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How to handle hiring in a tight labor market

The market is tight, but great talent is out there. Try these strategies to locate it.

How to handle hiring in a tight labor market

For anyone who’s worked in the recruitment profession, you know that hiring can be feast or famine, depending on whether you’re in a tight labor market or if you’ve got a sea of available and qualified candidates. Most of us prefer the latter, but even when the market is tight, there is talent out there. You’ve just got to use the right strategies to find it.

When jobs are plentiful but candidates are scarce, you’ve got to find the hidden unicorns. But when you’re inundated with candidates, you’ve got to be able to identify true talent among the masses. One thing’s for sure: no matter where we are in the market cycle, employers have to work hard to hire the right candidate in a labor market that is changing faster than ever.

When there are more jobs than people looking for them

The U.S. economy is always in a cycle. The Great Recession wreaked havoc in the last decade, then unemployment hit a near 50-year low at the end of this decade. That’s good news for the economy, but a challenge for companies that have to fill open spots.

In a tight labor market, candidates have so many options, says Stephanie Naznitsky, executive director of OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half. “It’s important that a company sell themselves well and paint the picture of what the future will look like for them if the company chooses to bring them on board.”

But job growth is slowing down, according to Bloomberg. The fact is, “the labor force has contracted by more than 600,000 workers this year.” The numbers crunch like this: there are fewer jobs and fewer people looking for them.

Focus on attracting the best workers

So really, it’s the same thing all over again for employers. Whether you’re in a tight labor market or not, you need to focus on attracting the best workers. Here are some tips:

  1. Hone your job description. In a tight market, candidates can pick and choose among opportunities. “The more upfront and honest we can be in the description and in conversations, the better chance we’ll have of landing the ideal candidate,” says human resources consultant Matthew Burr.
  2. Get your brand out there. People who are applying for spots at your firm should understand what your brand means and how it’s reflected in the specific job available. That means HR and marketing working together.
  3. Embrace the technology. Technology can make your search for the best hires easier. For example, Monster allows users to customize searches for qualified job seekers.
  4. Go with the video. In the Insta-age, video images have the potential to go viral on social media and elsewhere. So add some sizzle to your recruiting with video.

Remember to develop your employees

For the most part, recruiting is about looking outward to bring in new hires. Existing employees, however, also bring a lot to the table. Your current workers can be your brand ambassadors — everywhere they go, they’re advertising and informing people about what it’s like to work for your company.

“Employees are a very trusted source of information about a company and whether it’s a good place to work,” says Linda Pophal, owner and marketing communications consultant with Strategic Communications. “It’s important that they’re saying positive things.”

That means crafting a great workplace culture and creating a company that fits what you’re selling. “You can’t just pretend you’re a great place to work,” Pophal says. “It has to be a good place to work, and employees have to like working there.”

Whether you’re in a tight labor market or not, get cutting edge recruiting tips from Monster

Recruiting in a tight job market is a job in itself. However, with the right recruitintg strategy and tools, you can be the company that attracts the best talent. Get help withthis and with understanding the latest hiring trends by utilizing Monster Hiring Solutions and finding great new hires in any market.