The latest data shows national unemployment rates at 5% and only dropping from there. In February, 242,000 new jobs were created and six straight years of record breaking growth shows no signs of slowing. Locally, the Portland Metro Area’s job growth was among the fastest in the US and it’s unemployment rate has plummeted to 4.3 %, the lowest since the dot.com days. The unemployment rate is half that for those with a college degree.
This scenario creates unique challenges in talent acquisition and employee retention. The post and pray model will not fill candidate pools in this environment. The squeeze is on for businesses to remain competitive in recruitment strategies. What can employers do differently to fill and, more importantly, keep positions filled?
With so few candidates looking for work, the net will need to be cast much wider. The good news is there are many things employers can do to continue to attract top talent. Steven Linder outlines three strategies in his article and not all are direct hits to the bottom line.
Relocation assistance is usually used with higher level positions, but why not consider brining in talent from outside areas for mid and lower level roles, especially when looking for any special skill sets.
Look for other ways to incentivize Work life balance, career advancement and work from home possibilities are all ways to set your company apart in the market place without breaking the bank.
Do something different to motivate candidates to apply. Linder sites a company that made donations to a food bank for every application received over the winter holidays. A full pipeline sets employers up to react quickly when positions open.
Lastly, the best defense is a good offense. In a tight hiring market, the best strategy can be not loosing your current top talent. Studies show engaged employees have 51% lower turnover and 18% higher productivity. Tapping into what engages your employees will not only increase retention, but also helps showcase your organization and makes it attractive to candidates looking to join.