The pandemic completely changed the recruiting and hiring landscape. Two years later, recruiters and hiring managers must adjust their talent acquisitions to meet the demands of a job market controlled by worker expectations of fair pay, flexibility, and upstanding corporate values.
“Any talent strategy written before the pandemic isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Everything has changed,” says Roberta Matuson, President of Matuson Consulting.
Here are three ways employers can adjust their talent acquisition strategies to remain competitive in the new normal.
Compensation matters. In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that wages and salaries rose 5% for private industry workers in the U.S. — up from 3% in 2021. The statistic reflects the increasing pressure employers are under to raise salaries and hourly wages to remain competitive in today’s hiring market.
Compensation is a significant factor in attracting new talent and retaining current employees, and the goalposts have moved. Matuson recommends conducting a salary survey immediately if your company hasn’t completed one in the past three months.
“My coaching clients are receiving job offers for way more money than they are currently earning. If you want to be well-positioned to compete for the best, you have to be fully prepared to pay whatever it takes to do so,” she says.
In a worker-driven hiring landscape like the one employers face today, they should prepare to pay employees what they are worth for their skills and experience.
“No matter what industry you’re in, the bottom line is that you get what you pay for, and that’s true of employees, as well,” says Jon Hill, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Energists. “If you want to hire top talent, you need to offer them what they’re worth.”
Don’t think you have an employer brand? Think again.
An employer brand describes your organization’s employment experience — its reputation as an employer and why it’s considered a great workplace. Companies leverage this type of branding through social media, job postings, and your employees themselves.
“Your core values, your workplace environment, and your social initiatives are three things job seekers are looking for when applying for jobs,” says Brad Hall, Chief Executive Officer at SONU Sleep. “Prospective candidates want to know you align with your values, you value them and their time as an individual, and that you place importance on the greater good of society.”
Getting your current employees on board to help develop your employer brand on social media is a quick way to build a positive reputation among job seekers.
“Take essential measures to get your firm on social media if you aren’t already. Ask current personnel who are active on social media and interested in helping you improve the company’s social media presence,” says Gerrid Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Smith Digital Marketing. “It will help get your firm out there and build employee pride, but it also positions the organization and builds a network of like-minded peers who can be a source of prospects.”
In North America, job candidate resentment rose from 8% in 2020 to 14% in 2021 — a 75% spike, according to recent Talent Board research.
Why is this important? Because job candidates reporting high levels of resentment are less likely to apply to a company again or refer others. This response shrinks company talent pools and can even influence the purchasing behavior of current or potential buyers for consumer-based companies.
When faced with these negative consequences due to job candidate resentment, employers have even more incentive to create positive candidate experiences.
Employers who adjust their talent acquisition strategies can succeed at hiring skilled, experienced candidates to fill gaps in their workforce — with effort.
Staying adaptable helps employers navigate the current hiring landscape and remain competitive.
“A number of factors have shaped the current talent acquisition landscape, and while the pandemic served as the catalyst, many were developing well before 2020,” Hill says. “All of these factors mean employers have to work harder to find and attract talent than they did a few years ago and need new strategies to do so.”
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