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How to Navigate 2017’s Candidate-Driven Market

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The unemployment rate in the U.S. has fallen to 4.6 percent based on November 2016’s data. That means we are approaching the natural unemployment rate of approximately 4 percent. If the rate falls below the natural unemployment rate, businesses might not be able to find enough candidates to fill open positions and may prevent them from operating at full capacity. That means the current job market is candidate driven.

Candidate-driven job markets put the power into the hands of job seekers, especially for those with in-demand skills. Salary expectations rise along with competition for qualified individuals, and that puts companies in challenging positions.

Luckily, there are ways to navigate the current hiring landscape. So, if you are trying to navigate the candidate-driven market of 2017, here are tips.

Understand Supply and Demand

The fundamental economic principle of supply and demand is always in play in the job market. Currently, the supply is low while demand for particular skill sets is high. That means companies may need to offer more to secure new employees today than previously.

Now is not the time to lowball a candidate and hope for the best. If you do not come in with a competitive offering from the beginning, employees may choose to decline your offer instead of negotiating for more.

However, that doesn’t mean you should aim too far over market value. Some candidates see this as an opportunity to take advantage of companies who are desperate to fill vacancies. Instead, you need to make sure your offers are in-line with competitors hiring similarly skilled applicants.

Provide Unique Value

A competitive salary isn’t the only thing a company has to offer. Solid benefits packages, flexible scheduling options, and alternative worksite potential can all be attractive to candidates today. Additionally, opportunities to learn and grow with the position can also help secure new employees that have specific ideas about the progress of their career.

Consider everything your company has to offer, and extoll the virtues of those benefits.

Streamline Your Hiring

Hiring managers cannot afford to take extended amounts of time before making an offer. With that in mind, it is critical to keep the process moving forward at a reasonable pace. Create a plan to help guide the timing of all activities, and do your best to adhere to the schedule.

Keep Candidates Informed

As the interview and selection process proceeds, make sure the candidates are aware of what to expect. Keep in regular contact, and let them know where they stand. If an applicant didn’t make the cut, let them know in a timely manner. For those still in the running, make sure they know when they can expect to be contacted again, and contact them on or before that date. If the process is taking longer than anticipated, reach out to the candidates and inform them of the delay. Additionally, provide information regarding the new timeline and return contact based on the new timetable.

Use Additional Resources

If you need access to a larger candidate pool, working with a recruitment firm can help you cast a wider net. CPS Recruitment® has access to high-quality applicants interested in finding employment in your industry. Contact us today and see how we can help you locate the talent your need in the candidate-driven market of today.


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