If you’re asking yourself “why can’t I find the ideal candidate for this position?” you’re not alone. There is a perception among many companies that there is a surplus of skilled talent available for hire. However, that’s not actually the case. Employers are competing heavily for ideal candidates. With U.S. unemployment falling to 6.2% in February and college-level unemployment dropping to a rate of 3.8%, recent reports indicate that upwards of 6 million jobs could be added in 2021 with an unemployment rate dropping below 5%.
Pre-pandemic the majority of candidates were passive job seekers. Meaning, they weren’t actively searching for new roles. Instead, the work found them. Despite not proactively seeking new roles, many were inclined to accept the opportunities presented to them. At the time, making an employment change didn’t pose as much of a risk.
Today, candidates are more cautious about changing jobs. That’s due to a combination of factors, both personal and professional. The point is, people are choosing to remain within familiar circumstances. So, what happens when the ideal candidate for this position exists but isn’t interested in the job? To understand what today’s talent desires, #AtriumAsks talent expert and Staffing EVP, Holly Markman-Graessle, “what gives?” when it comes to finding qualified candidates. And she’s got answers…
3 Reasons You Haven’t Found Your Ideal Candidate:
1. Digital environments create instant opportunities.
Speeding up time-to-hire is essential to placing an ideal candidate into an open position. Many companies are offering candidates the option of video interviewing. The “as soon as possible” approach means these employers stay top of mind. When waiting for an in-person interview, candidates can become disengaged. You also leave them open to competing job offers. Multiple interview stages and long periods between conversations come at the cost of losing qualified candidates. Especially in today’s climate, where communication and engagement is a significant motivation for change. Technology can help you speed things up.
These days, opportunity arrives in an instant. Remote work and virtual platforms are removing cumbersome barriers. We are set-up for time management success! So, when it comes to hiring, expectations are changed. While you want to be selective and find the best person for a role, it’s important not to delay unnecessarily. A speedy hiring process is the best way to improve your results. Be consistent and thoughtful with follow-up. Trust me, the ideal candidate for this position exists! However, time is of the essence. Make sure your onboarding experience encompasses modern, digital components to keep things moving.
2. Requirements of the role have potential for overwhelm.
Organizations that downsized during the pandemic or merged multiple roles into one are finding it challenging to fill the expanded roles. Realistically, there are not many candidates who match the stretched requirements. Perhaps more importantly, they don’t desire these kind of roles. Applicants are looking for clearly defined jobs where they can leverage their strengths and continue achieving. A job that requires “many hats,” can detract qualified talent, especially at a time when stress is at an all-time high.
It is important to evaluate your expectations of a business function prior to seeking qualified candidates. I promise, the ideal candidate for this role is out there. However, job requirements that don’t align with the today’s talent expectations aren’t going to attract the applicants you seek. More so, your ideal candidate may be job searching because of overwhelm in their current role. More of the same is not going to motivate a change. Assess the wants and needs of your open position. Determine what is truly vital. Then, consider what is not. If it’s not essential, remove it from the job requirements. This way, you make sure not to filter out qualified applicants right from the start.
3. Modern compensation packages make traditional offers less appealing.
In reality, the competition for experienced candidates is steep. Especially in high demand industries like Manufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare, Research and Finance, we are seeing even fewer candidates seeking employment. If you’re asking, “where is the ideal candidate for this position?” it’s time to evaluate your job offer. Does the salary fully and fairly relate to the skills, experience and other qualifications you’re seeking? For every certification, credential and miscellaneous know-how on your wish list, there is a corresponding value.
What motivates potential employees is unique to the individual. However, one thing is clear. It’s about more than just salary. If you want your offer to outshine the competition, benefits, perks and incentives can make all the difference. Currently, there is a greater focus on personal wellbeing. Employers who provide professional development, mental health benefits and and financial wellness programs are attracting the most qualified candidates. Your ideal candidate is not going to accept an offer if the corporate benefits are less substantial than what they have today. Additionally, they don’t want to experience a lapse in benefits when making a change.
Despite a great deal of workforce uncertainty, these two requirements are certain:
1. The ideal candidate for this position desires flexibility.
More and more candidates desire remote work. At least temporarily, the majority of talent does not want to be in an office working. Even for companies hesitant to support full-time remote working, offering a hybrid work model can make opportunities more appealing. Remote and flexible work are the most sought-after opportunities today. Reducing or eliminating a lengthy commute can offer significant value to applicants. Companies whose office perks translate to at-home accommodations are optimizing their talent search results.
2. Trust is more essential than ever when it comes to employment decisions.
There is a lot that has changed at work. Communicating that change is key to building relationships built on trust. Everything from your Corporate Communications and Covid-19 response to Employee Engagement and Social Responsibility are being evaluated by job seekers. Employers who make it known their people are the priority stand-out to today’s applicants.
Companies reimagining compensation are better equipped to meet the needs of today’s applicants. Leaving the comfort of an established role is an even bigger risk in today’s environment. Your ideal candidate needs to feel confident they are walking into a career opportunity that clearly improves their quality of life. Details matter to job seekers. When defining a role and presenting an offer, make sure you give thought to emerging needs of the workforce and reflect them in your presentation.