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There’s a palatable sense of urgency that comes with the lower unemployment rates we are experiencing right now. While there are still plenty of people looking for new work, the competition among employers to hire them is stiff. 

Employers trying to attract, retain, and grow the talent needed to fulfill customer obligations, expand into new markets, and drive toward strategic goals must be nimble and quick to get their pick of the best talent out there.  

Here are a few suggestions to help you adeptly leap over or, at the very least, navigate around heated challenges in today’s job market. 

Recruiting: Promote your EVP. By now, I hope you have identified and are showcasing your Employee Value Proposition; those attributes that make you a better employer than others. Candidates will dig deeper when they have other employment options. Arm your recruiters with the right information about total rewards, company values, career growth, culture, and all the details that matter to your candidates. 

Hiring: Be efficient. While the advice we’ve all heard about hiring slow and firing fast still rings true, it does not mean that you have the luxury of drawing out the hiring process. Your candidates are looking at other positions, too. Keep your process efficient and get the buy-in from hiring managers and interview committee members to help move the process along without the delays of forgotten meetings and trouble prioritizing interviews.  

Interviewing: Prep your managers. While I highly recommend a good refresher course on behavioral interviewing, I also recommend a storytelling workshop for your hiring managers. Why? Because sharp candidates want the story behind the words in your catchy job ads or the eloquent prose from your website. A good interview gives both sides the opportunity for professional truth and transparency. Managers who have a compelling, personal story to illustrate what it’s really like to work at your company will have stronger interviews and better hiring records.  

Retaining: Career paths count. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that everyone younger in their career wants nothing more than a quick trip to the top of the corporate food chain. That overused generalization is not fair and just not correct. What is fair to assume is that your professionals want to know that they will be in a job where they can grow professionally; meaning a greater breadth of experiences, deeper subject matter expertise, access to new ideas, and the opportunity to contribute more and more over time. These things may or may not lead to multiple promotions. Can you articulate the typical and not-so-typical career paths that your employees have taken over time? 

Recycle: What have you tried before that could work again? Could you blow the dust off an old employee referral program to get a bigger pool of qualified applicants? When was the last time you reached out to alumni? Former employees (those you would hire back) might be out there wondering if they would be welcomed back. Give them a call. 

The very best approach to keeping your company from getting scorched in a hot market is to implement a plan in which recruiting, HR, hiring managers and interview teams work together toward creative, efficient, and purposeful hiring.  

Please reach out if you need help with your talent strategy or manager training. 



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