At least three times a week, I find myself in a conversation about the current hiring market.
The scene is competitive and compensation requirements are high. In order to understand how to best respond to the situation, we first need to understand why it’s happening.
“An interim employee can take on excess work while you re-approach your process and needs.”
Employees Are Asking: Is This Worth It?
There’s one main reason for the “Great Resignation,” though the details vary. People are asking themselves if their work lives are, in fact, worth it.
In the past year, many of us have worked more than ever. Working from home also means living at work. It’s so easy to wander over to the computer in the evening to “just send a quick email” or finish a project. But this arrangement leads to overworking.
Combine increased work with limited recreation and travel options, and many people are unhappy. When they look for the source of their unhappiness, the answer they often come up with is work.
For many people, the solution has been to make a complete career shift. Hoping to center their happiness, they pivot industries into something they’ve always wanted to do.
Others leave their companies but stay in their industries in favor of remote work. They might want to live in a lower-cost area, move closer to family, or enjoy a nicer climate. And because geography is no longer a limiting factor, these workers have far more options than before.
Plenty of companies are willing to hire remote employees, and candidates often prioritize where they want to live over other considerations. They want the flexibility to be employed at a Bay Area tech company but to live in a low-cost state without much industry.
Many women, on the other hand, are leaving the labor force without looking for another job. Their answer to “is this worth it?” is a straightforward no.
Some have found they’ve enjoyed the time the pandemic afforded away from the office. Others have had a huge, pandemic-related increase in domestic responsibilities (still more likely to fall on women), which affects their ability to work outside the home. McKinsey & Company reports that one in four women are considering leaving their jobs because of the pandemic, compared to one in five men.
Answer Them With a Yes
It’s a candidate market, and candidates know it. Hiring managers have to respond accordingly. Here are my recommendations to clients seeking talent in today’s tight market.
1. Be Open
Try approaches you haven’t considered in the past. Think about hiring junior people who can grow into their roles. Consider hiring remotely. Explore hiring multiple people for larger positions. Review your compensation and raise it if it’s below-market.
2. Hire a Consultant
Don’t let the extra work from unfilled vacancies strain your existing team. Instead, hire a consultant. An interim employee can take on excess work while you re-approach your process and needs. This buys you time to find the right candidates for those vacant positions and protects your team from burnout.
3. Move Swiftly
You no longer have the luxury of time to compare candidates, and you might have to hire more quickly than you’re comfortable with. Before, you could have three outstanding applicants lined up at once. You could take your time to carefully evaluate each one before making a decision.
In this job market, though, you might have one excellent applicant who has two other offers on the table. If you don’t scoop them up quickly, you could miss out on a great addition to your team. So when you find a good candidate, move quickly and decisively.
“You no longer have the luxury of time to compare candidates, and you might have to hire more quickly than you’re comfortable with.”
The bottom line is this: the playbook you’ve used to win in the past may no longer achieve success today. Be willing to rethink how you approach hiring. If you adapt along with the changing market, you can find the talent you need.
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