Finding the right time to hire

As workers relocate across the country, expand their work base, and shift America’s commuting boundaries, the talent pool available to companies has grown exponentially. It also means that prospective employees are willing to wait for the perfect opportunities (or move on to greener pastures) when choosing their next position. With so many unknowns in the ever-changing job market, it can be difficult for organizations to know when to make hiring decisions. Hire too early, and you may be running on thin margins. hire too late and you risk burning out key employees.

Here are some strategies that can help HR departments understand the current job market and decide when and how to hire strategically.

1. Change your recruiting mindset

According to Dr. Dan Harrison, founder and CEO of Harrison Assessments, a predictive talent acquisition assessment focused on helping HR and talent management professionals throughout the talent lifecycle, companies need to adjust their mindset when searching for potential employees.

“Many companies approach talent management with a finite (or win-lose) mindset. Finding more people and hiring the best talent is seen as critical to ‘winning’ the talent game,” says Harrison. “Although there may be some true to this concept, such a narrow view of talent management causes leaders to lose sight of the purpose of continuing the game (ie, to approach recruiting, developing and retaining top talent as everyone’s business, with no winner or loser) .

To help hiring managers interrogate their current mindsets, Harrison lists several possible strategies that can help create an “inexperienced mindset.”

  • Offer real and exciting benefits: Solicit employee feedback on their needs and follow up by providing more employee benefits, additional PTO, hybrid work options, or other benefits employees desire.
  • Create mutually beneficial relationships: All employees are different. Great leaders should get to know their employees to ensure their skills and interests match their current role, leading to greater workplace satisfaction and greater engagement.
  • Make talent management a team effort: If everyone works together to create a positive, rewarding workplace, everyone can take on their role within the company. Tailor communication channels to employee preferences and encourage your company’s leadership to consider employee well-being when making large-scale decisions.

2. Know the value of communication

No one likes to be left out of the loop. One of the most consistent complaints I’ve heard from job seekers is the frustration of intensive hiring processes and a lack of communication from managers.

Imagine you’ve gone through the application process, updated your resume, created a cover letter, and attended an interview. Each of these steps takes time, forcing candidates to wait days, weeks and, yes, even months between the next step. At each stage, companies have the ability to communicate with job seekers.

When looking to bring in new talent, company leadership and your hiring team should create an application communication plan. Decide at the outset what deadlines and processes you will share with candidates. For example, if your company has decided on two rounds of interviews (one initial interview with the hiring manager and a second interview with leadership), let potential hires know.

Likewise, set clear expectations when you invite them to continue their application. Are candidates expected to complete an exam or provide a portfolio of work? Should candidates wait for a trial project? By setting clear expectations for candidates, you give them the opportunity to prepare and present their best work.

3. Create a “cash plan” to stay flexible

As much as economists like to predict the future, the reality is that it’s best to prepare for a few surprises. With price increases in transportation costs, housing and daily necessities, employment is similarly in a state of flux. To make ends meet, many households are reassessing their needs and looking for higher paying positions with better benefits and more stability.

One of the best ways to plan for these times of financial turmoil is to create an accurate headcount plan that includes current employees, unfilled roles and company needs. Talent acquisition leaders and managers must be creative in their recruiting solutions and remain flexible as they strive to meet their growth and profit expectations.

For example, the growing gig economy has increased the number of experienced freelancers and contractors in the workforce. A company looking to cut some departments and roles may find hiring freelancers a viable option instead of investing in a full-time employee. Instead, managers should collaborate across departments and consider expanding roles or offering an internal promotion to increase retention rates.

Don’t forget recruitment logistics. Communicate with your talent acquisition teams to coordinate large-scale hiring plans or potential layoffs. Can they handle the number of potential candidates you plan to interview, or will you need to hire new recruiters and HR first?

Although the current upheavals in the market may seem overwhelming and incomprehensible, there are solutions to today’s hiring issues. Companies that cultivate this “infinite mentality” and build a reputation for communication will always attract quality candidates. When leaders create positive and innovative work environments, the economy, the labor market and workers benefit.

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