The current U.S. unemployment rate is under 4% – a thirty-year low. That’s fantastic, right? It is always great to have people working.  But, that also means the competition for top talent is fierce. Additionally, when you have positions that require a government security clearance, it is not uncommon to have more openings than you have people to fill them.

That is quite the quandary for your recruitment department. The good news is that according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 51% of U.S. employees say they are actively looking for a new job or frequently watch for new openings.

How, then, do you attract the candidates you desire?  How will you entice them to leave their current job to come work for you?

The answer is not by doing the same thing you have always done. Your recruitment division must be at the top of their game. You need a solid talent acquisition strategy now more than ever.

What Do Job Seekers Really Want?

According to the same report, only 33% of employees are engaged in their job. When you have decreased engagement, employees tend to have a “grass is greener” outlook. They want to see what else is out there.

While we know employees tend to leave their job for a variety of reasons some of the most common explanations are:

  • Career growth opportunities.
  • Benefits.
  • Manager or management style.
  • Company culture.
  • Job fit.

They also want two critical elements:

  • An increase in income.
  • The opportunity to work for a company with a great brand.

You may be thinking that job seekers want the world. They don’t.  But, they do want a career and a job that allows them to do their best work, using their key talents and skills.

What is Your Next Step?

Remember, if you want to recruit a rock star, you must be rock star quality. You want to be known as the company that gets people excited about working there.

Does your company have a recruiting strategy for 2019?

You can design strategies that will increase your talent pool, but this might require a bit of creativity.  And, with the number of people “job ghosting,” it can be challenging.  For the record, job ghosting happens when candidates just disappear – sometimes after accepting an offer. It’s a phenomenon that is on the rise.

Any solid recruitment strategy is grounded in understanding what applicants want. The Gallup survey asked participants how important certain attributes were when considering whether to take a job with a different organization. They found significant factors include:

  • The ability to do what they do best.
  • Personal well-being and work-life balance.
  • Stability and job security.
  • The opportunity to work for a company with a great brand or reputation.
  • An increase in income.

Ah, yes, an increase in income. All companies have budgets.  You might not be able to pay an upper salary to every new hire you make, but understand that income is important. You cannot overlook this importance when unemployment is low.

Think about how you can individualize a compensation package.  Are there benefits that you can offer to candidates that will offset salary dollars? This might include such things as the overall benefits contributions, flexible, alternate, or telework schedules.  Your compensation package should be a holistic individualized approach.

And, then there is your reputation. While the brand of the company may not be the most significant consideration for moving jobs, it is important. How much thought have you given to your reputation? What is your organizational identity? If you don’t know, you have some work to do.

A well-defined organizational brand increases a company’s identity. No employee wants to be embarrassed about the company for which they work.  Branding does not have to include an expensive and massive marking plan. If you don’t have a marketing budget, you can add brand insight with a few simple and intent-driven paragraphs on your web page.

Still, it doesn’t stop there.  Include videos and stories that can build on your reputation. When employees are researching your organization, you want to give them a feel for what it is like to work there. You want them to understand how you are involved with employees, external clients, and the community.

Here’s the bottom line

Have a strategy that:

  • Focuses on true employee engagement.
  • Makes recruitment a top priority with a first-rate talent acquisition strategy.
  • Makes it easy for job seekers to apply. There is no need for a cumbersome application process.
  • Can budget for fair salaries and professional growth opportunities.
  • Can hone your reputation and brand.
  • Is creative with benefits and perks.

If you have been experiencing some pain due to the low unemployment rate, you can combat these hurdles. There is never a silver bullet in recruitment, but you can take this opportunity to create a culture that helps you shine.

Baring legalities, just because something has always been done one way doesn’t mean you must continue down that same path. Set your company apart from the competition and you should be able to fill your requisitions with rock stars.

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Jan Johnston Osburn is a Certified Career Coach and Organizational Consultant. Her organizational specialties are Talent Acquisition, Training, and Leadership Development. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Buckingham, UK, and has certifications in Executive Coaching and Advanced Social Media. Her website is www.JanJohnstonOsburn.Com.