The US job market has been dramatically transformed…and it seemed to happen overnight. Most companies quickly turned to a sense and respond approach in 2020 due to an unexpected global pandemic known as Covid 19. The first move by US companies to keep the lights on was to utilize a remote workforce. Without a great deal of reflection about the associated challenges, simply put – it worked. At the same time, however, Covid dealt a major blow to the health of most of the US commercial landscape. With top and bottom-line indicators plummeting, many companies released a large part of their workforce via “Covid Restructuring”.
Thankfully, we have seen signs of recovery that began in very late 2020, and have continued throughout 2021, gaining velocity along the way. Companies are increasingly ready to take on the backlog of work that was placed on hold last year.
Take a Hard Look at Your Hiring Process
Much like the appetite of a bear coming out of hibernation – companies who seek to distance themselves from the competition are aggressively pursuing the best and brightest talent in the market. It is more important than ever to view your entire talent acquisition cycle with a critical eye. Yes, interviews are important, but hiring by committee via a long, drawn-out interviewing schedule has never been a best practice. Determine the most critical discussions to be had and ensure that all members of the organization understand the importance of prioritizing them. You should also insist on timely, consistent, and open feedback from each interviewer – and with your candidates. If they aren’t a fit, don’t make them wait for the news. Finally, do not hold out for the “perfect” candidate. Simply put, they do not exist – and you will lose very qualified candidates while you hold out hope and continue to look for the proverbial needle in the haystack. You and your team should seek to identify the best applicant by not only looking at skills and experience, but also the cultural fit.
Is Your Offer Compelling Enough to Win?
As the news on the US employment front gets better, companies have seen more than a 50% increase in ghosting, where a candidate unexpectedly stops communicating during the hiring process. 2021 has also shown a significant uptick in first-day no-shows, up about 25% from the historical average. In addition to competing offers from other employers, Federal and State Covid Aid Programs are likely playing a role in making it more difficult to hire your candidate of choice.
There are many factors that combine to attract more applicants and keep the top ones interested. Challenging and rewarding work, opportunity for advancement, a collaborative and connected workforce – even if remote, are all very important. It has been said that “money isn’t everything” but studies seem to suggest the right amount of it is critical in hiring and retaining employees. In one example, a well-known US-based retailer who was struggling to hit their recruitment goals found that increasing hourly compensation by approximately $5.00 resulted in a 3X increase in number of applicants, a 70% improvement in fill rate, and a drop in early turnover of 50%. More broadly, 8 out of 10 companies that increased pay to meet or exceed the 75% percentile for the market, saw an immediate and ongoing increase in applicants. The same holds true for employee retention as well. Organizations who hired personnel at the 75th Percentile achieved a 54% improvement in retention, with results as high as 95% with companies paying at the 90th Percentile.
For more than a decade, DVA Technology has helped our clients navigate shifting market complexities and challenges. As the competition for top talent intensifies, we are here to help. To learn more, contact us today!