Good news for job seekers: It's a candidate-driven market again.
What is a candidate-driven market? Basically, a candidate-driven market means waves of hiring surges are bringing competition back to the job market.
It means now is a great time to be looking for work as there are more jobs for talented creatives. A high demand for specific skills paired with the longer amount of time companies take to fill open roles is good news for job seekers, but not so great news for those doing the hiring. Inc says “the most difficult step these days is finding employees - any employees at all. We're in the midst of one of the most difficult hiring markets of all time.”
Why is it a "Candidate-Driven Market"?
Jibe.com shares these stats:
During the financial crisis of 2007-2009, the job market plummeted as approximately 8.7 million jobs were lost and the unemployment rate hit 10%. But since 2010, employment in the private sector has increased by 14.5 million jobs (#ThanksObama). That's an average of 194,000 jobs per month.
Recruiters seem to agree. According to a 2016 Recruiter and Employer Sentiment Study, 86% of respondents said they would call the labor market "candidate-driven" compared to 56% in 2012.
In fact, during the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 15.6 million jobs will be added to the U.S. market. This allows current employees to seek out new opportunities and those looking for work are able to apply for roles that weren’t there during the recession.
Want more info on what this market means for job seekers? Read Artisan Talent CEO Bejan Douraghy's blog on Graphic Design USA.
What Does This Mean for Employers?
Essentially, a candidate-driven market means there's more competition for employers. While talent competition increases, so does the willingness or workers to leave their current position for new jobs with better salary, bigger benefit packages, or more opportunity for advancement.
This is in stark contrast to employer-driven years of long interview processes and large candidate pools, Superior Group points out."Now, rather than waiting for weeks, candidates have the option to find better, more competitive offers at organizations that are not undervaluing their skill sets and that are willing to pay market-value."
In fact, an MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study showed 31% of recruiters said that candidates rejected offers based on better opportunities elsewhere, while hiring managers were deliberating.
So employers, HR departments, and hiring managers need to focus on creating a better candidate experience for hiring while c-suite personnel need to focus on retaining the talent they have.
How to Fix Your Hiring Process
These three things are a good starting place for fixing your hiring process and attracting top-notch talent in a candidate-driven market.
1. Focus on Culture
Job candidates now no longer focus only on pay when looking to accept an offer or apply for a job. All companies have a "culture," Superior Group says, "and candidates are attuned to researching individual companies to determine the right fit. Most candidates can look at your web and social pages to gauge the personality and overall work/life experience that they will experience if they accept a position."
Make sure your social sites like Glassdoor and Facebook are filled out completely and double-check your mission statement to attract the right candidates, then focus on interviewing for a good culture fit.
Asking the right questions can go a long way for finding a good employee/culture fit. Include questions like:
- What kind of management style will bring out our best work? What are your expectations of your management team?
- Describe a time when you went out of your way to impress a customer.
- What kind of work environment would make you unhappy?
Glassdoor also has these suggestions from their new ebook:
2. Make Sure Your Pay is Competitive
First thing is first when it comes to compensation: know there is no such thing as a "typical rate." And second, know that you need to be competitive to attract top talent.
Don't assume there is an industry standard hourly rate for creatives. You can't compare on price alone. Rates are reflective of experience, values, individual processes, and more. An example: PicJumbo's "Play Bigger" Presentation written by Sian Richardson offers,
New Graphic Designers might only charge around $1k for a Logo + website design, with an experienced solo biz owner charging $8k+, and at the highest end of the scale, full-on creative agencies might charge $20k+. But when you put it into perspective, the levels of experience and expertise are relative to the pricing.
3. Improve Your Speed
Every touch point a job candidate has with your company should be as efficient and speedy as possible. Make sure you actually complete the process as if you were a job candidate (from starting on your job board with a mobile device through submitting an application and scheduling an interview) to see where the kinks are.
Then, once your process is smooth, be ready to move.
Hire with a sense of urgency, says Artisan Senior Account Manager Karen Smith. A lot of top talent is interviewing for multiple roles, so if you find a creative you like and want to hire - snap them up fast. "Time kills every deal."
Your Career Intel seconds this opinion: "Companies that drag their feet, let too much time elapse between interviews, and require too many meetings before making an offer give the competition the benefit of time." The early bird does in fact get the bird. "When employers make their hiring decisions efficiently, early offers may tempt candidates to make a deal."
How to Keep Your Employees Happy
With the most in demand talent being able to be ultra-selective in their project and job selection, it's paramount to keep your current talent and employees happy so they don't jump ship. There are easy, non-expensive ways to do that.
R-E-S-P-E-C-TIt's more than an Aretha Franklin song, it should be rule #1 when it comes to your employees and freelancers! Don't forget you've hired someone because you need their expertise in the field, no matter what it is.
Being flexible goes a long way toward being liked. Workplace flexibility will help keep employees. Why not consider allowing employees to work flexible hours or remotely? Or take the team offsite and let them work from a coffee shop one day a month.
These are all great ways to keep the employee from falling into an office rut that may stifle their creativity, or even worse, lead to boredom, frustration...or a job hunt.
InspireIf you're a boss/manager/c-suite member, it's your job to keep your team happy and inspired. It can be as simple as passing out "everyday achievement awards" or taking team members out to lunch on their birthday. Check out five great ways to inspire your staff over on Mabbly.com for more ideas.
BalanceIncreasingly, candidates are prioritizing work-life balance and a positive corporate culture over that fancy lobby or office holiday party. Find ways to genuinely reflect your company's social and professional climate by considering things like VTO or company-sponsored group social outings.
Fortune's examination of thousands of employee surveys found that people at the best workplaces were more than four times more likely to talk about their businesses' charitable endeavors, compared to employees at peer companies certified by Great Place to Work.
The Bottom Line
A candidate-driven market is great for job seekers, but it doesn't have to be bad for employers. Focus on valuing your company's current team and don't be afraid to ask for help when it comes to filling open positions. A staffing agency can go a long way to help cut down hiring times and fill vacancies faster.
Other Posts You Might Like
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Our 101 Guide to Hiring Freelancers
How to Keep Creatives Happy