The uneven talent landscape: How employers are reacting to economic pressures and staffing shortages

Read on to learn more about labor market challenges and the strategies and solutions that organizations can consider to manage these issues effectively.

Amidst the ongoing talent shortage, recruiting teams have responded with novel approaches to these challenges. Fortunately, a dependable and effective staffing firm can go a long way toward supporting your company's talent needs, regardless of market conditions.

With overabundant demand for skilled employees, considering every option for recruitment will be vital for success in the short term and beyond. These conditions have created a new dynamic — employers exploring all options, including high-level search strategies, in order to fill positions throughout their organization.

How has the current labor market influenced talent searches?

A survey conducted by Harris Poll, on behalf of CNBC and gender equality firm Catalyst, found that half of all U.S. workers want to make a career change in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Common motivations noted in the survey include:

  • Current employers failing to address work-related concerns during a pandemic.
  • A general desire to have a more flexible schedule and a fully remote work environment.

What trends are recruiters and experts from Beacon Hill seeing in the recruitment space today?

  • Job seekers finding issues with an employer's corporate social responsibility: That includes issues with an employer's approach to DEIB initiatives or the general social values their organization demonstrates.
  • Applicants' growing desire for work-from-home opportunities: The current candidate pool is hyper-focused on more flexible schedules and working environments.
  • Higher wages to attract top talent: The median advertised salary among our clients has increased in recent years, underscoring that businesses are paying higher wages to attract top talent.
  • A candidate-driven market: Skilled candidates hold additional leverage in the current job market, meaning they have the power to be selective and hold out for the best offer.

What strategies are companies considering to fill talent gaps?

Despite the recent news of massive layoffs at major American companies, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports over 10 million job openings in the economy as of this January — 30% higher than at any time pre-pandemic. The report also confirms the level of employees quitting their jobs continues to be higher than at any point prior to 2020. This indicates that talent shortages persist and talented professionals are willing to move on from their current roles.

In light of these circumstances, what options do employers have to attract top talent?

Companies in need of a talent influx have turned in increasing numbers to nontraditional hiring and retention strategies. These include:

  • Re-examining qualifications: The best talent doesn't always have the best degrees. Especially in light of increased dropout rates fueled by the pandemic, many skilled professionals and entry-level candidates may not have the requisite educational attainment to qualify for traditional requirements. Evaluating the job description and amending it to account for expertise and experience obtained outside of traditional avenues is an effective way to broaden the pool of potential candidates.
  • "Screening In:" As reported by the Society of Human Resource Management, an over-reliance on skills assessments and paring down applicant pools have led to a widespread misalignment between the developmental potential of candidate pools and employers' perception of the market. The process of "screening in" candidates — as opposed to screening out — identifies potential hires based on a core set of competencies, and then relies on internal training and learning and development to bring the employee into the right role.
  • Redefining talent strategy: Historically, comprehensive hiring strategies such as executive search, which often involves a months-long process between a talent acquisition partner and a hiring company, were reserved for only the highest levels of an organization. Depending on the need, these searches have become more common for non-executive positions, as agencies have the expertise and capacity to identify talent in extremely challenging conditions that individual businesses may not have the resources for.

What are the benefits of retained and hybrid search for non-executive roles?

When recruiting skilled employees outside of director-level roles and the C-suite, the high degree of commitment offered by recruiters in retained and hybrid searches can be especially valuable for your organization.

How do these searches support more informed and effective decisions?

  • They involve regular conversations about the role and its demands.
  • They require regular updates on candidates' progression.

Why do retained and hybrid searches emphasize frequent updates?

Since desirable candidates may receive a number of competitive offers in a short period of time, extensive interactions between the recruiter and partner company can help steer the process toward positive results.

How do these searches leverage valuable recruiter connections?

The existing, extensive connections that recruiters have with talent markets offer businesses valuable advantages. A strong understanding of current conditions can support all searches, especially in hybrid and retained approaches.

How do retained and hybrid approaches ensure recruiters remain accountable?

As businesses cover initial payments for these searches, they establish a mutual commitment on the part of hiring firms, which must provide relevant, effective and desirable candidates, staying responsible for their shortlists.

How do these types of searches demonstrate a commitment to candidates?

Once candidates learn that only one firm is conducting the search, or that recruiters frequently speak to the partner business about progress, they may feel satisfied that your company is fully invested in filling the open role. The additional attention given to candidates and increased discretion around recruiting communications can also lead to positive perceptions on their part.

How can your company make the most of retained and hybrid searches?

  • Remain open to frequent communication: Make sure any requested data is swiftly available and share any new developments that could influence the search.
  • Offer details early on: Reveal as much information about the open position as possible with your recruiter, including core job responsibilities, basic compensation, company culture, team structure, DEIB initiatives and work-from-home policies.
  • Discuss the reality of the labor market: Your ideas should align with the desires of candidates in such a unique job market. Take your firm's recommendations into account as they have a deep understanding of candidate priorities.

Effectively source talent in an extraordinary market

Beacon Hill brings plenty of advantages to each and every talent acquisition project. We can help you address your company's hiring needs with:

  • Deep networks.
  • Extensive background in recruiting.
  • The ability to source diverse talent from nontraditional pipelines.

To learn more about working with our dependable and experienced recruiters, get in touch with us today.

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