The following is the latest guest blog entry from Greater Boston Chamber members detailing valuable strategies and insight for the Greater Boston business community.
If you’re in charge of recruiting and hiring, you already know what I’m about to tell you: the 2015 job market has shifted significantly and employers are finding that recruiting has become a considerable challenge.
The most recent numbers from the State’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development show that the Massachusetts unemployment rate is the lowest since 2007– dipping below 5 percent (the national average is 5.5 percent). However, if you look at the reports by education level, as the Wall Street Journal did, you can see that the unemployment rate for workers with a college degree is 2.7 percent.
What can employers do to keep their recruiting and hiring momentum going in such a competitive market? Here are a few tips:
1). Make sourcing and recruiting an ongoing effort – Don’t just flip on recruiting mode only when you have an opening. In today’s market it’s important to keep a consistent presence. If you frequently need to fill positions with very specific or hard-to-find skill sets, you want to keep in touch with all of your candidates – past and present – to continually build your network. Cultivate your most qualified contacts on LinkedIn; for example, once you’re connected, stay in touch with them, comment on their posts, and include them in your updates. Invite them to meet with you for a discussion of future roles that may come up with your organization.
2). Be open-minded – Try to evaluate your needs and your open requisites regularly. If you’re having a difficult time filling certain positions, consider whether there is anything you can change to make them more appealing or easier to fill. If the right candidate comes along, can you bring them on board and tailor your job requirements to their abilities? Consider which requirements are truly ‘must-have’ and which ones you could give up if a ‘good enough’ candidate came along.
3). Be nimble – In the current market candidates are receiving multiple job offers with very competitive benefits. If your interview process is one that drags on and involves multiple office visits, you risk losing a candidate’s interest. Can you use technology to speed your process up, e.g. Skype vs in-person interviews? Is there a way to share information more expediently to eliminate redundant interivews?
4). Hire experts – Consider supplementing your in-house staff with outside experts who specialize in recruiting and staffing. Staffing firms offer a wide range of services, and many have expertise in specific industries or job functions. After all, they do this every day.
Jeanine Hamilton is president of Hire Partnership, a minority- and woman-owned SDO-certified, full-service staffing and workforce solutions firm serving Boston-area businesses. She can be reached at email@example.com.