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Hiring Manager Advice: How to Hire in a Candidate-Driven Market

The market is hot, hot, hot for job seekers. The unemployment rate is close to its lowest point in decades, job growth is rampant, and wages are rising. While this is great news for job seekers and something to celebrate as a country, it’s not the ideal scenario for employers with a shortage of talent. The large pool of opportunities for job seekers creates a tight labor market for employers and hiring managers.

How can employers compete to hire and retain top talent in this competitive market?

Be Aware of the Job Market

Wes Jones, Birmingham’s IT Recruiting Manager, said that hiring managers first need to be aware of the market. A power shift has occurred. Wes emphasized, “The candidate has the power.” Not only are there more job openings than there are candidates looking for work, The Wall Street Journal reports that today’s job seekers are often juggling multiple offers at once.

Speed Up Your Hiring Process

In this job market, you must be ready to make a hire—there is no time for lollygagging! Ben Branch, ITAC Partner and Director of IT Sales, expressed that “the companies that are getting the top talent here in Birmingham are the ones that move fast and stay flexible.”

Likewise, Ginny Martinez, ITAC Senior Business Development Manager, said, “With the employment rate being as low as it is right now, most qualified candidates are already working, and top-notch candidates are not on the market long.” In fact, according to CNBC, 70 percent of applicants will lose interest in a role if they have not heard back from the employer a week after the first interview. All in all, if you interview a candidate with the right skills, experience and values, make an offer ASAP before loosing him/her to a competitor.

Prioritize the Candidate Experience

Be transparent about your hiring process. “I often hear that candidates don’t get the feedback that they need,” Wes noted. “Be transparent. Candidates want to know where they stand in the process at all times.” Explain to the candidate what he/she should expect and in what timeframe. Ginny advises hiring managers to have a check-in method with candidates to make sure they are still interested and viable candidates.

Essentially, in this candidate-driven market, time is of the essence. Need help? ITAC is here to help you through the hiring process and secure the best candidate for the job.