The seller’s market
If we consider the catbird seat that today’s candidates occupy, it’s fair to say we’re in the midst of a seller’s market. Sure, it’s a term generally reserved for real estate transactions, yet it seems to bear striking similarities to the current state of employment. Throughout many parts of the United States, homebuyers are expressing their frustrations with the fiercely competitive housing situation: they find the perfect home within their budget, only to end up in a bidding war they often lose; or they discover that another buyer has already beaten them to the deal. Sound familiar? It should. These are the same travails many employers are venting about today, especially as the effects of skills shortages linger.
Realtors and recruiters in a seller’s market share certain traits: both match buyers and sellers, attempting to broker a deal that appeals to both parties, and both must constantly adjust to shifts in the market, where the pendulum of opportunity can swing from buyers to sellers suddenly. They’re also being confronted by new dynamics that are forcing an evolution.
As technology, society and the economy have transformed the global marketplace, the corporate recruiters of today face fresh challenges with skills shortages, a generation of emerging talent with different needs and drivers than their predecessors, and revolutionary changes in the online platforms being used to source top talent. We’re deep in the thick of a paradigm shift where characteristics such as entrepreneurialism, intrapreneurialism, supertemps and the freelance economy have changed the nature of hiring.
The winds of change are blowing
Similar shifts are taking place in real estate. Online markets such as Zillow have made many question the necessity and longevity of real estate agents. They aren’t going away, becoming commoditized or being marginalized, however. They are reinventing their roles in the new systems as experts who lend their insight and knowledge as curators in the process. The same is true of staffing professionals. So how are successful talent acquisition mavens able to thrive in the seller’s market? By changing their approach, their strategies and the way they connect with buyers and sellers.
In many ways, these elite recruiters are embracing new staffing models, such as the entrepreneurial Crowdstaffing solution we discuss in our most recent eBook, “The Next Talent Acquisition Revolution: Crowdstaffing.” And they’re transitioning from roles as sourcers and headhunters to marketing aficionados; by tapping into the same content-rich inbound marketing strategies that companies use to attract clients, they are promoting a more compelling message to potential hires that speaks to emotional needs, connections, cultural fit and mission.
In the first part of this series, we’re going to look at some of the best practices of surviving and flourishing in a seller’s market, and how those methods can apply to recruiters. In part two, we’ll discuss how recruitment professionals can become in-demand recruitment marketing experts that MSPs and their client organizations are seeking.
Conquering the new employment landscape
Adjust to current conditions and change your mindset
We’re no longer in a buyer’s market. We just have to accept that reality. Across all industries, we’re noticing a glut of unfilled job openings. Candidates now have the upper hand in negotiations, and those with highly sought-after skill sets can command greater compensation, incentives and choices in employers. With that in mind, it’s better to focus on placing the right candidates in the right business cultures rather than scouting for talent who present the best deal — meaning their salary requirements are enticingly low, yet their qualifications and experience meet only some of the generic job requirements. Identifying superior workers who will integrate seamlessly with a client organization or MSP program — and who will produce — is a matter of interpretation, interaction and evaluation. If a recruiter happens upon the right candidate at a price the hiring manager can afford, then a great deal has been struck.
Use the right technology tools
Realtors, like recruiters, achieve solid results when they utilize automated search technologies tied directly to an updated, accurate information source. One of the best tools in the housing industry is Realtracs. Secondary sources like Zillow or Trulia often post listings that are outdated, already sold or contain incorrect data. The same holds true for staffing professionals. In a comprehensive review of the entire human resources market in 2014, Software Advice found that small businesses most commonly sought to automate personnel tracking (about 36 percent), applicant tracking (about 35 percent) and performance review (over 20 percent), in that order of importance.
The impetus comes from the need to improve efficiency and accuracy. Performance management has become an increasingly critical business concern for hiring and recruiting. A good number of existing systems are aging or already outdated. Close to 30 percent of the organizations polled admitted that their performance management systems were more than seven years old.
So an ATS that doesn’t integrate with social media, fails to facilitate interactions with candidates, relies on a cumbersome and archaic application questionnaire, or offers no vehicle for business analytics won’t be of much use. There’s a wealth of socialized recruiting platforms emerging that post up-to-date candidate data in real time, use modern algorithms for matching, and facilitate communications.
Growing up online, Millennials have an inherent grasp of technology in the information age. They constantly pore over social networks, 24-hour news aggregators, blogs, research wikis and pop culture sites. Technology defines this generation. They sleep with their smartphones and post status updates from the restroom, the grocery store, the bus stop and anywhere else they happen to be. They interact online at all hours of the day and night, which includes scouring job boards, social networks and mobile employment apps for opportunities. Sharp recruiters begin their searches the minute a job order or requisition becomes available. And they devote the same time on weekends and nights as their prospective talent do. It takes only a few minutes, yet checking in regularly and attempting to connect with talent during off hours makes all the difference.
Compose job offers with diligence and care
A badly constructed offer on a new home will almost certainly kill the deal — not to mention the time and effort a realtor has invested in the process. A strong and compelling offer is equally crucial to recruiters on the hunt for the best talent. According to the most recent MRI Network Recruiter Sentiment Study, 42 percent of candidates interviewed declined to accept job offers. A third of those individuals cited a better offer as the reason. About 26 percent rejected the offers because the compensation and benefits weren’t commensurate with their abilities and skills, or were presented with terms that differed from those discussed.
The job offer must be authentic and drafted with integrity. Top people will remain actively engaged without large compensation packages if the job offers convey greater potential. Savvy staffing partners identify growth and advancement opportunities by using the information they glean from the candidate’s description of his or her background, and they create offers that align with those goals.
Closing the deal
To seek out and place exceptional workers now requires an increasingly more social and engaged strategy. Staffing professionals must become facilitators and partners to candidates, offering coaching and consultative interactions — not merely transactional approaches of matching skills, work experience and compensation to job descriptions. One of the most important ways the talent acquisition elite are achieving and exceeding objectives is by perfecting a more marketing-centric approach to recruiting. In the second part of this series, we’ll explore some key ways staffing pioneers are becoming recruitment marketing masters.
Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community