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The Top 5: Steps for Hiring in a Candidate’s Market

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It’s a Candidate’s Market, We Just Live In It

The US Labor Department reported employers added 467,000 jobs in January. By mid-February, the US had the lowest number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits since 1970. This comes as no surprise to our recruiters – they’re busier than ever. But hiring in a candidate’s market requires a fundamentally different mindset than before. Hiring managers still operating like it’s the 2000s are getting a rude awakening. Any company looking to hire right now needs to follow these steps.

  1. Plug the leaks. The job pool is essentially dry which means the best place for your competition to poach new talent is from you! Stop worrying that your employees might start checking their options and assume that that they already are. Instead, take steps to make sure you are the most attractive employer around – if you offer the best compensation, benefits, perks and career path, they won’t want to leave. As a bonus, you’ll have a better chance at wooing new employees with these exact same steps. Two birds, one stone.
  2. Prioritize your hiring team. The current market requires time, focus and rapid response. Your team can’t hire effectively if they’re also juggling dozens of other duties. They have their work cut out for them so make sure they have the dedicated time, resources, and a clear decision-making process so they can focus on the hardest part: finding candidates. And if they come to you with feedback from candidates who pass on your company, don’t bite their heads off – listen to them and take appropriate measures (see Step 1).
  3. Keep the ball rolling. This ties in nicely with Step 2, you have to maintain your momentum throughout the whole process. This will be easier if you shorten and streamline that process. But if you still have several hoops your candidates must jump through, make sure you don’t leave them stranded for days between those hoops. Candidates won’t wait around for you – if they feel abandoned, they’ll go elsewhere.
  4. Promote your job openings. In a tight-knit industry, word of mouth travels fast. So if your opening isn’t confidential, get the word out! Take the time to write a clear and accurate job description that highlights the many pros to joining your company, then post it wherever you can. Set up rewards for referrals from your employees – if you don’t get any bites that may indicate you’re falling behind in keeping them satisfied (see Step 1 again).
  5. Hire for the future, NOW. You can’t hold out for the perfect candidate. If they have some of the foundational experience you need, a good attitude and a williness to learn, you can work with that! You know what you can’t work with? An empty desk. Changing your expectations serves you two ways: it increases your pool of potential candidates and entices these candidates with a career path (once again, see Step 1). Candidates want to be invested in, they want to learn and grow in their careers. As we’ve been saying, this industry is running out of experienced people – you have to invest in folks with less experience now, so they’ll be experienced later. Who knows, perhaps this new sales rep is your future sales manager and that rookie tech is your future team lead!

Notice how we kept bringing up Step 1? That’s because it’s foundational to everything that follows. If your company doesn’t invest in being the best, most attractive employer, you won’t be able to grow. Sometimes, you can only do that by hiring change-makers. If so, be honest with them about your goals and the investment you’re making to acheive those goals. Tell them you need their help to grow and evolve. That will make you more attractive to ambitious candidates who want a project and who will want to be the change your company needs.

Sound like a lot of work?

We recruit for any role from techs to executives and everything in between. We work to find industry-experienced professionals and bring in new talent from comparable fields. We are dedicated to helping the industry’s top employers grow and evolve in every economic climate. Contact us today to learn how we can help!