Hiring has been difficult since 2020, to say the least. With uncertain factors influencing the professional world, many employers froze hiring, let employees go, or furloughed talent until global situations became more secure. Now that business has been picking up, more are seeking to hire.
So what’s the issue?
Businesses began hiring at the same time in Q1 of 2021, and the demand for talent has outpaced the professional pool, among other factors. That means leverage is far higher in the direction of employees, “which has created an anomalous job market we’re all trying to tackle,” says Catapult guest speaker, Will Barfield, President & CEO at Barfield Revenue Consulting.
“It’s harder to find talent, communicate, hire, and get employees to stay now than ever, or at least in the 18 years I’ve been in the industry of hiring.” What strategies can get employers ahead in this trying hiring market?
March’s installment of Thinking Differently discusses Creative Approaches to Recruiting and Retaining. Will Bartfield and Michele Lewis, Veteran Employment Director at North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME), deliver powerful perspectives that can change up your approach to attracting and keeping top-tier employees.
WHAT’S WORKING FOR HIRING?
DIVE INTO NETWORKING
“When it comes to recruiting, use your network,” says Will. “Referrals are important.” Tapping into peers you trust to connect you with potential employees that are serious about their job hunt can help find a pre-vetted candidate. This method is more reliable than just “posting advertisements online alone,” says Will. Why?
“Well, employers placed ads to hire while still on hiring freeze. Even if that was to collect data for future hiring, they didn’t communicate clearly with candidates, and that made that method unreliable.” Consider your professional network for good leads.
It’s also important to consider where your type of hire would be. “LinkedIn works for me because I know sales representatives are on LinkedIn,” advises Will. Whether your channel be social media like Facebook, or ads placed through publications, “you have to recruit creatively and understand the candidates you’re seeking to hire.”
ACT QUICKLY AND DON’T OVERWHELM
In a competitive hiring market, it’s imperative your interview process be streamlined. Shortening the interview process is an approach to seriously consider. “If you’re giving candidates long personality tests over periods of weeks, or not communicating with them regularly, you’re not going to have hiring success,” says Will. “So many businesses are contacting talent every single day. Appoint someone to focus on hiring if need be. Speed is make-or-break,” notes Will.
APPROACH THE MARKET DIFFERENTLY
One source for talent employers shouldn’t overlook is Military Employment. In North Carolina, NC4ME is dedicated to helping transitioning service members, veterans, guard or reserve members, and military spouses find meaningful employment—a service they provide to employers free of charge.
Michele Lewis suggests employers attract, select and retain high-performing talent by considering military personnel who are re-entering the job market post-military retirement.
“Understand that 80% of military operationalists have civilian counterparts,” said Michele. “While they may not have direct skills you’re looking for, they have transferable skills. They learn quickly, communicate effectively, and work well in a team. They can do the same in your company.”
Michele also emphasized military spouses as an excellent pool that NC4ME can connect you with. “Average retention for military spouses is 2.8 years. If you get a high-performing employee who makes a difference for that long, that’s an absolute win,” asserts Michele. “You need employees to work for you right now. Additionally, only 19% of NC employers are using this resource right now! We have employees ready to work for you, just connect with us to get started.”
During the webinar, we polled attending employers and asked how many welcome interns into their strategies. 69% of employers in attendance welcome young professionals. We recommend it!
“Interns are a specialized population,” notes host and Catapult CEO Cheryl Richards, PhD. “It’s important to approach year-round internship opportunities as a pipeline for recruiting and testing. It’s an extended interview to recruit young talent who want to explore your industry.”
At Catapult, we’re excited to launch our new internship program! For employers who already have interns, we provide a support network to help develop young talent by connecting them with the resources and social networks they need to better integrate into today’s working environment. Catapult handles the intern experience with webinars, networking events, best-practices education and so much more.
Interested in seeing more tips on recruiting in today’s job market? Curious about methods to better retain your employees? Review March’s full Thinking Differently recording on our YouTube channel and browse prior webinars to stay up to date on solutions to the biggest challenges your business is facing.
Register for our upcoming Thinking Differently and receive SHRM and HRCI recertification credits for these webinars!