Hiring skilled tech talent during one of the most competitive job markets in years has posed a host of challenges, good and bad. The working-age population (18 – 64 years) isn’t growing at the same rate it once was and some older workers have opted for early retirement given the conditions. Rapid digital transformation is changing the workplace and the workforce. Many available workers lack the right skills needed for open jobs. The lingering pandemic has introduced new obstacles such as skilled workers being unavailable to work due to the fear of getting or spreading COVID-19 and limited childcare options as a result of virtual learning orders. And the list goes on.
Labor shortages have forced some companies to play it safe, by not taking or bidding on new projects, waiting to launch new products and not offering their full spectrum of services, preventing growth and limiting revenue. Companies must work harder than ever to maintain product integrity and quality of service when staffing shortages threaten to compromise adequate support.
How can you attract the talent you need to grow and stay competitive? Below are some suggestions that we have found very useful to find top talent in today’s market.
Capitalize on potential.
Candidates that are available and want to work may not have all the skills or experience you’re looking for. However, this skill gap gives employers the opportunity to train and coach them. Investing in professional development is a great foundation for a long-term relationship. Keep an eye out for these transferable skills and traits:
- Coachability – seeks feedback
- Principle – understands what’s right and wrong
- Versatility – can handle different tasks
- Resourcefulness – can discover creative ways to complete a project
- Resiliency – can bounce back after a setback
- Confidence – can handle the pressure
- Work Ethic – hard worker
- Loyalty – willing to be in it for the long run
Move quickly, but carefully.
There’s a ton of competition out there and you don’t want to miss out on a talented person because you were waiting until you conduct more interviews or want to see more people for the sake of seeing more people. In this market, if you know that the right individual is sitting across from you, chances are they have or are likely to get multiple offers so don’t hesitate to offer them the job. If you’re 85% of the way there on a particular candidate, make the offer!
Compensation and benefits.
As mentioned above, you’ll need to move quickly to get the candidate(s) you’re looking for. Consider increasing your compensation package to give yourself a competitive edge. The most obvious way to achieve this it to increase the hourly wage or salary. You may also look at alternative or additional ways to increase benefits and attract job seekers such as:
- Bonuses or commissions
- Insurance: medical, vision, dental, life, short and/or long-term disability
- Product or service discounts
- Parking or transportation
- Tuition reimbursement
- Skills development
- Food & beverage vouchers
- Flexible work hours
- Gifts, activities & events
- Employee recognition
- Paid time off (PTO)
- Retirement savings
- Stock options
- Wellness incentives
Culture is a deal maker.
The hiring process may just be the most important of all customer experiences. Employees want more than just the ability to utilize their skills. Beyond liking what they do, they want to feel connected and develop relationships. It’s incredibly important to pay attention to cultural fit. When employees are aligned with their coworkers and company values, they are intrinsically motivated, making them happier, more engaged, and ultimately more productive.
Make sure to include information about your culture and company values to help candidates picture themselves working for your company and inspire them to apply.
Offering employees the flexibility to get their work done when it is best for them is a win-win situation. They get a better work-life balance, whether that means working from home or working outside the traditional 8-5 workday and employers get a higher level of productivity and dedication.
Flexibility can also be upskilling or reskilling. As mentioned above, investing in an employee’s professional development lays the foundation for a long-term relationship. Workers are able to stay employed and continue to grow as businesses evolve and companies retain loyal employees and save on hiring and onboarding costs.
We anticipate that as more of the population gets vaccinated, schools return to in-person learning and more businesses are able to operate closer to full capacity, we will find a better equilibrium between the supply and demand in the labor market.
We believe that with these suggestions in mind for your next search, you will be more likely to find the right candidates for your roles. As always, should you need the help of experienced, trusted industry veterans, we here at Align Workforce Solutions are ready to assist you with filling your direct-hire, project-based or temporary roles.