(April 22, 2022) A dramatic shift in the job market continues to vex recruiting efforts nationwide. The Great Resignation has driven vacancies to an all-time high and experts predict a continuation of this trend for the remainder of 2022. With demand for talent far exceeding supply, the power balance remains firmly on the side of high-value candidates, and businesses should refine their search processes accordingly. We advise our clients to adapt to market changes by focusing on a few key priorities.
Streamline your process: Unnecessary hiccups only encourage your recruit to entertain other opportunities. Know in advance which stakeholders need to be involved in the interview process, and make sure they are available. If the search process is delayed, reach out to subtly reassure the candidate that you are still interested. Similarly, do not expect them to wait around while you mull over your decision for weeks. Top candidates may be fielding multiple offers. Now is the time to take a very pragmatic approach to your choices. If you are 95% sure about a candidate – act on it, or someone else might swoop in while you sweat the small stuff.
Location, Location, Location: The single most common question we hear from candidates these days is, “Can I work from home?” Prospects are far less likely to want to relocate for a job, and we find that most passive candidates are at least looking for hybrid work situations. Many organizations still have not defined their work from home policies, which can cause an attractive candidate to hesitate.
Put your best foot forward: Now more than ever, first impressions count. Anyone acting as the face of your company represents the whole; it is their responsibility to be prepared, attentive and professional. Keep in mind that if you are interested in attracting diverse candidates, they will notice whether they meet any diverse leaders during the interview process. Simple things like being on time, focused (yes – some people try to multitask during interviews) and having an overview of the candidate’s background show a base level of respect that goes a long way.
Remember the bigger picture: The business world is small, and executives often share experiences with their social networks. It is up to you to make sure these are positive anecdotes and not cautionary tales. Candidates who are treated with respect may still have positive things to say about your company, even if they don’t get the job. Behave in a way that leaves an impression of an ethical and forthcoming organization. This leaves recruits open to future engagement, and willing to refer qualified peers.
Present a united front: Urgent recruiting deadlines can easily distract us from the smaller details. Inconsistent messaging and other signs of disorganization are hyper-visible to someone trying to determine if yours is a good place to work. At the very least, members of the hiring team should make sure they are on the same page about key competencies, responsibilities, and deliverables. Candidates should never get the sense that they cannot be sure what they are getting into.
It’s important to keep in mind that today’s job market is substantially different. Your tried and true interview processes may no longer result in the same level of success you may have had in the past. We encourage our clients to match their process with today’s realities.
The Lawrence Advisory are consultants who work with business organizations and individuals on executive search, executive assessment, leadership coaching and organizational development.