How to hire in a multiple-offer job market

What a difference a year makes. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were dealing with double-digit unemployment rates. Now, companies are tripping over themselves to hire talent. And candidates (even entry-level) hold all the power in what some are calling “the hottest job market since the dot com era.”

So, what is a hiring manager to do? That’s where my colleagues and I come in. As experts in the staffing industry, we can help you navigate this volatile hiring market and land the candidates you’re looking for.

Our advice to hiring managers:

Speed is the name of the game.

Candidates are moving quickly through the hiring process, so you have to move fast as well. It’s akin to how quickly buyers have to bid on a house sight unseen in this unprecedented housing market. So, keep your schedule open to review resumes, conduct interviews, etc. Block off time on your calendar to do these hiring tasks and get the feedback to your recruiting partner ASAP to keep the process moving.

We’ve missed out on candidates alongside our clients recently, so we’re speaking from experience. For example, we submitted four candidates for a UX position and within a week, all of them were off the market. We went through three vicious cycles of submitting and losing candidates and the role is still open. Other companies had snatched up this in-demand talent because they beat our client to it.

Streamline the interview process.

Two interviews are pretty standard. Sometimes, companies will do one and done. But other times, they go into three interviews (maybe more) and that can play into losing candidates to other offers. While you’re doing three interviews, another company out there could be doing one or two and get an offer out and seal the deal. One way to speed up the process is by conducting some or all the interviews via video call and keeping it to a two-round process.

The price has to be right.

Make sure your pay rate is what the market demands. And that they’re flexible. If the trends are higher than what you’re offering, be open to increasing it. If you’re unsure, ask your recruiting partner. We have data and tools available that show what the market is dictating for specific roles, years of experience, location, etc. And we’re happy to share that information with you. The safe way to buy a house right now is to go in over asking price. The same thing applies to talent right now. If you like someone, give them an offer over their rate to get them to accept your offer and not even consider counteroffers from their current employer or your competitors.

Be open to remote workers.

The pandemic set the work-from-home status quo at 100% of the time. Now that the economy is slowly re-opening, many workers don’t want to go back to an office. Research from Willis Towers Watson shows 85% of U.S. employees who worked remotely during the pandemic prefer to work either remotely or in hybrid arrangements permanently. I think it’s all about being flexible and helping to meet the needs of the employee as well as your own. It not only widens your candidate pool – which is extremely tight right now – but it could also sell the candidate on your company instead of going to one that is offering remote and/or hybrid work arrangements.

We are in the midst of the “great resignation” in which employees are quitting their jobs as they reassess their career, life, happiness, financial situation, return to office, etc. In fact, a record 4 million Americans quit their jobs in April, according to the Labor Department. Don’t be so inflexible that you become a victim of the great resignation as well.

Beware of the counteroffer.

Whether we like it or not, candidates are getting counteroffers from their current company and your competitors. And, more frequently, they are accepting them. Be prepared for this situation to come up. And read our blog, “Why you should never accept a counteroffer,” for ways to sell against the dreaded counteroffer.

Over-communicate with your staffing partner.

Stay in constant communication with your staffing company during the sourcing, recruiting and interviewing process. We can update you on how it’s going, help set priorities based on candidates that have offers and even what’s going on in the market. Lean on us to take some of the hiring tasks off your plate.

Believe it or not, there are some things that candidates can do to help get through this wild and crazy job market as well.

Our advice to candidates is:

  • Don’t ever accept a counteroffer.  Most of the time, it’s not your best option and you end up leaving the company anyway (or even get let go). While the counteroffer and promises of change may seem good on the surface, figures from the National Employment Association reveal that 80% of those who accept counteroffers end up leaving within the next six months.
  • Be honest with your recruiter. About everything, but especially your desired pay rate. Be upfront about what you’re looking for. We need to submit you with the pay rate where you want it. It’s very difficult to go back to negotiate with the client after you’ve been submitted. And if we do, you need to have a really good reason to go back for more money – like if a job description changes during the interview. But that’s very rare.
  • Remember, we want everyone to be happy. We’re working for you and the client, so we want to find an employee/employer match that makes everyone happy in the end. This goes back to being honest with your recruiter. Having all the information upfront makes for a more positive experience for everyone involved.
  • Be flexible. Be open to a hybrid situation or flexible schedule instead of all remote. Remote work is not ideal for every job or every company, so just keep that in mind and be open to alternatives. Don’t completely shut down a company that’s not willing to offer 100% remote positions.

These are crazy times we live in and we all just need to adjust and work together to find the best solution for everyone. It may sound corny, but we truly want what’s best for our clients and candidates. We’re hyper-focused on working toward that perfect match between candidate and client. So, you could say, we’re kind of like matchmakers looking to bring talent and great opportunities together.

Let us help you find talent for your team! Reach out to us for a strategic consultation catered to your specific needs.


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