How to Attract Candidates in a Staffing Shortage

Read here as we dive into the cause, effect and solution to the globe’s current staffing shortage, hiring upset, and industry opportunity.

It’s flooding the news headlines and becoming the hot topic in today’s workforce conversations: The labor shortage.

For the most part, the causes of perspective labor shortages are not new. Neither are the solutions. What we’ve experienced over the last almost two years is the light speed at which the labor market has fluctuated with the COVID crisis and global pandemic, causing more uncertainty than we’ve experienced in the recent past.

But before we go into some of the causes of historical and current staffing shortages, it’s important to remember that we’ve always had pockets of labor shortages in the U.S. and even global labor markets. Each industry is unique and has situations that can cause an increase or reduction in labor needs.

What the pandemic did was affect more industries as once than typical because of mass closings and shutdowns. But if all these jobs were filled to begin with, why are we still in a shortage now with restrictions being lifted and businesses are (mostly) open again?

With that, let’s take a look at the causes of this staffing shortages, and more importantly, how to avoid the challenges and attract candidates!

#1 How Wages are Impacting Staffing Shortages

Most people want to work, but they want to work for competitive and livable wages. This root cause is nothing new and we continually see it when discussions of minimum wage increases occur.

Oftentimes employers are looking to fill positions at low wages (with high expectations). And while wages aren’t the only part of the hiring equation when attracting candidates, it is an important one.

As candidates have more selection than ever before, they are taking everything into consideration when applying. Employers unwilling to increase wages accordingly will continue to see labor shortages and will not only have difficulty attracting new candidates, but also have challenges keeping current employees satisfied enough to stay.

How to Attract Candidates When Wages are Competitive

You must be willing to increase wages to attract qualified candidates. In addition to the responsibilities of the position, you also need to account for additional risks involved with the position. This is even more relevant now with COVID and the amount of interaction with others the position requires.

  1. Consider using a reputable salary calculator (like this one or this one) to negotiate fair and markable salaries and pay rates with your clients.
  2. Get creative in how you negotiate and present the overall compensation and benefits of your positions.
  3. Negotiate with your clients for value-add incentives to pump up the overall compensation, when salary or pay rate are on the low end.
  4. Consider negotiating performance or tenure bonuses to attract top candidates.
  5. Take the time to understand what your candidate(s) really need and expect out of their comp package. Customize.
  6. Increase your recruitment marketing budget to cut through the noise.
  7. Utilize software that helps your recruiters do more with their time.

#2 How Recruitment Efforts are Impacting Staffing Shortages

There have been many studies that show a direct correlation with recruitment efforts alongside strong or weak labor markets.

“[Recruitment] tends to be stronger when the labor market is strong, and weaker when the labor market is weak. This means that when a job opening goes unfilled when the labor market is weak, as it is today, employers are even more likely than in normal times to be holding out for an overly qualified candidate at a very cheap price,” according to this article.

It’s not that there aren’t qualified candidates, because there are. But it’s the difference between finding the “perfect” candidate and the “capable” one that will make the difference in bridging the labor gaps, especially in our current candidate-driven market.

How to Attract Candidates Through the Noise

Companies should look to differentiate client (and candidate) needs versus wants for each position. If the candidate fulfills all the “needs” and can train on the job for the “wants,” it’s important to have the confidence and skill to sell that to your clients. Using an ATS like Tracker can not only support candidate search based on skill and qualifications but can allow fast sourcing of these candidates with specific features like Watchdogs.

  1. Negotiate with your client on “needs” vs “wants”.
  2. Help clients develop onboarding and training plans for new hires that are capable, but not perfect.
  3. Accurately post your jobs to reflect requirements and benefits of opportunities
  4. Make sure you jobs are discoverable. Everyone googles everything these days.
  5. Automate sourcing with tools like Watchdogs, Auto Match, and Automated Email Sequences.

#3. Why Employer Benefits Are More Important Than Ever

The one thing the pandemic did contribute to in regard to labor developments is the reassessment and evaluation of work-life balance. As employees were forced to work-from-home, take unemployment, stay in the workplace as an essential worker, or other circumstances, more candidates took time to refocus on their priorities and what they wanted now versus what they had previously.

Because of this, and piggybacking on our previous points in the wage discussion above, paychecks are not the only major line-item candidates are looking for when applying to jobs. Flexible hours, paid sick and vacation time, remote work, childcare support, job safety, and more have become much more attractive to candidates looking for better work-life balance.

This reassessment is also a reason many candidates are seeking to change jobs or fields.

A study from earlier this year from Pew Research discovered that over half of unemployed individuals considered a change of career or field. And this hasn’t only been for those previously in low-wage jobs, but also in many middle-wage jobs as well.

How to Attract Candidates Looking for Better Work-Life Balance

To combat the after effects of the reassessment (or for those currently evaluating prospective jobs), it comes down to a combination of competitive wages, relevant benefits to the individual, and more education and upward mobility opportunities. Job security and flexible benefits are key to attracting candidates now more than ever.

  1. Match candidates to jobs based on skills, preferences, needs, and goals. Not just job title. Here is how Tracker makes this easy:
  2. Again, make your jobs discoverable to talent looking for specific allowances or work-life benefits.
  3. Chat with your clients to uncover hidden work-life benefits or value-adds that might not be on the job req.
  4. Use a tool like Job Sourcing to better research client jobs or discover great opportunities for hot candidates.

Attracting Candidates and Staffing with Tracker

While these are not the only factors for current labor shortages, they are big challenges that need to be addressed when sourcing candidates to help bridge the gap. Additional concerns include a workforce that is aging out, early retirement because of health concerns, trust issues with in-person jobs, and inequalities and discrepancies due to age, education, gender, and race.

Sourcing and qualifying candidates quickly and effectively has become a necessity. Tracker has always strived to create software solutions that enhance the recruitment process without sacrificing the quality and experience for all users. Let’s make sourcing candidates less stressful, regardless of the market.

Connect with us today for a free demo of our features to assure success and not shortage in your recruiting process.

About Tracker

Tracker offers intuitive and time-saving features to support your recruitment team in redeploying and reengaging your most qualified candidates, efficiently. Our multitude of candidate tracking, engagement, and management features allow you and your team to work smarter, not harder for all around success. 

Trackeris a leadingrecruitmentandapplicant tracking softwaredesigned forstaffingagencies of all sizes. Our industry-leading support, onboarding and technology will improve both your recruitment speed, process and quality. With over 15 years of experience, ourATS Systemis built with you, the staffing professional, in mind. 

Want to see these staffing tech trends in action? Contact us for a free demo and consultation of Tracker’s time-making features. 👇

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