Predicting something that is so intrinsically bound up in human behavior is a challenge. Add on top of that the economy and labor market are still deeply affected by pandemic-related changes – nothing is exactly predictable. Nevertheless, trends are appearing. And without a doubt, there are actions companies can take to improve hiring metrics and find the great people they need to succeed. I’m happy to share a few thoughts based on our own experience and research, and recently bolstered by the results of Monster’s Future of Work Survey.
The Good News
I am optimistic about hiring in 2023, and that view is shared by staffing professionals and candidates alike. Recruiters are confident (41%) or very confident (55%) that they can find the right person for the job, and most candidates still feel they are in the driver seat when it comes to hiring. They know that talent scarcity is still an issue, as layoffs happen and wages increase slowly. While inflation and recession fears may be slowing, some plans are not going to grind to a halt. Certain sectors may be more affected than others and yes, budgets are going to be tighter this year than last, but overall, hiring is happening.
It’s been all over the news – bigger tech companies are laying off workers, in big numbers. Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, Twitter, and more have laid off approximately 180,000 people. However, other companies, sectors, and even tech firms, are hiring, some even aggressively. Startups, small businesses, and midsize firms are growing. If you’re one of these firms, the current attempts of the tech giants to “rightsize” their workforces could bring some talented people to your team. However, if you’re hiring for system analysts and software developers, expect challenges. Quantity does not necessarily mean quality, and hard to fill roles will remain so. No one is shedding cyber security specialists by the thousands!
The Action Steps
Challenging doesn’t mean impossible. There are steps smart employers can take to improve the odds and attract and hire the strongest candidates.
- Have a strong employer brand. You need to describe the value of working with your company clearly and concisely across all platforms. A prospective employee needs to understand from the get-go why they want to work for you. What can they expect in terms of culture? What values matter to you, and how are they embodied in your processes and workplace? Opportunities for growth and personal development are important to people – if that’s a benefit you offer, communicate it. Your brand is the way to differentiate your company and make the job attractive beyond just a salary.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion matter to today’s candidates. Communicate what your company is doing and showcase your current state, progress, and goals. Be real. Don’t lie. Don’t overstate. People don’t expect perfection; they expect transparency, honesty, and real effort. What is your strategy to become a more inclusive company? If you’re not sharing or talking about DEI in recruiting, today is the time to start.
- Job descriptions matter. The entire hiring/onboarding process is an opportunity to attract or repel great people. Our VP of Sales, Laura Munson, recently wrote a great piece on job descriptions. Every step should be clearly explained – what to expect in terms of next steps, when decisions are made, etc. And then stick to what you wrote! Communication should be frequent and as personal as possible. Candidates can ghost you at any time during the process. Don’t let them languish between the offer/acceptance and start date. Have a plan and stay in touch. This happens more than you might think, but it’s preventable.
- Have a clear workforce strategy and tap into passive candidates. Knowing what kind of people you need in the future can allow you to proactively build talent pools and help shorten the hiring cycle when you do need to hire. What are you doing to go after passive candidates? How do you reach them? Are you looking at underemployed categories of workers and seeing if they have transferable skills? You need to connect and recruit where your candidates are, so they know who you are when they’re ready to make a change. When talent is scarce, you need to think broadly and work across multiple channels.
The key to successfully managing your workforce needs in 2023 is to be prepared across the board. Know what people you need, where those workers are, and make sure that your hiring process is a well-oiled machine from beginning to end. If you do, this could be a year marked by tremendous growth and progress for your business.
Looking for more support for your hiring needs? Take a look at our services and let ATR help you find the best of the best for your business.