With vaccination rollouts in full swing and companies preparing to bring employees back to the office, businesses are looking towards their future talent needs. An end to hiring freezes is setting the stage for a competitive candidate market–– and companies that adjust their strategies now will be best positioned to land top performers.
In my Sales and Marketing division alone, job orders jumped 53% from October 2020 to February 2021. We’ve seen a similar surge in March and are preparing for a busy spring hiring season. While there are more openings, there are not necessarily more candidates. Yes, some professionals were let go because of COVID-related cuts, but many of these individuals have already been rehired. At the same time, employees who maintained their positions have been focused on simply surviving the last year of remote work, and finding new opportunities isn’t a priority for them.
As a result, candidates who are actively looking for new opportunities are finding that multiple organizations are interested in them and they can be more selective. Yet many companies continue to approach hiring as if it were April 2020, not April 2021, and misunderstand the current market dynamics.
Here’s how to adjust your company’s hiring strategy to land top performers:
The Need for Speed: Accelerating Interview-to-Offer Time
With top talent in high demand, companies are making offers within 48 hours of the final interview. Unfortunately, I’m still seeing some hiring managers take a week or longer to respond to their preferred candidates with an offer, leading to missed opportunities. During this delay, candidates may assume the company is no longer interested and accept more timely offers from competitors. Or, their current companies may counter-offer.
Minimize offer delays by prioritizing your “must-have” versus “nice-to-have” skills and experience requirements in advance. Do your research and know the current market rate (salary and benefits) and align company stakeholders to the proposed offer terms before starting the interview process. Once interviews are underway, move quickly to assemble internal interview feedback and be prepared to present the offer package within 48 hours.
Improving Your Offer Package: Compensation, Perks and Work-Life Factors
There’s a lot for candidates to consider when switching jobs, and while a generous salary can sweeten the deal, it’s just one factor. Upgrade your company’s offer package with the following:
Location flexibility: This is the most important factor for the candidates I place. Remote work has expanded geographic options with some professionals trading expensive urban cities for more affordable locations or to be closer to family. Others simply don’t want to return to their daily commutes. If you want to get the best talent, you have to prepare offers and create environments for people to maintain this work-life flexibility.
Gym memberships: With gyms closed or under capacity limitations last year, many of us turned to home workouts, but the Zoom classes in your living room don’t compare with the real deal. Offering a gym membership – whether that’s to a popular chain or an on-site fitness center in your workplace – shows you’re mindful of your employees’ physical and mental health.
Pet insurance: As quarantine orders began, pet adoptions soared. That hasn’t slowed down over the past 12 months; in fact, rescue animals were named TIME’s 2020 Pet of the Year. Pet insurance or a stipend for pet visits is an unexpected and appreciated perk that shows you’re mindful of a candidate’s personal needs.
Is your company actively hiring or preparing to do so? Share your experiences with the current candidate market in the comments below.
Contact Cindy Ewers at CEwers@lucasgroup.com or 713-470-5706 if you need help bringing in top Sales or Marketing talent.