Hiring Stars in a Low Unemployment Market

If you spend more than 10 minutes in a conversation with today’s business leaders and ask them to identify their top challenges, I am willing to bet that hiring qualified employees will be in their top five.

As business leaders, we have experienced many changes in the employment market. Some of you may recall years when recruiting was uncomplicated and qualified candidates outnumbered the available openings. The current market, with the lowest unemployment rates we have seen in two decades, is changing the processes and practices of recruiting yet again.

Early in my career, I read the book, “Hire Tough, Manage Easy” written by Mel Kleiman. The advice in this book helped me do a great deal of successful manufacturing recruiting in the early 2000’s. My copy of this book is well worn as it speaks to how to hire STARS (Employees who are self-motivated, talented, accountable, responsible and stable). Most employers still want to hire STARS. A few tips that may be helpful in today’s market:

  1. Change it up. Make updates to your job postings, know your target applicant market and what may motivate them.
  2. Get creative in writing your job ad. If you can, show compromise on some of the requirements. For example: you would like a bachelor’s degree but could a candidate with an Associates and several years of experience be a match? Could you help pay for their tuition to obtain their bachelor’s degree?
  3. Shorten your application process. In today’s market, the more hoops an applicant must jump through, the less enthusiastic they are going to be. A quick resume submission to apply with the lengthier application on the back end may help you to get more applicants.

I still apply some of the principles learned in Kleiman’s 1999 book – but 20 years later, I embrace the need for today’s job seekers to be introduced to company culture, pay and benefit incentives, career development opportunities and more. Here’s to hiring STARS!

Written by Blog Contributor: Pamela J. Watkins