The current unemployment rate is around 3.8% and has been hovering right under 4.0% throughout 2019. The unemployment rate is expected to continue at this rate for 2020. What does this mean in terms of hiring and recruiting?

This means that the available talent pool is smaller and will be more competitive to attract top talent. It also means that it will be more difficult to find talent that is more unusual or scarce. In a market with a higher unemployment rate, personalized recruiting is not as important. However, with a reduced talent pool due to a lower unemployment rate, the strategies and methods to source and hire talent are different.

There are things you can do to personalize your recruiting process in order to find and attract the top talent or scarce candidates in a competitive market.

  1. Use a targeted sourcing strategy
  2. Use a consultative approach
  3. Treat applicants like your customer

One of the differences in a tight job market is it requires a more active approach to search. This means that instead of using job ads that typically attract those who are looking for work or are unemployed, you use a strategy to find candidates who are already working. This requires creating a candidate profile and knowing specifically what you are seeking in someone for that role. Once you know the job description and the profile of the person who can perform that job in the top 5% of applicants, you can conduct a targeted search.

There are a few key elements to a targeted search.

  1. Use tools that help you narrow the candidate pool.
    I recommend using LinkedIn, as it enables you to use key word searches to identify the individuals who meet your criteria.
  2. Conduct the “Who Do You Know Who” conversation.
    You can find more information about this in one my past blogs here.
  3. Have a narrative that is compelling to potential candidates.
    If you are actively approaching a candidate who is already working, you will have to convince them that the position and the company are worth discussing.

Once you have contacted potential candidates, you want to use a consultative approach. A one-size-fits-all approach or templated process will not work. The key to a consultative approach is to formulate questions that help you discover what is important to the candidate AND how they fit the job itself. This a skill that can be learned, but is not necessarily intuitive. When you are talking to a candidate who already has a job, you need to be attractive to the candidate AND find out if they are a good fit for that role. This requires asking great questions and demonstrating value in the process. That means this approach requires time on the front end determining the best questions to ask, and perhaps taking the candidate through the future self process.

The last part of personalizing your recruiting process is to think of applicants as customers. If the applicant was a customer, how would you treat them? How would you communicate? What would you do to provide a 5-star experience? What would you do to stand out? When the unemployment rate is low and the market is highly competitive, you are competing for the best talent and need to be able to demonstrate your value. Thinking of each applicant as a customer is a way to shift your mindset and consider what is most important to them about the role and the company. This is a way to set yourself apart from the competition.

Using a targeted sourcing strategy, a consultative approach and treating applicants like customers will help you stand out and attract the best candidates in the market. In addition, when you begin to think and operate this way, one of the strategic by-products is your mindset around talent shifts, which can shift how you approach the talent currently within your organization. Remember, in a competitive market the employees in your organization are more than likely being actively recruited, and you want to avoid your talent being recruited away.

If you need help attracting candidates, please sign up for a FREE 30-minute session and I will take you through the impossible goal process: