conduct a competitive salary analysis for all of your key positions and increase pay of your team members before they consider leaving you.

  5. Share a three-year vision with your employees giving them training and growth opportunities, and this will help keep them.

  6. Consider putting deferred compensation away for your employees, that they will lose if they leave you early.

  7. Start planning now for your next generation of leaders coming from the Millennial ranks; at the current labor market forecast, within 5 years, 72% of the workforce will be millennials, unless the economy is so bad that older workers stay on because they cannot retire.

  8. Start interviewing your competitions best employees and create a relationship with them, inviting them to come to you first if they decide to leave their current place of employment.

  9. Create a long-term recruiting strategy and bench to fill your positions, and develop your talent.

  10. Get your hiring team real proficient with Linkedin Sales Navigator, and develop your contacts leads for each position you think you might need. We are finding that for our current searches, in addition to Push (advertising and postings) of positions, that we are needing to do the assertive contacting of potential candidates (pull tactics) literally contacting, warming, and cultivating candidates to be interested in our positions. This last part is the real grind; about 85% of the working candidates you talk to will not be interested in making a switch, so there is much work to be done to harvest a few candidates that are working and would be interested in your great position when they learn of it.

  11. Temporarily increase your bounty for key employee placements; The average US bounty for jobs is $500 to $2000 per position, with much more for professional, STEM, and IT positions. Interestingly, when I spoke to a Vistage group in San Jose, CA, earlier this month, they said the bounty is now $10,000 per position in Silicon Valley.... certainly a sign of a bubble like job market for this geography.

  12. Consider automating tasks to reduce the need for scare talent, as automation will reduce your need in your plan for additional employees that are getting harder to find.


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