Are You Able to Find Qualified Talent?

November 24, 2020
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Author: Glenn Hunter

2021 will likely be a comeback year for the U.S. economy. Why?

Though the coronavirus recession persists, the possibility of a vaccine being widely available at the start of next year means filling old positions and hiring new roles will be a big focus in mid- to late 2021, economists at LaborIQ® by ThinkWhy predict.

Finding skilled workers quick enough to meet demand requires thinking outside of the box.

With so many businesses and workers currently struggling to stay above water, you may wonder – who will be hired, and where will this hiring occur? LaborIQ expects most hiring will take place in these industries: Financial Activities; Retail Trade; Health Care; Construction; Professional and Business Services; and Trade, Transportation and Utilities. These are the sectors that have been least impacted by the pandemic, so they’re expected to recover the fastest.

Talent acquisition professionals recruiting candidates in these fields, however, may have an unexpected challenge – finding enough candidates fast enough to fill these open roles. This may be especially true in many heartland and Sun Belt cities. LaborIQ projects there will be stronger hiring and tighter job markets in these cities, including Indianapolis; Austin, Texas; Phoenix; Kansas City, Mo./Kan.; San Antonio; Dallas and Atlanta.

Meeting your hiring needs can be achieved by taking the following steps to tackle the anticipated hiring upturn 2021 will present.

1. Review the requirements of your client or organization to identify the top candidates for the role. If you’re having difficulty filling the role, it may be because the job description doesn’t accurately reflect the daily tasks of the role or doesn’t include the necessary keywords or skills to attract the right candidates. Review the language used to make sure it resonates with the type of candidates you want to apply. You may also want to speak directly with the hiring manager to make sure you’re on the same page about the role’s requirements, how success will be measured and whether the job description accurately reflects these details. Including information about compensation and company culture would also be of interest to job seekers.

2. Adjust how you’re sourcing candidates. Are you casting a wide-enough net to find those top players? The fact is that passive talent – currently employed candidates who aren’t looking for another job – are a massive source of engaged, highly qualified workers. Figure out what would motivate them to switch companies. Many may be willing to leave for the prospect of more money or a better career opportunity. Advertising the job on niche platforms that cater to the role or the industry may also help broaden the talent pool. It might even be worth it to review your applicant database and contact previously interviewed candidates that may be a good fit for this new opportunity. Keeping your options open in a tight labor market will make it easier to find the right candidates.

3. Evaluate salary data to ensure it’s based on current market value. If multiple candidates have told you that the job doesn’t pay enough or candidates are constantly turning down your offers to accept another, then you’re probably not offering a competitive salary for your job market. To determine a realistic salary range, you’ll need a tool that will provide salary answers based on the role’s requirements in the city it will be located. One such tool is LaborIQ® by ThinkWhy.

The software validates salary data and bases its recommendations on the skills, education and experience of the role for the local market, as well as industry and company size. It will also inform you whether the city has a talent shortage or a surplus of qualified applicants to fill the role. If you aren’t able to meet the required salary range, then you may need to reduce the role’s responsibilities and required experience or offer more flextime or professional development opportunities.

4. Consider remote work if suitable to the company and role requirements. If a genuine skills gap exists in the local market, the organization might consider either relocating talent from another market or hiring employees to work remotely from cities where there’s a talent surplus. LaborIQ can help you identify these cities. In addition to enabling recruiters to tap into richer talent pools nationwide, hiring remote workers in cities with lower costs of living could reduce the cost of salaries for clients, even as they bolster their diversity and inclusion efforts.

5. Find candidates in similar roles from other industries. If your development pipeline of qualified candidates remains insufficient, think about expanding the search to include prospects with transferable skills outside your industry. While clients may need to be open to longer-than-usual training periods for these potential employees, hiring such workers can diversify the organization’s existing workforce and bring in new energy and fresh perspectives.

If That Still Doesn’t Fit the Bill

If you’ve reviewed the job criteria, hunted hard for passive candidates, revisited the salary requirements, considered remote work and tapped candidates from other industries, all to no avail, it may be time to evaluate your recruiting process and make some necessary changes to the way the company is “pitched.” Does the person leading your recruitment effort truly know how to find and, importantly, “woo” top talent? It’s an important question to ask if you intend to successfully meet the needs of your client or organization.

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy continuously forecasts and reports labor data at all levels, measuring impact to cities, industries, occupations and business across the U.S.