You have less than 12 seconds to engage a candidate when you interact with them. And To top it off, top talent typically isn’t looking for work either, yet when their interest is piqued (we’ll get back to that), candidates have choices.
The recent economic recovery comes with the rise of a candidate driven market. As a result, business leaders are facing two particularly challenging market dynamics: an ever-changing renumeration and benefits landscape and increasing competition for top candidates.
To attract top talent today, employers must provide compelling reasons for candidates to join their teams. In other words, they need to sell the opportunity. However, this is a major challenge for most companies.
As the old saying goes, knowledge is power, and it can minimize the impact of these market driven obstacles. The information below will help you overcome the obstacles presented by these two market dynamics.
Compensation and benefits
Because of rapid market moves, inflation and talent scarcity, most organizations are negotiating salary and rates using outdated rate cards and candidate-provided information.
This presents significant risk of overpaying on contingent resources when
(a) Different hiring managers are engaging talent with the same skills at different rates or salaries.
(b) Candidates are allowed to drive the conversation using their desired rate or salary as a guide. This negotiation strategy could also prove damaging to an employer brand if candidates are continuously presented with offers that are too low because the organization has no real-time market data to benchmark against.
Additionally, there are still geographic differences in rates and salaries (although minimizing) and you may be operating blindly in a new geography due to remote work or hybrid work model changes.
All of this means that without information, you are at a disadvantage when negotiating with candidates.
Overcoming obstacles in negotiations
It’s important to make sure to keep your contractor rate card updated every 2-3 years to be reflective of the hot or cold job market; this is the benchmark for your negotiating efforts. You also may need to be prepared to act when the job market heats up overall and ensure your program is adaptive to these changes.
It’s also important to remember that resources who possess a core technology plus a niche skill should not be priced in the same bucket as resources who only possess the core technology alone.
Remember, niche or upcoming skills will be priced higher, and your rate card should not limit this. When candidates are consistently coming in over rate card on a particular category or overall, it’s worth reviewing. To combat this, it’s good practice to monitor rates to identify roles that are coming in above rate card and those that are consistently below. This allows companies to consolidate, remove or add new role categories as needs and roles change.
If you know your rates or salary ranges are on the low-end of the market, you can showcase other benefits, such as your organization’s culture and flexible work options. For instance, Procom’s Voice of Talent: Return to the Office Report finds Flexibility is now equally important as renumeration for talent when choosing work opportunities – with equal numbers, 67% and 68% respectively citing each as ‘very important.’
Does your organization offer a work-from-anywhere? The report also finds that 34% of talent prefer this type of remote work model over any other – making the opportunity an attractive benefit.
Most companies have an Employer Value Proposition (EVP), and that is a great place to start. In this candidate-driven market, customizing your EVP based on hiring competition and unique scenarios helps to pique interest and create compelling reasons to accept your offer.
Know who you’re up against
Knowing your competition is smart business, and this is true in recruiting as well. Using your awareness of the competition’s gaps to position your organization as a great option can minimize your hiring obstacles when competing for talent.
Knowing the other companies that are hiring for your same roles, now, in your overlapping markets, is powerful information. Consider how much more effective your compelling reasons would be if you were able to highlight areas you know where you outshine the competition. These areas could include:
· DISRUPTION/COMPANY GROWTH: You have a product, service or technology that is revolutionizing how something is done, expanding, acquiring etc.
· PURPOSE: Why does your company exist? What is the value to its employees and customers?
· CULTURE: Today culture plays a large part in selling the candidate.
· FLEXIBILITY/WORK FROM HOME: What is your policy? Where is there flexibility? How do you address work/life balance?
· SOCIAL/ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTABILITY: For millennials and Gen Z in particular, this is very important.
· PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Share your training and development philosophy for employees. Do you have an educational reimbursement program?
· REPUTATION: Certain companies are known for having certain work environments. Are there employee reviews or social media comments you can direct candidates to?
· CAREER ADVANCEMENT: Show a defined career path and discuss succession planning. Rather than having advancement to a higher job title as the main focus, highlight the duties and responsibilities (along with compensation).
· VOICE: Many workers look for new positions as they feel their voice/opinions are not being heard by their current employer. Share how this is possible at your company.
Arming yourself with this information on compensation and hiring competition will improve your offer results, as every part of the candidate journey matters in getting them to say “YES” to your offer.
The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook
Over the past two years, we have captured hard won lessons learned across thousands of worker hiring engagements by our team of professional recruiters and distilled them into practical ideas that you can start using immediately. The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook is a step-by-step guide to help source, screen, select, onboard and retain talent in the New World of Work.